Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Graham's Luxury Portuguese Custard Tart Recipe

A few years ago I was on holiday with my family in Portugal and one of the local delights that I sampled whilst there was a rather delicious Portuguese Custard Tart (pastéis de nata). The pastry was light and flaky and the custard was luxuriously creamy with a delicious hint of lemon bursting through.

Ever since then I have been trying to recreate that very same experience. After a trying a few different recipes and a bit of tinkering of my own, I have come up with a tart that is soooo delicious, so creamy and also a little bit naughty. They have become a firm favourite at our family dinner parties.

A word of warning from me, these tarts are seriously irresistable!

The Ingredients

Makes 12 delicious custard tarts

Butter, for greasing the muffin tray
250 ml (8 fl oz) double cream
150 ml (1/4 pint) milk
Grated rind of 1 fresh lemon
1 Vanilla pod, split lengthways
4 egg yolks
2 tablespoons cornflour (corn starch)
125 g (4 oz) caster sugar
150 g (5 oz) chilled ready-made all butter puff pastry
Flour for rolling the pastry
Icing sugar for dusting over the finished tarts

The Recipe

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C (375 degrees F), gas mark 5 and grease a 12 hole muffin tray.

Put the cream, milk and lemon rind into a saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the split vanilla pod into the saucespan and drop in the empty pod too (this will ensure that you get every little bit of flavour from the pod). Bring to a simmer, then take off the heat.

Whisk the 4 egg yolks, cornflour and sugar in a mixing bowl until it comes together in a paste.

Pass the milk mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into the bowl off the egg paste and mix together quickly and thoroughly.

Return the mixture to the saucepan and heat over a moderate heat and gently stir until it thickens - do not let it boil.  (Note: The mixture will turn thick quite quickly, so keep a close watch over it.)

Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured worksurface as thin as you can manage. Cut out 12 discs, each at about 9 cm (3 1/2 inches) in diameter and press them into the holes of the muffin tray.

Prick the bases with a fork and fill with the custard mixture until just over half way full.

Bake in a preheated oven for about 18-20 minutes until golden brown on top.

The custard mixture will have puffed up during the cooking, but this will soon sink back into the tarts as the tarts cool on a wire rack. Once cool, dust with icing sugar and enjoy!


Cocaine Princess said...

Hello Graham!!

I'm probably the least most domesticated person on the planet but this recipie sounds totally delish. All I can keep thinking about now is the Food Hall in Harrods- all the amazing pastries among other things.....

Reading your blog makes me always miss London.

Michelle said...

Looks mouth watering. I'll have to try to this recipe at some point. have a good day.

Linda @ Lemon Drop said...

these look wonderful. A must bake!

Linda @ Lemon Drop said...

on a side note, Graham, I mentioned your lovely blog, this recipe and your cooking conversion chart on my Facebook wall today. You may be getting some new visitors here :)

Anonymous said...

Graham, I have made these portuguese egg custard tarts using your recipe so many times now and each time they turn out so perfect. I had been looking for a really scrummy recipe for so long, but each time I was disappointed. But since discovering yours, I have become the envy of all the family. Everytime friends and family visit they always look forward to me serving up your custard tarts. Waiting for the tarts to cool down is torturous, as my husband and I both wait eagerly for the first taste. Thank you so much for sharing your luxury recipe. I am looking forward to seeing more like this one!!!

A very happy Jessie J.

Janice said...

Perfect recipe! So easy and totally delicious!!!!!!! I agree with the comment above, I have made custard tarts before but these are so much better. I'd give this 5 stars if I could.

Blue Ginger said...

It has become a family tradition that I make Grahams scrumptious tarts at Christmas.
Always make a Pavlova use up the 4 eg whites.
Seasons Greetings.

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