21 August 2008

Portuguese Custard Tarts

Portuguese Custard Tarts
Do we hope that our children will follow in our footsteps or do we hope for better for them? I would have to say that I am one of those kinds of mothers who, like many, only want our children to be happy and healthy. If our kids have a genuine kindness and regard for others then they are on their way to a good life. My daughter has surpassed me in almost every way. I have to say, as many of you would as well, my kid has turned out pretty well.

She has a love for cooking and trying new things just like mom but surpasses me even there. Yes I am tooting her horn here because I am a very proud mamma. In a few short weeks she is off to her 4th year of university with at least 3 more years to go if she gets into the dietetics program.

Tonight she is making a dinner for a friend who is missing his family that live in another part of the province. He is of a Portuguese background so she opted for a menu featuring Piri Piri Chicken. She was at work today (and I was not) so I volunteered to make dessert. Liz and Sue Sweny's recipe for these dainty, caramelized custard tarts comes from UKTV . Instead of using the traditional caramel on top as the recipe suggests I added fresh "forest fruits" (as I have seen they call them in Europe)...blackberries and blueberries. Now I am tooting my own horn because these are very good!!!!!

Look at the size of those blackberries!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!These tarts are the size of muffin tins to give you an idea.
I am entering this into Ben of What's Cooking event I Love Baking which you can find at his forum. Ben is a talented cook that cooks many innovative and exceptional dishes from his home in the States. He cooks from the heart with a vast knowledge of Mexican cuisine that he learned cooking beside his family at their restaurant in Mexico City. If you haven't yet come across Ben in your blogging travels just head on over for so many healthy tips, delicious recipes and Tupperware!!!

**Portuguese Custard Tarts**

For the pastry:

250g puff pastry
4 tablespoons caster (granulated) sugar
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 egg yolk, beaten

For the custard:

6 large organic eggs
6 tablespoons clear honey
2 vanilla pods
grated zest of 1 orange
600 mL double cream (whipping cream)

For the caramel:

6 tablespoons caster (granulated) sugar
3 tablespoons water

Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas 6./400 F.

Finely roll out the puff pastry. Sprinkle over the sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon. Fold up the pastry in half lengthwise and roll out again. Using a cookie cutter cut the pastry into 10 thin round slices. Press the pastry slices into a greased 10-tartlet cupcake/tatty tin, pricking the base with the times of a fork of each pastry case. Line each pastry case with greaseproof paper. Fill each case two-thirds full with baking beans. Bake for 8 minutes. 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 4/350 F. If the pastry has risen too much even after pricking it with the tines of a fork I press the centre of the tarts down with the back of a spoon to allow me to add as much filling as possible. Cool the pastry cases on a wire rack.

Meanwhile, make the custard. Whisk together the eggs and honey until thick and pale. 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. Heat the cream to boiling point. Whisking as you do so, gradually pour the hot cream into the egg mixture and mix well. 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.

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

In a small saucepan, heat together the sugar and water, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and cook without stirring until the syrup caramelises and turns a deep golden brown. Drizzle the hot caramel over the custard tarts.


These are the bottles of wine that L'il Burnt Toasts friend gave to me for making this dessert for him...he works at Calona Wines.

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  1. Oh, I love those gorgeous tartlets! Yours look ever so delicious and perfect!



  2. They look so crisp and yum! I an yet to get tartlet moulds!

  3. berries are definitely my favorite fruit - too bad they are not grown commercially here in hania apart from strawberries and cherries

    (and yes, it is sad when you can't see your family as often as you would like, especailly when some wicked witch of the west tries to keep them away from you...)

  4. These look delicious. I am a huge fan of custard, and of tarts, and of fresh berries... so what's not to love?!

    Your daughter sounds like a lovely person. Good going, Mom!

