Custard tarts

Custard tarts

These luxurious little tarts are an indulgent treat. The silky texture of the custard combined with the rich vanilla-flavoured pastry is truly unsurpassable. The nutmeg-dusted delights are perfect served still warm with tea, but can be cooled and kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

MAKES ABOUT 8

175g/6oz cups plain flour
pinch of salt
75g/3oz unsalted butter, at room temperature
75g/3oz sugar
3 egg yolks, at room temperature
a few drops vanilla extract
For the filling:
600ml/1 pint full-fat milk
6 egg yolks
75g/3oz caster sugar
freshly grated nutmeg

1 To make the pastry, sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Put the butter, sugar, egg yolks and vanilla extract in a food processor and process until the mixture resembles scrambled eggs. Add the flour and blend briefly.

2 Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead gently until smooth. Form into a ball, flatten and wrap in clear film. Chill for at least 30 minutes. Bring back to room temperature before rolling out.

3 Roll out the pastry and use to line eight individual 10cm/4in loose-bottomed tartlet tins. Place on a baking sheet and chill for 30 minutes.

4 Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6. To make the custard filling, gently heat the milk in a pan until just warmed but not yet boiling.

5 In a bowl, vigorously beat the egg yolks and sugar together until they become pale and creamy in texture. Pour the milk on to the yolks and stir well to mix. Do not whisk as this will produce too many bubbles.

6 Strain the milk mixture into a jug, then pour liquid into the tart cases. Liberally grate over fresh nutmeg.

7 Bake for about 10 minutes, then lower the heat to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4 and bake for 10 minutes, or until the filling has set and is just turning golden. The custard should be a bit wobbly when they come out of the oven.

8 Remove from the oven and lift the tarts out of the tins. Serve warm or cold.

If you’d like to try some more delicious recipes from ‘The Perfect Afternoon Tea Recipe Book’ then you can buy your copy HERE + free UK delivery.

If you’d like to try some more delicious recipes from ‘The Perfect Afternoon Tea Recipe Book’ then you can buy your copy HERE + free UK delivery.