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!
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
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.
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!