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Friday, 13 March 2015

Portuguese Custard Tarts

It's been a while since I last posted, as always life gets in the way.  This recipe is taken from this months BBC Good Food magazine (March 2015) and isn't a recipe I thought about trying.  I have always loved custard tarts and often when I have been in Nandos I have spotted the Portuguese variety.  In have never actually tried on and still to this day I have not - but you may be thinking "you have just wrote a blog post about them, you have pictures of the finished product..."  Well, there was a problem and I was not happy about it.  Ten minutes in to cooking this tarts my oven made a loud popping sound, I quickly opened the door to see a bright orange glow at the back as the fan slowed down and all the lights went oven blew up!  This has happened before, a few years ago, and I needed to buy a replacement element, so for the time being I do not have an oven.   

The pastry for these tarts is a cross between puff and flakey.  It takes a bit of time to make but isn't as time consuming as true puff pastry.  You do have to grate the butter over the pastry, fold and Roll out again and then sprinkle more butter over the top and repeat the process. After 30 minutes in the fridge to chill the pastry is ready to roll out. However this is where it slightly differs from normal pastry,  to make Portuguese tarts you have to go all out the pastry into a log and chop it into 12 equal size pieces and then flatten each one out so you have a flat spiral shaped piece of time. You then carefully place them in to the muffin tins and pour in the custard before baking.

At this point I can not truly tell you what they are suppose to look out of the oven, or even taste like.  The image above is 'borrowed' from another website, although all the  photographs in the recipe are my own.  

Portuguese Custard Tarts
makes 12

For the pastry
200g plain flour (plus extra for rolling)
1 tbsp caster sugar
100g unsalted butter, very cold (freeze if you like)
up to 200ml cold water

For the Custard
4 large egg yolks
1 tbsp cornflour
100g caster sugar
1 vanilla pod (or 2 tsp vanilla extract/paste)
1 cinnamon stick
thick strip of lemon zest
250ml whole milk
250ml double cream

To make the pastry, tip the flour in a food processor (or do by hand) and add the sugar.  With the machine running pour UP TO 200ml of cold water.  You want a pastry, not a wet sticky mess!


Tip out and form in to a solid ball.  Wrap in clingfilm and chill for 10 minutes.

Remove from the fridge and roll out to a 30x40cm rectangle.  Grate 50g of the butter over the pastry.


Fold top of the pastry in to the middle, fold the bottom over that (see images above)  You may need to press the butter in so it does not fall off and clump.

Rotate the pastry and roll out again, repeat (using up the rest of the butter).  Place the pasty in the fridge for a good hour to chill.

To make the filling, whisk together the egg yolks, cornflour and sugar until thick and light (about 2 mins).

In a medium pan, pour the milk and cream (notice the consistency of the cream), add the vanilla, lemon zest and cinnamon stick.  Heat until just about to simmer.

Pour over the egg mixture, whisking at the same time, then pour the whole lot back in to the pan.  Over a medium heat, whisk the custard until it starts to thicken and look like double cream (remember you looked at the consistency as your poured it before).  When ready, remove from the heat and strain in to a jug to remove the lemon and other bits.  Leave to one side while you sort the pastry.

Preheat oven to 200C/180C fan.

Roll out the pastry until you have a rectangle about 40x20cm.  Then, along the LONG edge, roll it up to look like a 'jam roll'.  Trip the top and bottom and then divide in to 12 equal sized pieces.

Place one of the pieces so the spiral is showing and flatten with a rolling pin to make a round disc.  Carefully place in the greased 12 muffin tin.  Repeat.

Pour in the egg mixture and bake for 30 minutes until golden around the edges.  Allow to cool and chill before eating.