Dead Good Old Tarts

Apr 3, 2016 | 5 comments


This recipe was given to me by a friend, although, I must admit, she didn’t call it Dead Good Old Tarts. The name just popped into my head when I was wondering what to call them, so Dead Good Old Tarts it is 🙂  I have been looking at ways of using up bread for a new page I am building – Love Your Leftovers. It is inspired by Jack’s post on not throwing things away. The page here will be updated on an ongoing basis, as and when I am inspired to feature an ingredient, foodstuff or commonly wasted item.  There are several items on there now. From what to with leftover coffee, those last little bits of takeaway or how to use over-ripe bananas to what to do with orange peel.


This recipe originally featured in a post put up in November. But I think it deserves a post of its own, and I will add it to the ever expanding list of recipes on the Recipes page. Have you looked recently? There are coming up to 800 recipes now! That’s a lot of frugality!

How to make breadcrumbs

To start, you’ll need some breadcrumbs, it doesn’t matter how stale the breadcrumbs are, or what sort. I make them as and when I have bread that needs storing away and I keep them in the freezer, in plastic bags. The end of a baguette that’s gone stale, the crust that nobody wants etc

If your breadcrumbs are still bread, in slices, put the bread in a liquidiser, or food processor, and blitz them down into crumbs.  If you have neither bit of kit, cut your bread into cubes, then using a large chopping board and the biggest knife you have, hold the handle in one hand, and the middle of the blade in the other, on the top of it, not the sharp side, at the level of the board, and chop away at your pile of bread until it breaks down into crumbs.  Scoop the pile up every now and then before resuming chopping.

You can use gluten free breadcrumbs too if that is the type of bread you have

Breadcrumb Recipe

Add some wild garlic or a clove of garlic or garlic granules, dried or fresh herbs.

Saute a chopped onion until transparent (optional)

Now add something to bind the crumbs together. An egg, or some mild mustard, or some melted butter or spread.

Season with salt and pepper and any combination of mixed herbs, mustard, capers, chopped up gherkin, chopped up anchovy fillets or paste, tomato paste, any tinned fish, sweetcorn or bacon/ham bits, which you have cooked with the onion (if using). Have a rummage in the fridge and freezer for little bits and pieces that have been stashed away.

What you are looking to achieve is a moist but non runny mix like a conventional stuffing.

For a lunch or dinner, line individual tart sized cases with shortcrust pastry, or any sized tin that you fancy using / have available. Use oil to make the pastry for a lovely short texture, or make with whatever fat you have available, or use bought.

Now fill your pastry case/s with your mix, top with some grated cheese if you have any and bake in a medium oven – 180C fan, 200C conventional, 490F, gas mark 6 – for about 20 minutes until golden.

These tarts can be eaten hot or cold for lunch or dinner, and make a great, cheap, lunch box filler. My friend serves these in jam tart sized pastry cases as a nibble, and they’re lovely.




  1. Lesley

    Excellent! Herne Bay is lovely, and I love a good charity shop

  2. Zoie Pritchard

    Woohoo! You’ve just inspired my next vegan potluck (aka bring-a-dish vegan eating party) dish!
    I’m gonna make syrup tart, which Mum used to make as a dessert all the time: shortcrust pastry case (either with some leftover Trex, or your oil pastry); breadcrumbs (which have been frozen for an age); and golden syrup. Pretty sure it’s just an assembly job then bake and nothing more complex but I shall check with mater tomorrow: we’re going on a jaunt to Herne Bay to poke around the charity shops, see the sights and partake of the delights of the Wallflower Café 🙂

  3. Katherine

    I love your ‘love your leftovers’ site. It’s exciting to be quoted so extensively.
    I often make small quantities of breadcrumbs with a cheese grater. Disassembling, washing and reassembling the liquidiser seems like hard work. I tend to leave the last few slices of bread out of the bag so they don’t go mouldy, but if they get too hard it’s hard work for the motor or for me. Perhaps pounding them with a rolling pin would be best or maybe just cutting as you suggest. Really dry crumbs are best for coatings.
    I was glad to hear you are losing weight. Well done.

  4. Lesley

    Paula, yes, I remember! I’ve included your idea in the new page Love Your Leftovers, it’s just bread at the moment

  5. Paula Higgleton-Wood

    Hi Lesley,
    I used to do something similar for my husband using jam.
    If make a tart case, then put in jam and sprinkle breadcrumbs on top giving a crunchy topping our I’d half full the case with crumbs and top with jam resulting in a chewy filling. Made the treats go further, one would last him six days with custard as desserts.

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