Baked custard tart with mulled spiced plums

Baked custard tart with mulled spiced plums

By
From
James Martin's French Adventure
Serves
8-10
Photographer
Peter Cassidy

In the Les Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse market I had one of the most delicious custard tarts I’ve ever tasted, made with pistachio nuts and sugar and encased in a kind of big biscuit. I like this even more, though.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient

For the tart

Quantity Ingredient
250g ready-made sweet shortcrust pasty
400ml double cream
1 vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped
5 egg yolks
1 whole egg
100g caster sugar

For the plums

Quantity Ingredient
4 tablespoons caster sugar
50g butter
8-10 dark-skinned plums, halved and stones removed
100ml red wine
1 bay leaf
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 cloves
2 star anise

Method

  1. Grease a high-sided 30cm flan tin. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and use to line the tin, leaving any excess pastry hanging over the edges. Line with greaseproof paper and fill with dried beans or rice, then leave to rest in the fridge for 20–30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  3. Bake the tart shell for 12–15 minutes until the pastry is set. Remove from the oven and take out the greaseproof paper and beans or rice. Using a sharp knife, carefully trim off the excess pastry. Turn the oven down to 130°C.
  4. To make the filling, in a small saucepan, bring the cream to the boil with the vanilla pod and seeds, then remove from the heat and leave to infuse for about 20 minutes. Discard the vanilla pod.
  5. Using a wooden spoon, beat the egg yolks and whole eggs together in a bowl with the sugar until smooth. Slowly stir in the infused cream, then pass the custard through a sieve into a jug.
  6. When you’re ready to fill the tart, place the tart shell on a baking tray in the oven, then pull the shelf out a little. Pour the filling into the tart shell until it is full to the brim then carefully slide the shelf back and close the oven door. Bake for about 40–50 minutes or until the custard is just set: when you gently shake the tray, the custard should still wobble slightly.
  7. Meanwhile, for the plums, place the sugar and butter in a frying pan over high heat. When bubbling, add the plums, red wine, bay leaf and spices. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes until the juices have thickened to a syrup, then remove from the heat and leave to cool a little.
  8. Serve the tart in wedges alongside the warm plums.
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