Monday, March 12, 2012

Custard Tarts

Copyright 2012 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
Custard tarts have become a favorite of mine while living in Atlanta partly due to the fact that the one of the place we love to eat as a group serves custard tarts for dessert. I am of course familiar with the larger version of the tart which is the egg custard pie that I made a few months ago. I've never tried making it in this small size before though but not for lack of trying. Having also heard about custard tarts constantly on the BBC television show, As Time Goes By, I was always intrigued if there was a British version of this treat. I remember I tried looking for a recipe but I could not find a reasonably good one so I gave up on it.

This weekend however, I have planned to bake some treats for friends who just had a baby. I thought it was the perfect time to give this dessert a try using a pate brisee recipe from the Joy of Baking website and my flan recipe. Both have been proven to work beautifully on separate occasions but with a few adjustments, I know it will work. The instructions on how to make the brisee is on the link so just follow Stephanie's instructions since she also features a video on how to make them. For my part, I'll give you the detailed instructions on how to put the tarts together.

Custard Tarts

1 pate brisee recipe*
6 egg yolks
2 whole eggs
1 12 fl oz evaporated milk, canned
1 14 fl oz condensed milk, canned
1 tsp vanilla

1. Take the brisee out of the fridge and let it soften at room temperature
    for 30 minutes. Once pliable, roll into a log and divide into 18 equal parts.

2. Flour a rolling pin and a cutting board and roll one portion of the brisee
    into a 6-inch circle. Trim the edges if desired.

3. Fit the pastry round into a greased muffin pan and trim out the edges if
    necessary. Do the same for the rest. Prick the dough with the tines of a
    fork and store in the fridge until ready to use.

4. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Prepare the custard by mixing the yolks, egg
    and the milks in a large bowl. Whisk until smooth but do not beat. Add 
    the vanilla and mix to combine.

5. Ladle in a small amount of the custard into the cold dough until it is almost
    full. Do not overfill. Make sure that you ladle the custard through a sieve
    to ensure that it bakes velvety soft and not stringy. 

6. Bake the tarts in the preheated oven for about 35-40 minutes. The top
    might still be a bit jiggly but it will set once cooled. Let the tarts cool in
    the pan for about 5 minutes.

7. Run a sharp knife on the side of the tarts to loosen them. At this point,
    you can serve them warm or you can transfer them to a cooling rack until
    they are cooled completely. They will also look even more delectable
    when served on a muffin cup.

Copyright 2012 LtDan'sKitchen blogs
If you noticed, I omitted the use of nutmeg for the custard mix. I just think that it will overpower the flavor of such a tiny treat. Also, if baked right, the tarts do not taste eggy but custardy so the delicate flavor is actually wonderful in contrast to the buttery crust. Another thing to note, although not important, is that I bought a new gadget just to make this treat. They are a bit pricey but so worth it. Pictured are my pastry cutters with the wavy edge. So beautiful. 

*Pate Brisee: Joy of Baking website.

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