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Thursday 28 October 2010

Pie of the Month - October

Caramel drips. MY GOD!

Orange and vanilla are like good friends who don't make enough effort. They get lazy and don't make time to call each other, and sometimes you'll find one of them out by themselves and wonder why they didn't invite the other.

It's best not to get involved at times like that. If orange asks you if you saw vanilla at dessert the other day, my advice is to lie and say you were at home making a fruit salad. They'd only be mad at each other for a minute, and then somehow the flavour tables would turn and it would be you in the dog house. They really do care about each other underneath it all, you see.

Whenever they do make the effort to get together, though, it is easy to see why. Orange and vanilla, when paired, is the most perfect, heavenly (I've been reading Rose) combination in the whole wide world. This is a fact.

Should you be someone who has never actually witnessed their union: you have missed out. I suggest you mix a drop or two of real vanilla extract into your next glass of orange juice. And have it over ice; may as well make it a party. You'll feel like you're in Tahiti. Promise.

You could also make these tarts, which I have lovingly adapted from Jamie's 30-Minute Meals. I spoke of my new found fondness for Mr. O last time, so I don't need to enter into all that again here. But I do need to defend myself for not making my own pastry yet again.

Who are you calling a tart?

Pie of the Month is supposed to be about me getting to grips with pastry art. I don't really seem to be doing it. In fact, I actually am starting to think that it's not really worth making your own pastry at all, since what you can buy is so good. Don't tell anybody I said that though, for I have an image to maintain.

Jamie says it's fine to use bought puff for these Portuguese tarts though, so that's what I am doing. No point making your own if you're only going to bastardize it with a cinnamon swirl anyway!

Until Jamie, I didn't know that Portugal was famous for it's tarts. I am now feeling a trip to Lisbon may be on the cards. Maybe after I've paid for the new bathroom...

Portuguese Custard Tarts
adapted from Jamie's 30-Minute Meals

You will need:

1 packet ready rolled puff pastry
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 egg
125ml crème fraïche
125g sugar
1 orange
1 tsp real vanilla extract

  1. Sprinkle the puff pastry with the cinnamon, and quickly roll up, starting at the long end. I hope that makes sense - think Swiss roll.
  2. Cut the roll of cinnamoned pastry into six equal portions, and flatten then squash each portion into the holes of a 12-bun muffin tray. Bake for 8-10 minutes at 190°C.
  3. While the pastry is in the oven, mix the crème fraïche, egg, 25g sugar, vanilla and zest of an orange together. This will be the filling for your custard tarts.
  4. Take the pastry out of the oven. It will have puffed up; press it back down with the back of a spoon so as to make space for the custard. Fill the pastry cases with custard, and bake for 15 minutes more.
  5. When set, remove the tarts from the oven, and immediately transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly.
  6. Make the caramel: put 100g sugar and the juice from the orange in a saucepan and heat until they turn to a bubbling caramel. Spoon caramel over each tart and allow to cool. Delicious!


  1. Your tarts look AMAZING! And you've made me aware of a flavour combination I'd never considered before so thank you :)

  2. Oh goody! I love seeing food drip in pictures but when my food drips all over the kitchen at home I get awfully uneasy. SO OCD. I've been watching Jamie too and I must say that he's pretty darn impressive. He made some Greek spanakopita the other day and I was slowly edging closer to the tv screen as the minutes ticked by. Damn you HD TV. And MowiE Kay-like pictures? Moi? I. Wish.

  3. I'm not sure that I've ever heard of vanilla and orange together, but it certainly sounds amazing! This recipe looks BA!

  4. I think you're right about puff pastry... it's a long and laborious process and the shop bought stuff is perfect but regular shortcrust or sweetened shortcrust is really easy... these cakey pie things look so good and I don't think i've ever been on the orange vanilla train but i'm going to jump on board today!

  5. Those look fabulous! I got my copy of this book just the other day and flagged this recipe right off the bat!! Yours look fabulous!!

  6. I can't be the only one here who's heard of Creamsicle.


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  8. I agree, orange and vanilla has the potential to become the new chocolate and peanut butter.

    Well, ok, maybe that's getting a little dramatic. Honestly, though, the whole cream-sicle combination is one of my favs. Awesome tarts!

  9. Yes you are right they do go together well and I don't know why we don't put them in the same thing more often. I will endeavour to do so!

  10. Yes. I want that. Is it ok to eat for breakfast? :)

  11. I'm loving Jamie's new book and these went down a treat. I loved the flavour of these tarts and the store bought pastry was really good too so I felt far less guilty x

  12. Cutest orange/vanilla personification ever. Also, those caramel-wonder-drips... good god...

  13. I'm sure your tarts taste great but they are Jamie's version of the Portuguese custard tarts.
    Ours are much simpler: the procedure with the puff pastry is correct (except for the cinamon) but before baking them you need to make fhe filling: Pre-heat the oven for 10 m at 250. Then
    mix in a pan 250 ml of cream; 4 egg yolks; 100g of sugar an let it thickens, stirring it all the time. Turn down the heat before boiling.Pour this mixture into the the puff pastries "holes" and bake until the paste turns gold and the filling gets a sort of dark yellowish-brown colour.You can eat them 5 min after, sprinkled with powdered sugar and cinamon. Bom apetite! Aurora (Braga-Portugal)

  14. Mr. P, who doesn't love a nice custard tart! I love orange and vanilla. And custard. And pastry. Confession: I haven't made my own puff pastry in years--I've gotten too lazy. But I make all sorts of other pastry.


That's what he said.

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