It’s Portugal vs. England….
A few weeks ago I had a sudden craving for a custard tart……………………. Not any old uniform, mass produced offering, seen in the chilled section of the supermarket, but a proper pastéis de nata, a caramelised egg custard in a puff pastry case. I did in fact find one at the Portuguese Taste stall in St Nick’s Market and it was delicious!… but thought I should have a go at making my own!
Custard tart recipe – taken from Bristol Community Cake Book, submitted by the Clifton Lido
500g puff pastry
1 free range egg, beaten
1 generous pinch of ground cinnamon
450ml double cream
9 free range egg yolks
75g caster sugar
So…. I cheated. Shop bought puff pastry. I know. It is on my list of things to learn to make.
Grease a deep muffin tray. Roll the pastry out into a large rectangle (12×8 inches approx).
Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with cinnamon.
Roll up from the short end to create a fat roll (NB. try to make it as tight as possible, I think mine was a little loose which led to issues later!)
Cut the roll into 12 equal slices.
Roll each slice out to create a swirled disc large enough to line each muffin cup with a bit hanging over the edge. (NB. I gave up on rolling them out with a rolling pin as the swirls just unfolded, so flatten them with the palm of my hand instead!)
Chill for 20-30 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the filling. Preheat the oven to 200c/450F/gas mark 6. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until creamy. Bring the milk and cream to the boil and pour the hot mixture onto the egg mixture, whisk gently, strain into a jug and scoop off any froth from the top.
Divide the mixture betweem the 12 cases and dust liberally with icing sugar from a shaker. (NB. this makes FAR too much mixture for just 12 cases… see below)
Bake immediately for 15-20 minutes until the custard is bubbling and dotted with brown patches. Remove from the oven and immediately, but carefully, lift the tarts onto a cooling rack (before they weld themselves to the tin), before serving warm or at room temperature.
So the recipe? The slightly odd method of utilising the puff pastry was a little odd and fiddly, but is also used in the Chocolate and Orange Portuguese Custard Tart recipe in Edd Kimber’s book……. Also as mentioned above, this recipe makes far too much custard mixture for these tarts. So i quickly whipped up some sweet shortcrust pastry, same as I used for the Lemon Meringue Pies. I then lined another muffin tin, chilled the cases, then filled them with the leftover egg custard mixture, sprinkle with freshly grated Nutmeg, and baked as for the lemon meringue pies.
English style! But much less offensively uniform than those from the supermarket!
p.s. I now have 10 egg whites to use up:
………..now what to make with those I wonder? Watch this space!