Custard Tart is quintessentially English. And delicious. And not entirely the easiest thing to make. Felicity Cloake- she who writes so well for the Guardian, analysed a myriad of recipes and came up with her “best of“. And I agree with her on most of it. But I think for me it’s about balance. I use a sweet pastry, and a very rich custard filling. But without any additives of cinnamon or citrus. Just the barest of gratings of nutmeg in the filling.
My Custard Tart Recipe
150g cold butter, diced
250g plain flour
100g caster sugar
1 large Egg, beaten
1 tablespoon whole milk
250ml double cream
1 vanilla pod, split
1 teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg
4 egg yolks
100g caster sugar
To make the pastry, mix butter into the flour with a pinch of salt until it resembles breadcrumbs. I use my Kenwood for this. Add the sugar, egg and milk and bring together to form a dough. Wrap in Greaseproof paper and refrigerate.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the pastry out and use it to line a 20cm tart tin, leave 2cm of pastry hanging over the edge. Chill for at least 30 mins, with the baking beans inserted.
Heat oven to 150oC fan. Bake blind for 20 mins, then remove the beans and continue to cook for a further 10 mins until the base is golden with no hint of dampness. Remove from oven and reduce the temperature to 120oC.
Bring the cream, milk, vanilla pod, and the small grating of nutmeg to the boil. Beat the egg yolks with the sugar until pale using the whisk attachment then pour the hot milk and cream over, beating slowly as you go. Leave to settle in a jug.
Carefully pour the custard into the tart case, grate some more nutmeg over the top and bake for about 35 mins or until just set in the middle. A little like Brownies, you are looking for a wobble. Remove from the oven, then leave to cool completely before serving in slices with a nice cup of tea.
Of course, nothing ever goes entirely to plan. I had got a little carried away with the whisking of the tart testing part 1. And sure there were lovely ribbons in the bowl. But of course you don’t WANT bubbles in it, as you loose the gorgeous silky texture. So there had to be a round 2…..
This is the nicer custard but the “slightly” overcooked pastry… so the most successful of the two!