Portuguese Vanilla Custard Tarts

Portuguese Vanilla Custard Tarts

These crème patisserie filled pastries make an irresistible addition to the breakfast table.

Prep time:

Cooking time:

Total time:

Serves: 4-6

500g ready-to-use ready-rolled puff pastry (defrosted but kept cold)

250ml whole milk

60ml cream

4 eggs, (yolks only)

3 tbsp white sugar

1 pinch salt

2 tbsp plain flour

½ cinnamon stick

½tsp vanilla extract

2 strips of lemon peel

Lucinda Hamilton from Cocolicious shares her recipes for divine breakfast goodies to treat weekend guests. Take a leaf out of Loulou's book and create a real morning feast and serve with pots of fragrant chai tea and ice cream sundae glasses layered with Greek yoghurt and fresh berries and topped with granola, as above...

For the vanilla custard (crème pÂtissière):

  1. In a saucepan add milk, cream, egg yolks, sugar, salt and flour. Mix well with a whisk to ensure all the ingredients are well combined.
  2. Once there are no lumps add the cinnamon stick, lemon peel and vanilla.
  3. Stirring continuously and gently with a whisk, turn on the hob to a low setting. It's very important to heat the milk slowly, if the milk is heated too quickly the egg yolks could coagulate like scrambled eggs and ruin the consistency of the custard.
  4. Continue stirring until the cream becomes quite thick, you want to end up with a really smooth and thick cream.
  5. Decant into a bowl and cover with cling film to avoid a skin forming and cool completely.

For the pastry shells:

  1. Preheat oven to 170°C and butter one muffin or mini muffin tin.
  2. Keep the puff pastry in the roll shape and cut lengthwise into 4cm long pieces.
  3. Roll each piece on to a lightly floured surface to form a circle of pastry about ¼ cm thin, that will fit into your muffin tin.
  4. Place each circle of pastry in the muffin tray, and spread out to the sides, gently press against side of muffin tin to ensure it won't shrink too much when baking.
  5. When all pastry shells are ready, fill each one up to ¾ with the cooled custard mixture.
  6. Place in oven and bake for 15min, until the pastry is nicely browned around the edges.

Lucinda can be contacted about Cocolicious goodies at info@cocolicious.co.uk or visit www.cocolicious.co.uk.

Photographs: David Merewether
Recipes Type: Puddings & Baking