Saturday, 19 May 2012

Portuguese Custard Tarts

The clock is ticking. Yesterday, in theory, I have 1 week left until the baby is produced. I'm not holding out much hope that it will be on time though since apparently only 5% of babies are born on their due date. But whatever happens, the clock is definitely ticking. I still haven't given too much thought to the actual process of what is going to happen (ie the actual birth part) as I am just going to have to go with the flow. It actually feels quite exciting to not be in control of things, but this may be blissful ignorance. I'm also secretly hoping that I might be one of those people that goes to the toilet and a baby just slides out. I've read about those sort of people in Take-A-Break magazine. Alongside the people that inadvertently marry cannibals and the people that dress their pets up as Unicorns.

So, I'm trying to stay busy at home as much as I can which is quite hard when I keep nodding off.  So far this week, I've cleaned the flat several times, tidied the garden lopped down half a tree, taken all our towels to the launderette and my Aunt also paid me a visit. She very kindly brought me lunch and the best book I have seen in ages. It's a book about The Queen! Hurrah!

I shall REALLY enjoy getting stuck into this.

Since I knew I was having a visitor, I thought I would make some Portuguese Custard Tarts but it turned out to be my first culinary flop in a very long time. I've never made these before and haven't ever actually eaten one to know what they are supposed to taste like, but I don't think they are meant to be like mine turned out. Our friend Jon tried one and felt that the pastry was the issue (thank you for your honesty Jon . .  .) so if I make them again, I'll have to make a few tweaks to the procedure.

Portuguese Custard Tarts

Shopping List

1 x Pack of Puff Pastry
Ground Cinnamon Powder
130g Creme Fraiche
1 x Egg
1 x teaspoon Vanilla Extract
5 x tablespoons Golden Caster Sugar
The Zest + Juice of 1 orange

* Pre-heat the oven to 180C Fan oven, and butter a muffin tray.
* Dust a board/worktop with plain flour. Roll out the pastry and sprinkle with cinnamon.

*  Roll the pastry back up into a sausage shape and cut slices off at 0.5cm intervals.

* Push the cut slices into into a greased muffin tray curly side down. Stretch the pastry up the sides of the tin to make the sides of the tart bases.

This is where my problem occurred, my slices were too thick (about 1cm in width) and my muffin tray was too small, so when I make them again I would cut 0.5cm slices of pastry and use a bigger tray.

* Place the tray in the oven and cook for 10 minutes.

* Remove the tray after 10 minutes or when the tart cases have browned slightly. Push down the bases of the tarts with the back of a spoon to make room for the filling.

I think this was my second cock up. I should have left the tart bases in the oven for longer.

* Once the pastry is out of the oven, make the filling. In a bowl, mix together the Creme Fraiche, Egg, Vanilla Extract, 1 tablespoon of the Sugar and the zest of the orange. Combine then spoon into the pastry bases.

* Return the muffin tray to the oven and cook for a further 10 minutes. 
* While they are in the oven, put the remaining 4 tablespoons of sugar in a saucepan with the juice of the orange. Heat and stir until caramelized.
* When the tarts are cooked and the filling has set, remove from the oven and pour the caramelized sugar and orange juice mix over the top of the tarts. Leave to cool.

* As you can see, they look very pale and you couldn't even see the sugar/orange mixture on top. So if you make these, make thinner pastry bases, use a bigger muffin tray and cook for longer. Good luck!


  1. yep, I too have had multiple failures with custard tarts... and on paper they're so easy?!

  2. They look so easy but are deceptively tricky. They are the most confusing tart of the tart world I think. x