Simple, quick mini custard tarts ideal for lunchboxes, afternoon tea or just a plain treat.
I’m writing this blogpost on the fly so to speak. This week I’m curating the @Ireland twitter account, not from a food point of view but to chat about volunteerism, community and most importantly give people a flavour of what a Summer Project is like. Combine that with running the project, the house, the blog, taking care of 2 small boys, not forgetting R, who is very nearly 13 (and is making me feel old) and I’m a bit all over the place.
This isn’t a unique recipe, it’s not exactly a Portugese Custard Tart. It stemmed from Mam telling me that she loved cold custard, and then I had pastry left over from making the Sausage Rolls the other day, so the custard tart evolved by using the custard from my Trifle Cake recipe.
Just to explain, I’m brutal at making a classic cream custard with no stabiliser. Milk is cheaper, and if you use cornflour to thicken and stabilise the eggs then it also bakes well. The chances of your custard curdling or going lumpy is much reduced which then saves you money and time!
You may find over the next fortnight or so there will be far more sweet recipes than normal. That’s because I try to treat our volunteers as much as possible over the Summer Project. None of us are paid, and I feel it’s important to make people feel valued for what they do. I try to bring something nice with me most days and share around.
- 1 block puff pastry (defrosted)
- 2 medium free range egg yolks
- 300ml whole fat milk
- 2 tablespoons corn flour
- 1 tablespoon caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon light muscovado sugar
- Weighing scales
- Rolling Pin
- Sharp knife for cutting the pastry
- Greaseproof (non stick) paper
- Dry beans or rice for blind baking.
- Large saucepan for making the custard
- Small dish for the egg yolks
- Large dish for cooling the custard
- Loose bottomed tart tins or muffin tins
- Low calorie spray oil for greasing the tins
- Flour for dusting when rolling the pastry
- Preheat your (fan) oven to 200 degrees Celcius.
- Roll out the pastry on a clean, flat surface (using flour to dust the surface and the rolling pin) to 5mm thick.
- Using the knife cut the pastry to pieces slightly larger than the mini-tin you will be using. I get 6 muffin sized tarts from this recipe.
- Grease your tins by spraying with the low calorie spray oil first.
- Press the pastry gently into the tins.
- Then using the fork pierce the base of the pastry.
- Cover the pastry with greaseproof paper and fill with beans or rice.
- Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
- Pour the milk into the saucepan along with the vanilla extract and heat slowly until scalding but not boiling.
- In the small bowl combine the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour. Don’t throw out the egg whites, you can use them later for meringues, macarons or macaroons.
- Once the milk is hot start whisking with the bell whisk and pour in the egg yolk mixture.
- Keep on whisking until the egg custard starts to thicken. It will become very thick. This is what you want as you need it to be fairly thick for the tarts. The last thing you want is to cut the tart and to have the mixture slide out.
- Pour the cooked custard into the large bowl to cool a little.
- At this stage the tart bases should be cooked enough.
- Remove from the oven & carefully lift out the paper & filling of rice or beans. Put the filling away to cool. Once it has cooled you can reuse the filling for another blind baking recipe so put it in a dry sealed jar.
- Spoon the custard into the pastry cases. You can fill them close to the top as some of the liquid volume will turn to steam in the oven so they shouldn’t bubble over.
- Sprinkle the top with muscovado sugar.
- Return to the oven for a further 15 mins baking at 200 degrees Celcius.
- Allow to cool a bit before serving or otherwise you’ll burn your mouth.
- Delicious served cold or warm with some fresh summer berries on the side.