Portuguese custard tarts

Portuguese custard tarts recipe


For the pastry:
  • 250 g puff pastry
  • 4 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • egg yolk, beaten
  • cream, to serve (optional)
For the custard:
  • 6 large eggs
  • 6 tbsp clear honey
  • vanilla pods
  • grated zest of 1 oranges
  • 600 ml double cream
For the caramel:
  • 6 tbsp caster sugar
  • 3 tbsp water


1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas 6. 

2. Finely roll out the puff pastry. Sprinkle over the sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon. 

3. Fold up the pastry and roll out again. Form the pastry into a log shape. 

4. Finely slice the pastry into 10 thin round slices. 

5. Press the pastry slices into a greased 10-tartlet patty tin, pricking the base of each pastry case 

6. Line each pastry case with greaseproof paper. Fill each case two-thirds full with baking beans. Bake for 8 minutes. 

7. Remove the greaseproof paper and baking beans. Brush the pastry cases with beaten egg and bake for a further 4-6 minutes at 180°C/gas 4. Cool the pastry cases on a wire rack. 

8. Meanwhile, make the custard. Whisk together the eggs and honey until thick and pale. 

9. Place the cream in a heavy-based saucepan. Slice open the vanilla pods lengthways and scrape out the vanilla seeds into the cream. Stir in the orange zest. 

10. Heat the cream to boiling point. 

11. Whisking as you do so, gradually pour the hot cream into the egg mixture and mix well. 

12. Pour the egg and cream mixture into the saucepan and cook over a low heat, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes until the mixture thickens into a custard. Take care not to let it come to the boil. Strain into a bowl. 

13. Divide the custard among the pastry tart cases and set aside to cool. 

14. In a small saucepan, heat together the sugar and water, stirring until the sugar dissolves. 

15. Bring to the boil and cook without stirring until the syrup caramelises and turns a deep golden brown. 

16. Drizzle the hot caramel over the custard tarts. Serve the tarts with cream if desired, stirring now and then to prevent a skin from forming. 


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