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Thursday, 21 July 2011

Recipe: Portuguese Custard Tarts!

For some of you, these tarts are SO 2006! But for me these are the most devilish, divine custard tarts of all time!! So much so that I whipped up a batch last night after work... and last Tuesday... and the Monday before that... but I'm not addicted, I could give them up if I wanted too... I COULD!  Ok, I can't :)

Drooling as I post!!

Makes 12 melt in your mouth delicious tarts!

Custard ingredients:

3 egg yolks - you could whip up a quick Pavlova with the whites... just saying ;)
1/2 c caster sugar
2 tbsps cornflour
400mls light cream (heavy cream makes oily tarts)
2 tsps vanilla extract
Strip or two of lemon rind

Pastry ingredients
1 sheet of ready made puff pastry
Cinnamon (optional)
Caster sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 220°C

Method for Custard:

- In a heavy based saucepan, gently whisk the yolks, sugar and cornflour into a paste.
- Add the cream slowly and whisk together.
- Place over medium heat and gently stir, bringing to the boil. It will thicken once it boils. I generally cook for another 30-60 seconds to get a thick, glossy custard.
- Take the custard off the heat and mix in vanilla and lemon rind. (I use a veggie peeler to peel strips off my lemon)
- Transfer to heatproof jug and place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the custard so it doesn't form a skin.
- Put custard in fridge to cool... and I dare you to stop eating it! :)

Method for Pastry Shells

- Lightly grease a standard 12 hole muffin tin.
- Take the plastic backing off the pastry sheet and sprinkle some cinnamon and sugar over the pastry - this is optional, but I love the little extra touch.
- Cut the pastry sheet in half and lay one half on top of each other, cinnamon sugar sides together.
- Leave around 5 minutes to warmup and soften, but not too long or it will dry out.
- Starting at the short end, roll the pastry up into one short, fat log.
- Cut into 12 slices, approx 1cm thick.
- On a floured surface, roll out the rounds into 10-12cm circles.
- Gently press these discs into the muffin holes. (The pastry should come out of the holes slightly as it will shrink whilst baking, also these tarts have a rustic look so don't be too perfect)

Final steps:
- Remove the lemon peel from the custard and spoon tablespoons of the custard into the raw pastry shells.
- Bake tarts on middle rack of hot oven for 20-25 minutes until golden.
- Leave in tin for 5 minutes, then carefully transfer to wire rack - they will be very hot!


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