Custard egg tarts, made with puff pastry.

Custard egg tarts, dusted with icing sugar on top.
Photo © Jan-Erik Nilsson and Cheryl M. Cordeiro Nilsson for Cheryl Marie Cordeiro 2010

A quick browse through my most recent posts will show that my latest baking projects have all revolved around puff pastry creations. And I still have a few more items of puff pastry that I’d like to try before putting aside this light but decadently butter filled pâte feuilletée to genuinely say that I’m sick of it.

Tart shells for baking.

Tart shells for baking.

It takes me about a morning to make two batches of puff pastry, to which I can delight in making almost anything sweet and savoury out of them the pastry, from fruit filled danishes to chicken curry puffs. The latest puff pastry project – custard egg tarts!

Tart shells over puff pastry, cut.

For the custard filling, I used the Portuguese Egg Tarts recipe by Simon Rimmer found at the BBC Food website. Rimmer’s recipe produces a thick golden yellow mixture, so if you like thick custards, then this is the recipe to go for, but it won’t produce the Hong Kong or Chinese dim sum style egg tarts as those call for a slightly runnier custard before baking.

Thick egg custard for custard egg tarts, covered in cling film.

Cling film prevents a skin forming on top of the custard during the cooling process.

The custard is made first and laid to cool with a cling film over the top to prevent a skin from forming on top of the mixture. The tart shells are buttered thoroughly before placing the puff pastry dough into them. Once the dough is in the shell, the shell is filled with custard and baked at 180 C till the tarts turn a dark gold.

I haven’t as yet decided whether these taste better warm or cold. Instinctively, I would say – serve and eat when warm and just out of the oven. But since the batch turned out around 24 tarts, I’ve had some cold, for breakfast in the mornings with a warm hot cup of chocolate and that worked fine too.


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