Primrose Pies

Lotte Duncan's version of a traditional sweet parsnip tart looks as pretty as a primrose and tastes just as good too
By Lotte Duncan
Primrose Pies
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: medium



  • 225 g plain flour
  • 110 g butter
  • 100 g sugar
  • 4 egg yolks

For the filling:

  • 2 large parsnips, cut into chunks
  • ground ginger, to taste
  • pinches mixed spice
  • juice and zest of 2 lemons
  • honey, to taste
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 egg whites
  • 50 g caster sugar

For the glaze:

  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp caster sugar

To decorate:

  • fresh primrose flowers


1. Place the flour and butter into a food processor and whiz until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the sugar. Add the egg yolks and whiz until the mixture forms a smooth dough. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

2. Preheat the oven to 190°C/Gas 5. Bring a large pan of water to the boil and add the parsnips. Cook until tender, then drain and mash them with the spices, lemon juice and zest. Add honey to taste and stir in the egg yolk.

3. Roll the pastry out thinly and line a 20 cm tart tin, setting the trimmings aside for later use.

4. Fill the pastry case with the parsnip mixture. Re-roll the trimmings and use to make a lattice on top of the pie. Glaze with a little milk and then sprinkle the top with a little caster sugar. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.

5. Whisk the egg whites until stiff and glossy and then fold in the sugar. Sppon the meringue mixture into a piping bag and pipe around the edges of the pie. Return to the oven for 5-6 minutes, until set.

6. Serve the pie warm, garnished with fresh primrose flowers and accompanied by chilled double cream or a generous dollop of clotted cream.

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