I found this recipe for Portuguese Custard Tarts courtesy of the Cooking Channel and Bill Granger. For those who might not have heard of Bill, he is a very popular Australian self-taught "cook", who was quoted in Food & Wine magazine as saying "I learned how to cook in a domestic kitchen which keeps my food simple and instinctual". I just love his easy going manner and simple approach to food. He has eight cookbooks, including his latest, Bill's Basics. It is no big surprise that I own them all.
|Pressing plastic wrap on the surface prevents a skin forming on the custard|
Bill's recipe originally calls for puff pastry but I still have quite a few pie crusts left over from Thanksgiving and Christmas. What can I say, Sam's Club was selling rolled and read-to-use Pillsbury pie crusts in bulk so I stocked up on a bargain. I decided that two of these crusts would make a good replacement for the puff pastry. I also wanted to make mini tarts because they are a nice little mouthful, and also because they are so darn cute. I simply used a fluted biscuit cutter and gently pressed the cut out pastry into a mini muffin tin. I had enough dough to make 48 mini tarts, although I only had enough custard to fill 30 empty tart shells, so I filled the remaining ones with jam.
My only complaint about these tarts is that the custard is very sweet. Next time I make them I will definitely cut the sugar in half. I really don't think I will miss it as they are quite rich to begin with. About 12 disappeared before I had even finished taking these photos. I was surprised because my husband is back in training mode so he is usually very disciplined about eating sweets, but I guess these were hard to resist.
Portuguese Custard Tarts(Printer Friendly Recipe)
- 3 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup superfine sugar (I used regular)
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2/3 cup milk
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 refrigerated pie crusts, thawed
- nutmeg for sprinkling, if desired
- Place the egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch into a saucepan and whisk them together.
- Gradually beat in the cream and milk until smooth.
- Place the pan over medium heat, and stirring constantly, cook until the mixture thickens and comes to a boil.
- Switch off the heat, and stir in the vanilla extract.
- Transfer the custard to a bowl, cover the surface with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming, and leave out to cool.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease 2 x 24 count mini muffin pans.
- Lay the pie crusts on a lightly floured board and, using a biscuit cutter, cut rounds from them. Gather the left-over pastry scraps and re-roll, cutting more rounds as needed.
- Press one round into each mini muffin hole.
- Spoon the cooled custard into the pastry cases, sprinkle with nutmeg if desired, and bake until the pastry and custards are golden, about 20 to 25 minutes.
- Leave the tarts in the pan for 5 minutes, and then remove and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Recipe adapted from Bill Granger and the Cooking Channel.