Sunday, 23 August 2015


If you had to write a list of Great British baking classics, the egg custard will be up there on many peoples lists. Is there any better way to treat yourself on a dreary afternoon than popping into your local bakery and picking up a few egg custards to cheer yourself up? I know a lot of people in my family feel the same so I thought it was time to try and give this comfort food great the MattyB Bakes treatment. Pastry filled with egg custard and topped with nutmeg. Doesn't get much simpler but some times the simplest things in life are the best!

Few pointers. Firstly if you don't like nutmeg then don't grate any over at the end and just enjoy that smooth custard filling as it is. Secondly, my pastry recipe below is my favorite sweet shortcrust recipe that I think works with all sweet tarts. If you have your own recipe for shortcrust you are more than welcome to use that instead.

Lastly, if you don't want to make you own pastry or don't have time then you can buy a ready made block of shortcrust or even a ready made tart case. I always say the quality of homemade cannot be beaten but with the filling being so simple to make, the recipe below is perfect for using ready made pastry  as it will reduce the amount of time to make if you have to whip this up as a last minute egg custard emergency. Try and make your own pastry if you can though, it's well worth the extra effort!

Egg Custard

 For The Pastry

100g Hard Butter (cut into small cubes)
 170g Plain Flour
30g Ground Almonds
50g Golden Caster Sugar
Zest Of 1 Lemon
Half Tsp Vanilla Extract
1 or 2 Egg Yolks

For The Filling

10 Egg Yolks
140g Caster Sugar
600ml Single Cream
Whole Nutmeg For Grating

  1. Begin with the pastry. Place the butter and flour into a bowl and with cold dry hands rub them together until all the butter is mixed in and it resembles breadcrumbs. Take the time to make sure all the butter is mixed in so your pastry is nice and short when baked.
  2. Mix in the almonds, sugar and lemon zest and mix until well combined. Add in the vanilla extract and 1 of the egg yolks. Start to work the pastry together with your hand. If the doughis not coming together then add a second egg yolk.
  3. Once the pastry has come together, roll into a tight ball and wrap in cling film. Leave in the fridge to firm up for at least 30 minutes but if you leave it for any longer keep an eye on it so that it doesn't go too firm and hard to roll out.
  4. After resting in the fridge, take out your pastry and on a floured surface roll out the pastry as thin as you can so that it will fit into a 20cm tart tin. Use any leftover pastry to patch up any holes in the pastry to prevent the filling from leaking. Prick the base a few times with a fork and place back in the fridge for another 3 minutes to chill.
  5. Ovens roll! Turn it on to 160 degrees (140 fan).
  6. Place a piece of baking paper into the tart and pour in some baking beans (use rice if you don't have beans). Place the bean filled tart case into the oven for 10 minutes before removing the foil and beans and baking for a further 20 minutes. 
  7. Whilst the pastry case is baking, prepare the filling by whisking together the egg yolks and sugar until light and fluffy before pouring in the single cream and whisking until well combined. Pour this mixture through a sieve into a jug to remove any lumps.
  8. Once the pastry is golden brown, remove the tart case from the oven and turn down the oven to around 130 degrees. When the oven is ready, pour the filling into the tart case and place back in the oven to bake for 30-40 minutes until the filling has set with a slight wobble in the centre.
  9. Remove from the oven and grate over some of the whole nutmeg to finish. Not too much as you don't want it to overpower the tart.
Allow the tart to cool fully so that the filling is properly set and doesn't fall apart when you slice through it. Once it is time to cut yourself a slice, glide a knife through that smooth and wobbly egg custard fulling and just tuck in. If you grew up with egg custards like me here up north, your first bite will transport you back to your childhood with memories of tucking into a shop bought 3 pack of egg custards that your Ma picked up from the shops if you were good and ate all your dinner. When food can evoke such strong comforting feelings as that then you know that there is nowt quite like an egg custard!

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