Wednesday, March 9, 2011

To Try Tuesday - Portuguese Custard Tarts




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)

Ingredients
  • 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

Directions
  1. Place the egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch into a saucepan and whisk them together. 
  2. Gradually beat in the cream and milk until smooth. 
  3. Place the pan over medium heat, and stirring constantly, cook until the mixture thickens and comes to a boil. 
  4. Switch off the heat, and stir in the vanilla extract. 
  5. Transfer the custard to a bowl, cover the surface with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming, and leave out to cool. 
  6. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease 2 x 24 count mini muffin pans. 
  7. 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.
  8. Press one round into each mini muffin hole. 
  9. 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. 
  10. 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.

35 comments:

  1. We ate these on our honeymoon in Lisbon. What great memories these evoke! Thank you for sharing them with me...they remind me of my sweet husband and the beautiful country of Portugal!

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  2. I love Portuguese custard tarts but I've never been brave enough to make them as I have custard issues! As in it never goes right, too runny, too thick, stuck to pan etc..These look to cute to resist though!!

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  3. They look very delicious and nice..

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  4. Gorgeous petite tarts..yum!!!

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  5. I love these little tarts, they look so delicious! And I think I would like them better in regular pastry over puff pastry, too.

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  6. I love the sprinkling of nutmeg on top. These are a perfect dessert to make for a baby shower or maybe Easter. Thanks for a wonderful recipe and introducing me to Bill.

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  7. I lived in Portugal for a while, and loved all of their pastries oozing with yolky custard. So rich, but soooo good.
    Nice job!

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  8. These are so sweet looking! I do a lot of baking for my church fellowship hour and I'm thinking these will be wonderful for our Easter coffee hour! I'm glad I visited today!

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  9. Felice, these look amazing!! I am drooling out here!

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  10. These are so cute. I bet a halved tart berry would be a lovely contrast to the sweet custard.

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  11. I've seen this sort of tart floating around somewhere - but your lovely pictures (and recipe!) really make this work for me! I love it!

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  12. Adorable tarts, some whip cream on top maybe?

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  13. These are one of my absolutely favorite snacks, desserts, appetizers - I'll eat it whenever, wherever!

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  14. I love custard, and am notoriously lousy at pie crust. What a great idea. I'm trying it out this weekend!! Thanks for posting.

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  15. These are sooo adorable and seem pretty easy to make!

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  16. I don't have a fluted biscuit cutter, these look so nice! I've not heard of Bill, but I love his quote. I think it's one we can relate to, I'll have to look him up!
    I'm really liking all these little desserts now, kind of like Tapas...!

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  17. Your little crusts look perfect with Portuguese custard inside. I am custard challenged, but might have to try these, with less sugar.

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  18. Gorgeous! These are so cute, I'll bet I could eat most of them without realizing it! Great job!

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  19. These are beautiful! Love the custard inside. Yum!

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  20. I ADORE these! Discovered them on the last day on holiday in Portugal (can you imagine??) and for something that's so simple, it's divine. I love them even more since the recipe asks for egg yolks so gives me a good excuse to use them...

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  21. I love these!!! My family is from Portugal and we always have these at any kind of celebration or event! Yours loook sso great! My brother has been working near this portuguese bakery lately and every week he brings me some! thanks for the recipe, now i can make them on my own!

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  22. Ahhhh pasteis de nata...love them! They are one of the reasons that I married a Portuguese man (he makes them!) :-)

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  23. These are adorable. Never heard of them before but I'd love to try them.

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  24. Love love love these little tarts! I love the size and I love the custard! I have a great custard recipe but I want to try this one too.

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  25. These are absolutely amazing! I hope all is going well with you and your family given the weather risks.

    Please take care and we will be looking for you on Food Frenzy.

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  26. What cute little tarts. I love the use of your pie shells as mini tarts too and thanks for the note to cut the sugar. Looks great :)

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  27. Thank you for sharing on my site. I'm so glad to hear about your friends family and praying for the rest of the crew they haven't heard from.

    Aside from that, these custard cuties look amazing. A one biter for me:) Perfect for a little luncheon or even my morning breakfast on Sunday with my coffee:)

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  28. I had these Portuguese egg tarts when I visited Macau and they were phenomenal!! Yours just takes me back...ahhh! Yum!

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  29. Beautiful tarts...and the mini size is always fun. :)

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  30. delicious custard beautiful favourite tarts

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  31. Mmmm..these look almost too good to eat...I love these tiny tarts!

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  32. Yum, yum, yum - my best friend Mads loves portuguese tarts and this recipe has inspired me to give them a go next time she comes to visit! Thanks

    Shari from www.goodfoodweek.blogspot.com

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  33. These look absolutely gorgeous and yummy! thanks for sharing the recipes.

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  34. That looks just lovely. I love the different versions of custard tarts.

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