  5. Hi,

    Thanks for all the prayers and thoughts during Tropical Storm Fay's visit. We had a few leaks around the windows and some of the vegetation moved around, but that basically was it. We were without electricity for two days and lost water briefly .. now under a boil water notice.

    Without good wine available we were forced to drink bloody mary's which seemed quite fitting. Actually, several of our neighbors met on our front lanai, I had the tunes turned up on the portable radio and we all got a bit toots! Not much else to do with no power or water ...LOL!


  6. Oh, these are so cute - perfect for afternoon tea!

  7. Your little tarts look lovely! And I'm a big fan of fresh blackberries and blueberries!

  8. Oh - the tarts are beautiful! I love how mutualistic it all is - you share your tarts, he shares his wine...

    Question - what do you mean by "pricking the base of each pastry case". Also, what does this do?

  9. That is sweet of your daughter!

    I could eat custard all day long!

  10. Hey Psych- Pricking the pastry means to pierce it several tikes with a fork. This prevents it from rising too much..although I squish th pastry down with the back of a spoon also to get in as much filling as possible:D

  11. Val I hope that bad weather is gone. Love those tartlets, they look delicious. We say that the apple does not fall far away from the tree, so I am sure your daughter will be a terrific person, like her mom.

  12. These look delicious and what a lovely wine payment. I would bake for wine anytime! Thanks for sharing.

  13. These look amazing and I know Piri Piri Chicken is delicious. How sweet of Little Burnt Toast!

  14. you have every right to toot your daughter's horn!
    yes, those are some massive blackberries, and yes, i'd like about 21 tarts, please. and thank you. :)

  15. Those look gorgeous Valli! I really miss the blackberries we used to have in the backyard when we lived in Vermont! They were the BEST!

  16. These tarts look wonderful. You did a great job with the pastry, too. When it comes to smaller items like this, I'm all thumbs...clutzy thumbs, at that, lol.

  17. You are such a great mom! Do you want to adopt me?? :-p

    Thanks for the entry it looks delicious and good luck :D

  18. Oh wow! They look glorious and magnificent with those blackberries on top Val...delicious!

  19. Beautiful tartlets, Val! Those blackberries look amazing. How sweet of you to make dessert for your daughter's dinner, and how sweet of your daughter to make dinner for her friend! Sounds like you and Lil Burnt Toast should be tooting your horns! :)

  20. What a beautiful dessert to make. I have to say that the wine he brought was a nice touch.

    We do our best to raise our kids. I think that when we invest time with them and that we guide them in the right path they will succeed. It takes a lot of love and patience to raise a kid but it's so worth it. I'm sure she is a genuine person like her mom.

  21. I don't think I've had Portuguese custard tarts topped with blueberries before. It's something I should remedy real soon! Your daughter is such a sweet girl: great job, Mom!

  22. Val, they look so pretty!

  23. oh these look really yummy! nice pics! berries of all kinds are way too expensive here, think i'll try these with some other fruits!

  24. Oooh those look yummy! Nice choice on the toppings :)

  25. Vall, These little tartalets are absolutely yummy and tasty, I love these types of food, nice and little you make!! Gloria

  26. hey! Okanagan scenery! Hiya fellow Canuck.

    These look yummy.... and look at the size of the berry alright...whoooo ...

  27. These look amazing, I am so excited that it is blackberry season!

  28. Mmmm these look so yummy! This is the second time I've seen Portuguese custard tarts on a blog and seeing yours makes me want to make them even more.

  29. Hope that everything goes well with her...very nice dinner...beautiful tarts... and we dont use any caramel on top of those tarts , the dark color on top comes from the oven it is not caramel ...so you did right omitting the caramel...Big hug from Portugal and sorry for the missplelling

  30. I will definitely be trying these very soon.. they look delicious! There's just something about custard tarts... I LOVE them!

  31. Holy cow if those aren't the cutest things ever! I remember blackberries like that when I lived in WA. Love your custard recipe, it's def getting tried out soon!


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