Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow… Can’t believe Christmas is only 4 weeks away, I am sure everyone is now busy baking cookies and cakes. In order to get into the festive mood, we will be making beautiful custard tarts this week.
I have tried many different recipes for the traditional Portuguese custard tarts. After many trials, this week’s recipe is a combination of the best pastry method I found (from Jamie Oliver) and the best custard filling I have worked out along the way – and it was a long way for sure. So I hope you will give this a go as I am sure these little sweeties will put a smile on your face when you eat them!
(Makes 10 tarts)
- 250g ready-rolled puff pastry
- Plain flour, for dusting
- 4 egg yolks
- 200g cream
- 1 heaped tbsp. cornstarch
- 2½ tbsp. caster sugar
- Ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1-2 tbsp. Icing sugar
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Set aside a regular muffin tin. Dust a clean working surface with plain flour and unroll the puff pastry. Sprinkle the pastry evenly with ground cinnamon. Roll up the pastry lengthwise (like a Swiss roll), and cut it into 10 rounds. Stand one round up and squash it down flat with your palm. Then use a rolling pin to roll it out thin until it is larger than a muffin tin hole. Lay the pastry on a hole of the muffin tin, then gently mold the pastry into the hole – it should be flat at the bottom and a little bit sticks out around the top. Repeat with the remaining rounds. Put them in the oven for 8 minutes or until the pastry is lightly brown.
While the pastry is in the oven, prepare the custard filling. Beat the egg yolk and sugar until pale and well combined. In another bowl, mix the cornstarch with 1/3 of the cream until smooth. Then mix in the rest of the cream, and stir well. Add the cream mixture into the egg and sugar. Mix well and drain the mixture with a sieve to another bowl or easy to pour jug. Finally add the vanilla extract, give it a final mix and set aside.
Remove the muffin tin from the oven and you will see the pastry is all puffed up. Use a teaspoon to gently push the middle of the pastry down to form a well for the filling. Spoon or pour the custard into the tart cases. Then return to the oven for another 8 minutes.
Take the muffin tin out of the oven and let the tarts sit in the tin for another 2 minutes and then transfer them to a cooling rack. Just before serving, sieve the icing sugar on the tarts. These tarts are best eaten when they are warm or within a couple of hours once made.