Portuguese custard tarts

Portuguese custard tarts

Posh Eggs
60 mins
Louise Hagger

These custard tarts have a crisp pastry shell and wobbly vanilla centre. They are a little time-consuming but worth it, nonetheless.


Quantity Ingredient
325g golden caster sugar
1 lemon, zest pared
325ml full-fat milk
1 cinnamon stick
40g cornflour, plus extra to dust
4 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
butter, to grease
300g all-butter puff pastry


  1. In a small pan, combine 200 g of the sugar, the lemon zest and 200 ml water and place over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Bring to the boil for 6 minutes to reach 108°C on a thermometer (or until a little dropped into a bowl of cold water forms a thin thread). Remove from the heat and cool before discarding the peel.
  2. Heat the milk and cinnamon in a clean pan over medium heat to warm through. In a small bowl, whisk the cornflour with a little of the warm milk to form a paste. Bring the milk to the boil then whisk in the flour paste, stirring for 3 minutes until thickened. Pour into a bowl and set aside.
  3. In another bowl, whisk the egg yolks, the remaining sugar and vanilla extract, then slowly pour this over the thickened milk, whisking as you do so.
  4. Strain the mixture through a sieve into a bowl, to remove any lumps, then set aside to cool. Cover in cling film and chill. Once cold, stir through the cooled sugar syrup. Grease 10 holes of a 12-hole muffin tin generously with butter and chill.
  5. Roll the pastry out into a long rectangle of about 40 x 18 cm, and roll up from the short end into a tight log. Cut into 10 x 1.5 cm rounds (discarding the ends) and roll each out into a 10 cm disc. Use these to line your muffin tin and chill until needed.
  6. Preheat the oven to 250°C and place a baking sheet inside. Divide the custard between the pastry cases (leaving a 1 cm gap between the top of the filling and the pastry). Transfer to the preheated baking tray and bake for 18–20 minutes, until the pastry is crisp and the custard just set. Remove from the oven and leave for 5 minutes then carefully loosen with a knife and cool completely on a wire rack.
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