Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Challenge recipe 14: Portuguese custard tarts

When I made the raspberry soufflés a couple of weeks ago, I was racking my brains for a use for the egg yolks. The idea of throwing out four egg yolks just seemed like a total waste, plus I wanted to have some kind of dessert-y substance as a back up plan in case the soufflé turned out to be a complete disaster.

After a little bit of delving, I came across this, which allowed me to use up THREE of the four yolks. Back in the days when I worked in Brewery Land, there was a coffee shop just around the corner that was staffed by the champion in the Australian barista competition and the champion in the Victorian barista competition. So obviously, they were all Judgey McJudgerson about the fact that I don't drink coffee.

They also made killer hot chocolate, which was most of the reason why I kept going back. But on Mondays, it was an entirely different reason. Because on Mondays they also sold Portuguese custard tarts. And they were AWESOME. So when this allowed me to use up the eggs AND try my hand at lemony custardy goodness, I knew I had to try them.

Here's the book:

And here's what you'll need:

Start by greasing a muffin pan. I used melted butter because I'd just been using it to grease the soufflé dishes.

You then need to thaw a sheet of butter puff pastry. My supermarket didn't HAVE butter puff pastry, so I spread it in melted butter instead.

Put 1/2 cup of caster sugar into a medium saucepan:

Add 2 tablespoons of cornflour:

3 egg yolks:

And 3/4 cup of cream (and 1/2 cup water, which I apparently forgot to photograph):

Mix it all together with a whisk wooden spoon because you've just discovered you don't actually own a whisk:

Wash a lemon, and then peel off a strip of the rind. I actually wound up doing this with a knife because the peeler just kept sliding off the surface...

Add the lemon rind into the mixture, along with a teaspoon of vanilla extract. I COULD have used vanilla extract, but when I was last home in Melbourne, I bought some vanilla beans, and figured I'd give one of those a go too. I cut the bean in half, scraped out the insides with a knife, and then dumped the whole lot into the saucepan too:

Put the whole lot over medium heat and stir until it comes to the boil. When it does, take it off the heat and take out the rind and the vanilla bean. Look at the delicious black vanilla-y bits in there!

While the custard cools, cut the pastry sheet in half (I was lazy and just folded it), and then roll it up from the short side:

Cut it into 12 pieces and roll it into balls:

Roll them out on a floured surface to about 10cm. Clearly, I'm not very good at making things round...

Press the rounds into the muffin tin. They'll look really mangled and weird rustic:

Spoon the custard into the cases:

How good does that look?!

I sprinkled a little cinnamon across the top before I stuck them in the oven:

And bake at 220 degrees C for 20 minutes:

Cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then move them to a cooling rack. Apparently after that, I forgot to take photos because I was too busy making souffle and cooking chicken and roast potatoes... So I apologise, but you don't get a photo of the finished product out of the tin!

The verdict? They're pretty amazing. I'll have to try them again and use butter puff pastry rather than kludging together a solution as best I can. And I think next time, I might leave off the cinnamon. The one's at the coffee shop next door to Brewery Land had cinnamon. But I think it just overwhelmed the lemon and vanilla flavours in these.

And, obviously, I need to practice my skills with the rolling pin.

I'll definitely be trying them again!

K xx


  1. Not only was this recipe really cool, but I love the pictures and the way you have of making the method interesting to read! I may have to try this recipe one day.

  2. Yum they look awesome. One of my favourites!

    P.S. Husband and I (with a bit of help from a few ppl in my office) have totally eaten ALL your delicious cookies now haha. Everyone thought they were great :)

  3. Arghhh, I'm jealous of your baking/cooking/awesomeness abilities. Yum.

  4. Looks delicious, even if you had to use a wooden spoon and find solutions! Hahaha.

    Also, if you want to try putting cinnamon in them again -- rather than putting it on directly before you bake them, try mixing it into the recipe. If it was overpowering it like that, it sometimes helps to spread it through everything with a small measurement added to the mixture.

  5. That sounds delicious, and yet sadly far outside my culinary range.

  6. @Lauren - glad you liked the cookies!!
    @Nikki - good idea about mixing it through. Although seeing as it's technically not even meant to be in there, I figure I'll try the recipe without them just for comparison purposes!
    Everyone else - thanks! :)

  7. I want I want I want!
    Gimme gimme gimme!

    Looks delicious!


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