Portuguese custard tarts

Portuguese custard tarts

By
From
How to Cook Pastry
Makes
18
Photographer
Peter Cassidy

You will need two 9-hole (or 12-hole) muffin tins.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 quantity Puff pastry
extra flour, to dust

For the filling

Quantity Ingredient
6 egg yolks
4 tablespoons cornflour
250g caster sugar
350ml milk
550ml double cream
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
icing sugar, to dust

Method

  1. Roll out the chilled pastry on a lightly floured surface to a 2–3mm thickness. Use a 9cm pastry cutter to stamp out 18 circles. (You may need to layer up and re-roll the trimmings to get 18.) Press each circle into a muffin tin, ensuring that they are lightly pressed right into the bottom corners. Cover with cling film and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or until completely firm.
  2. Meanwhile, to make the custard, put the egg yolks, cornflour and sugar in a large bowl and mix well to combine. Gradually add the milk and then the cream, whisking well to stir out any lumps after each addition. When all the milk and cream have been added and the mixture is smooth, transfer to a saucepan and cook over a low heat, stirring slowly and constantly until it starts to steam and thickens considerably to the consistency of Greek yoghurt. This may take up to 20 minutes. To avoid the yolks curdling, it is important that the mixture doesn’t boil.
  3. Immediately transfer the thickened custard to a large bowl and add the vanilla extract. Taste and adjust as necessary, adding a little more sugar or vanilla if needed. Lay a sheet of cling film directly onto the surface of the mixture, to prevent a skin from forming. Allow to cool, then chill in the fridge.
  4. Heat the oven to 190°C and place a large baking sheet in the top third of the oven to heat up.
  5. Take the muffin tins out of the fridge and divide the custard evenly between the pastry cases. Place on the hot baking sheet in the oven and bake for 20–25 minutes until the pastry is risen, golden and cooked through and the custard is set. It is normal for the custard to have dark patches.
  6. Take the tarts out of the oven and leave to cool in the tins for 5–10 minutes, then gently remove from the tins and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Lightly dust with icing sugar and serve.
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