Last week’s Bake Off episode was all things pastry so for my pastry challenge I baked Paul’s Technical Challenge Egg Custard Tarts from my Everyday Bake Off recipe book (page 238). Looks aside, I nailed it; no soggy bottoms here! 🙂
“One of the tests of a good baker; custard tarts sound plain and simple to make but require care and skill to achieve superb pastry cases – no holes or tears or soggy bottoms – and smooth creamy custard.”
What you’ll need:
1 x 12 hole non-stick muffin tray (the recipe didn’t say grease but I greased my tray to be on the safe side as I think it lost its non-stick capabilities a long time ago).
For the sweet pastry
For the custard filling
700ml full-fat milk
7 medium egg yolks, at room temperature
90g caster sugar
Freshly grated nutmeg
What you do:
To make the pastry mix the flour and ground almonds together and then add the butter, rubbing in so it looks like breadcrumbs.
Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to about 5mm thickness (mine were about 3mm thick and fine). Recipe suggests an 11cm fluted cutter but mine was smaller and again perfectly adequate. Gently press into the muffin moulds; the pastry should sit slightly higher. Chill the pastry cases while you make the custard.
Heat the oven to 200°c. To make the custard, gently warm the milk until just below boiling. Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar in a heatproof bowl until creamy. Pour the warm milk into the yolk mixture in a thin steady stream stirring constantly to make a smooth liquid. Pour into a jug with a good pouring lip.
(Admission!! I didn’t read the recipe properly and used all the egg not just the yolk, ooops! This may be why my custard was quite thin and didn’t seem to thicken as I poured the milk into the egg. It didn’t make any difference to the end result though, still set and was yummy).
Carefully pour the custard into the pastry cases and sprinkle the centre of each tart with a good pinch of nutmeg. Bake for about 15 minutes on 200 and then turn down to 180°c for a further 10 minutes.
The tarts are done when the custard has a wobble and is slightly domed. Too much dome = overdone and boiling. If yours overdome, place the tray in a tray of cold water and they will settle without sinking.
Leave to cool for approx 30 minutes before attempting to remove from the tray.
My overall evaluation!
I couldn’t find my muffin tray so ended up using a regular shallow baking tin that you’d make jam tarts in = not very deep custard tarts. However, served the purpose!
I’d also used half the ingredients again which made 9 shallow pastry cases but there was a huge excess of custard though. But you know what they tasted delicious, just as good as any custard tart you buy in Greggs 🙂