Wednesday, 26 August 2015


When making my delightful egg custard tart this weekend I may of dropped a bit of a clanger by
making for too much filling for my pastry case. Not wanting to let leftovers go to waste, I decided to make Portuguese custard tarts which seem to of become more and more popular in the UK over recent years since being featured in magazines, books and on TV. These cinnamon flavored custard filled puff pastry tarts may not be as nostalgic in look and flavor as an egg custard tart but they do come a close second!

So if you want the more traditional British approach to the egg custard tart then check out my recipe form earlier in the week here. It's a fabulously simple recipe to follow and can be whipped up in no time especially if you want to cut out all the faff of making your own pastry (although do make your own if you can - it's much better than ready made!).

One thing I wouldn't advise making yourself is puff pastry. Of course if you want too and you know how to then fill your boots but for me it's so time consuming and can balls up at any moment. It's not worth the risk if you just want some hassle free baking time. Shop bought puff is of excellent quality nowadays, easy to find in supermarkets and so simple to use that I won't hold it against you (I've used it so I can't talk!).

Reading up on Portuguese custard tarts, the use of a cinnamon stick to flavor the custard kept coming up time and time again. I love cinnamon so for me this was a no brainer to try and replicate but if you don't have cinnamon or don't like it then why not just use vanilla pods to flavor your custard instead. You can make a plain custard if you want but you might find the tart filling to be slightly bland. 

This can be helped with the dribbling of melted chocolate over the top of the tarts which I've included in the recipe below as well to add that little something that would be missing from the lack of custard flavoring. Chocolate will work with whatever custard you decide to use and also gives the tarts a nice little finish although it is optional so can be missed out if for some reason you don't like chocolate (Weirdo!) or don't have any to hand at the time.

Time to get baking. For this recipe you will need a 12 hole muffin tin. Make sure the muffin holes aren't too deep otherwise the centre of your tarts will not set properly and equally not too shallow otherwise you won't be able to fit any filling in at all. Aim for muffin holes around 5cm deep. That was the size of mine and they work beautifully.

Portuguese Custard Tarts

1 Whole Egg And 2 Additional Egg Yolks
115g Golden Caster Sugar
2 Tbsp Cornflour
300ml Double Cream
100ml Whole Milk
1 Whole Cinnamon Stick
300g Pack Of Ready Made Puff Pastry
100g Dark Chocolate

  1. Begin by making the custard filling. Place the whole egg and yolks, sugar and flour into a bowl and whisk until combined. 
  2. Add this into a pan on a medium heat with the double cream, milk and cinnamon stick and heat whilst continually whisking to remove all the lumps. The mixture should thicken as it comes to the boil. As soon as the custard is thick and looks like its on the verge of boiling, remove from the heat and leave to one side to cool.
  3. Whilst the custard cools, take your puff pastry block and on alightly floured surface, roll it out into a rectangle as thin as you can make it. Roll up the pastry along the long edge to form a long sausage shape and then slice the sausage into 12 equal sized slices.
  4. Lightly grease the holes of your muffin tins and then turn each of the sausage pieces cut side facing up and flatten then down into small discs. Rolls them out into thinner discs big enough to line the muffin tin holes. Make sure the pastry at the base and sides of the holes is thin whilst any pastry poking out the top can be thicker and pinched to create aborder around the top of the tarts. Pop the tarts in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill.
  5. Whilst the tarts are chilling turn your oven on to 220 degrees (200 fan). Once chilled, remove them from the fridge and then line each tart case with baking paper and fill with baking beans or rice. Pop them in the oven for 20 minutes before removing them from the oven.
  6. Carefully remove the baking paper and beans/rice and pop the tart cases back in the oven for two minutes to dry out the bases. Remove them from the oven and if the bases and sides have puffed up too much, carefully press them down lightly to create space for your fillings. Leave the tart cases to cool and reduce the temperature of your oven to 180 degrees (160 fan).
  7. Once cool, remove the cinnamon stick form the custard and spoon in the custard mixture into the tart cases leaving a small gap from the top as the filling will puff up slightly in the oven. Place the tarts back in the oven and bake for around 20 - 30 minutes until the top of the custard fillings have browned and feel firm to the touch but with a slight wobble. Leave to cool.
  8. Once the tarts are cool, place a small bowl over a pan of simmering water, making sure the water doesn't touch the base of the bowl. Add the chocolate and milk to the bowl and melt the chocolate and milk together to form a slightly runny chocolate sauce. Drizzle the sauce over the top of the tarts to finish.
I find it easier just to leave the tarts in the muffin tray until after you have drizzled them with chocolate as it stops you from making a big mess everywhere. Speaking of mess, make sure you have a bib on when you take your first bite as that flaky puff pastry does get everywhere but once you get through it and into that silky smooth cinnamon custard filling; well the cleaning up can wait really can't it. The chocolate just adds a nice little bit of bitterness to the overall taste and I mean come on; don't they just look stunning.  Tuck in and pretend your at a small cafe in Lisbon soaking up the rays. Bliss!

No comments:

Post a Comment