Thursday, October 24, 2013

Recipe: Portuguese Custard Tarts

 As well as fashion posts on my blog, I wanted to include some of the many recipes I have been trying out over recent weeks. 

Yesterday me and my boyfriend drove out of Chester to a bakery, which Simon claimed 'sold the best vanilla slices'. Unfortunately the bakery closed at 2pm on a Wednesday and we just missed it! So if anyone lives near Cheshire and wants to try, what is apparently the best vanilla slice, head to Lucas Smith's bakery and let me know what they're like!

After this little encounter (and some shop bought vanilla slices) I thought about other custard recipes and decided to try out one of my favourites - the Portuguese custard tart. I'm not sure what the exact difference is between a Portuguese tart and an English egg custard but can guess that they use different pastries (puff pastry in the Portuguese and shortcrust in the English) and the English one has a little nutmeg on the top (which I added to mine because it's so delicious!)

A few notes for this recipe: This is a variation of Bill Granger's recipe but I didn't want to use cream so it's been slightly adjusted (this makes each tart about 150 calories each!) Also, my bun tray is very shallow so this recipe would make 18 shallow tarts or 12 deep ones. I used my left over pastry and custard to test out some mini tarts. I don't really recommend them though because it's difficult to get the pastry really thin and the custard just disappears - but they look cute!

The cute mini ones! (They look the same size as the top picture but the plate and tarts are definitely smaller!)

And I used ready made puff pastry because time was not on my side for the homemade stuff!

Here is the recipe, have a go, they were so easy to make!

Servings: 12/18

3 egg yolks and 1 whole egg
115g/4ozs caster sugar
2tbsp plain flour
400ml/14.11 fl ozs semi-skimmed milk
2tsp vanilla extract
150g/5.5ozs ready rolled puff pastry 


  1. Lightly grease a 12 hole bun tray (or two if you are making 18) and take your puff pastry out of the fridge to warm slightly.
  2. In a pan, whisk together the eggs, sugar and flour - it will go like a thick paste. Then gradually whisk in the milk (it will look a little watery but don't worry!)
  3. Put the pan over a medium heat and keep stirring until it thickens (takes about 5 minutes)
  4. Bring the pan to the boil, take off the heat and stir in the vanilla. It should be really nice and thick.
  5. Transfer the custard into a cold bowl, cover with cling film to prevent a skin forming on top and leave to cool (I put mine in the fridge for about 45 minutes)
  6. Next, preheat the oven to 200°c
  7. Cut the measured dough in half and put one half on top of the other and slightly roll it to make them stick. (make sure this is in a long rectangle shape)
  8. Then, roll the pastry up from the short end (like a swiss roll) and slice into 12 (or 18) rounds.
  9. Lay the rounds on a floured surface, lightly flatten them and then roll to fit into the bun tray, pressing them down gently. I recommend rolling them quite thinly for a shallow bun tray as you want a good equal measure of custard and pastry.
  10. Spoon the cooled custard into the pastry cases (leave a few millimeteres of pastry at the top because the custard boils in the oven and may overspill) This is where I also added a sprinkling of nutmeg but you can leave this part out.
  11. Bake for approx 25 minutes until golden with a few dark spots.
  12. Remove from the oven and leave for five minutes in the tin before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

These are best eaten on the day that you make them as they tend to attract moisture after a day or two. Keep them in an airtight container and they will last for around three days (if you have any left by then!) 

I've also been reading up on some interesting variations involving lemon and orange zest and fresh raspberries. I'll have a go at some of these and report back!

Has anyone tried making these before? Do you have any variations on the traditional recipe?


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  1. Nice blog. :) would you like to follow each other? just let me know.

  2. done sweet :) following back.

  3. Oh wow, these look so good right about now!

  4. it looks so good...wowwwwwwwwwwww ;)
    honey come to see my new post on my blog...about a blue vintage dress: here it is..


  5. Wow they look so good!!
    I followed you back xox

  6. These look delicious, I am definitely considering making some custard tarts in one of the posts for my great british bake off challenge! :) x

    Peach Pow XO

  7. I've never made a Portuguese custard tart but I love eating them! Think it's about time I learned really..

    { Teffys Perks Blog } X

  8. Great post, wanna follow each other? I followed you on GFC - now it's your turn ;)