Sunday, June 17, 2012

Portuguese egg custard tart

Basically, it's egg custard tart with a cinnamon, orange and nutmeg puff pastry. Its that type of recipe that you would devour in a second but wouldn't dare make yourself. From the crisp puff pastry that is layered with so much butter your heart stops beating. That encases a rich, luxurious custard that seduces your palate to have another bite.

This recipe was inspired by my mum, she loves intricate pastries like this recipe with her cup of tea. I try and make my own pastries, so that I can control the amount of fat in the recipe. I have adapted the 'authentic' recipe to make it a bit healthier for my mum but I have not sacrificed any of the 'true'  flavours. Which is important to me!!
Everyone says puff pastry is really hard to make, but its not! Its really quick and a million times tastier than the shop's version.


1. First of all start with your puff pastry, measure out 225g of plain flour and sieve in a large bowl. Then add 187g of cold cubed unsalted butter and gently rub with your fingertips, until the butter is coating the flour.

2. Add 3floz of cold water and roughly mix with your hands or a wooden spoon until the dough has come together.

3. Place the dough on a lightly floured board and roll the dough out until 1-2 cm thick.

4. Now, place a bit more flour on your rolling pin and fold a third of the dough into the middle and the other third into the middle and roll out again.

5. Repeat step 4 four times, this gives you the layers of pastry that makes its crispy and yummy.

6. Then place in clingfilm and rest in the fridge for 30-1hour or overnight if possible.

7. While the pastry is resting, now its time to make the custard. In a bowl whisk 3 egg yolks and 1 1/2 oz of caster sugar, until pale and smooth. Then add 7 fl oz of double cream and whisk.

8. Place your raw custard in a saucepan and gently heat up to blood temperature. This takes 3-4 mins, use a wooden spoon to stop the bottom of the mixture from sticking.

9. Once the mixture is warm place in the fridge and allow to cool down.
10. Back to the pastry, place on a lightly floured work surface and unfold the dough. Place a generous amount of cinnamon sugar (1tsp of cinnamon and 3tbsp of caster sugar), 1 orange zested and 1 tsp of nutmeg.

11. Now, roll your pastry to create a log like shape.(look at the picture)

12. With a sharp knife slice 2 cm of pastry and roll out until thin.
13. Place in a oiled muffin tin and blind bake for 15-20 mins or until lightly golden at 220C.

14. Take out your 'baking beans' or the thing you have used to push the pastry down. Bake for a further 20-25 mins or until golden and crisp.

15. Turn the oven down to 120C and place your custard in the pastry cups. Bake for 30-35 mins or until the egg mixture is set.

16. Once the tarts are ready, place 1 tsp of caster sugar on top of the custard and place under the grill for 2-3 mins to get a crunchy, caramel topping.

17. Allow to cool on a wire rack for 15-20 mins, the best time to eat them is when they are cold. If you eat them straight away, I won't judge you! Enjoy!!!

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