Saffron custard tarts

Saffron custard tarts

By
From
Mark Hix On Baking
Makes
10-12
Photographer
Jason Lowe

Similar to those Portuguese custards tarts, but with added saffron, these are great little tea-time snacks. Although saffron might not seem an obvious spice for a dessert, its delicate taste lends itself to cakes and creamy fillings like this.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
250-300g ready-made all-butter puff pastry
plain flour, for dusting
250ml single cream
a good pinch saffron strands
4 egg yolks
50g caster sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cornflour

Method

  1. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured work surface to a 3 mm thickness and prick it thoroughly all over with a fork. Fold loosely in half and leave to rest in the fridge for 30–40 minutes.
  2. Have ready a 12-hole muffin tray. Unfold the pastry and cut out circles, using a 9–10 cm cutter. Use these to line the muffin tins, pushing the pastry into the corners before trimming the tops neatly with a sharp knife. Line each with a disc of greaseproof paper or foil, add baking beans and leave to rest in the fridge for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  3. Bake the tart cases for 10–15 minutes until they begin to colour, then remove from the oven, take out the paper and baking beans and leave to cool for a few minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, put the cream and saffron into a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and leave to infuse for 10 minutes.
  5. In a bowl, mix together the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour. Pour the infused cream over the egg mixture, stirring well with a whisk. Return to the pan and cook gently over a low heat for a few minutes, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the custard thickens. Do not let it boil. Remove from the heat and transfer to a jug.
  6. Pour the saffron custard into the tart cases and bake for 10–12 minutes, until set. Leave to cool a little, then loosen the tarts with a small knife and carefully remove from the tin. Serve warm or cold.
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