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Thursday 15 October 2015

Egg Custard Tart

 That's puréed mango by the way. You're welcome.

I remember when I was young that I thought custard tarts (I only ever remember the mini versions, not full size, sliceable pies like this) were beyond repulsive. I think it was the name that really did it for me: 'egg custard tarts'. I mean, who'd want sweet eggs?

It was only me who felt like that though - my brother and mother loved them, and ate them often. I think it was out of a strange sense of nostalgia for the food of my childhood that I decided to make one recently, and  - I am a man converted - it was so good I thought I should share.

(I'm not going to lie - the desire to make this recipe was also born out of the need to use my beautiful new tart pan which you must agree, is really quite lovely).

The recipe is actually one of Edd Kimber's. I haven't made one of his recipes for ages (possibly since the carrot cake cookies of the 'He Eats' days, which dates me considerably), but it was what I'd expect from him: foolproof. I changed the proportions of milk and cream slightly, but it still works fine.

Is there something you like as an adult that you hated as a child? Let me know in the comments!

Custard Tart

You will need:
225g plain flour

150g chilled butter (unsalted)
50g caster sugar
pinch of salt
1 egg

300ml single cream
150ml milk, full fat is best
a vanilla pod
8 egg yolks
100g caster sugar
Nutmeg, to taste

  1. For the pastry, I use a mixer, but your hands would be fine. Put the flour and butter into a large bowl and rub the flour and butter together (or beat with the flat paddle, if using a mixer). When the mixture looks like fine crumbs, add the sugar and salt.  
  2. Crack in the egg. Mix together using a fork and then use your hands to work the pastry together. Or, if using the mixer, just carry on at low speed with the paddle beater.
  3. Once a dough has formed, wrap in cling film and chill for about an hour. This little cool down makes the rolling easier, and I wouldn’t skip it, so plan ahead. 
  4. Roll out the pastry  until it’s about an inch or so bigger than your tart pan. I use a 9 inch metallic one with a removable base, lightly greased with butter. 
  5. Line the flan tin, pushing the pastry into the corners carefully but firmly. Refrigerate again for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 180°C. 
  6. Line the chilled pastry case with baking parchment. Bake blind for 20 minutes, then remove the baking parchment and bake for a further five minutes to make sure the base is properly coloured. Turn down the oven to 130°C. 
  7. Make the custard next, in the usual way: heat the cream and milk with the seeds from the vanilla pod. Meanwhile, beat the egg yolks and sugar together. When the cream and milk is simmering, add it to the yolks and sugar, constantly whisking as you do so. 
  8. Pour the custard into the pastry case and  grate lots of nutmeg over the tart. Bake for around 35 minutes, until the custard is set but still slightly wobbly in the very centre. Take the tart out of the oven and let it cool completely before serving. I ate mine with mango purée, but you don’t need to add anything.

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