Sunday, 8 March 2009

egg custard tarts

the 8 egg yolks had now been glaring at me from their ice cube tray compartments for 2 days now, a necessary but unfortunate by product of this cake, and at 10pm tonight I finally decided what to make. Egg custard tarts are simply awesome, they instantly take me back to small childhood memories of being allowed one as a treat from the bakers in the village I grew up in (ha, no, I did not grow up in a Famous Five book...I wish!). A nice melt-in-the-mouth sweet pastry, a firm but silky custard filling, topped with a sprinkling of nutmeg...mmmmmmm...and here is how...
90g cold butter, diced
125g plain flour
25g icing sugar
1 egg yolk
ice cold water
(I use a food processor to make the pastry so this is the method I will put here; this makes enough to line 1x9" case, or 5x4" cases)
4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup caster sugar
2/3 cup milk (I used skimmed so any fat content is fine)
ground nutmeg
1. Put the flour, icing sugar and cold butter in the bowl of your food processor, with the knife blade in place. Pulse until the mix resembles very fine breadcrumbs.
2. Add the egg yolk and pulse again to incorporate
3. Add ice cold water a dribble at a time whilst pulsing, you only need a little, until the pastry comes together and forms a loose ball
4. Wrap the pastry in baking paper and pop it in the fridge for 20 mins to chill
5. Preheat your oven to 180C/350F and move the racks to the middle
6. Grease your tart cases (or you can use a muffin tin), flour a clean surface and roll out your pastry
7. Line your chosen cases and trim the excess pastry off
8. Scrumple up some baking paper and line the cases, fill with baking beads - push to the edges to stop shrinkage
9. Blind bake the cases for 15 mins, then remove the beads and paper and cook for another 5-10 minutes. This will vary depending on the size of case you are making.
10. Whilst the cases are baking make the filling by first hand whisking together the egg yolks and sugar until the sugar is pretty much dissolved
11. Whisk in the milk, try not to make the mix too foamy
12. Fill your baked cases to the top with the egg mixture and dust the tops with nutmeg
13. Pop back in the oven for 15-25 minutes (again dependent on tart size) until the filling is set but still a bit wobbly
14. Cool completely on a rack before removing from the baking cases

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