Forgotten Dishes 4: Soho Tart

It is not perhaps well known that ‘Soho tarts’ were not originally ladies of the night, but a speciality of the various patisseries of old Soho: the Soho of bars, foreign restaurants, and indeed ladies of the night; the Soho before sex shops, cinemas and Chinatown.

Soho tart

A Soho tart had a pastry base, which was filled with Seville orange jelly and decorated with a latticework of sugared pastry, in between which were Morello cherries that had been soaked in liqueur. Each patisserie had its own design of latticework and its own preference for liqueur.

Eventually, of course, individuality became lost and Soho tarts ended up with glacé cherries and marmalade. I doubt very much if they are made any more.

(In memory of Esther, my mother-in-law, who was fascinated by this dish when I told her about it in the incongruous setting of Cazorla, in Spain.)

(Beautiful artwork, of course, by Mrs Oblique)

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