Classic Custard Tart

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I love custard tarts! They always remind me of holidays when I was little, because if ever we went to a bakery I’d get a custard tart or vanilla slice or nothing!

As it turns out, custard tarts are quite simple to make, and don’t need any special equipment – just a pie plate will do.  For this reason I think this recipe is a great choice if you’re not too familiar with making pies and tarts.  The pastry also couldn’t be simpler, so please don’t be intimidated!

Classic Custard Tart

(Adapted from The Essential Dessert Cookbook)

Pastry:

1 1/2 cups plain flour

1/4 cup custard powder

125 g cold butter, chopped

1 1/2 tbsp caster sugar

1 egg yolk (reserve the white for later if you like, why waste it!)

Custard:

4 eggs, plus the reserved white

2 tsp vanilla essence

1/2 cup caster sugar

1 1/2 cups milk

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

 

  1. In a food processor (you can also do this by rubbing in the butter by hand if you don’t have one), process the flour, custard powder and butter. Mix in the sugar. Add a little water (a tablespoon or two will do) and mix until a soft dough forms.  Wrap and place the dough in the freezer for around 15 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 190ºC. Grease a 24cm pie plate.  Roll the cold pastry out between two sheets of baking paper to fit the pie plate, trimming any excess (you could use the excess to decorate the edge of your pie if you like).  Line pastry shell with baking paper and fill with raw rice, baking for 10 minutes (this is called blind baking). Remove the rice and paper and bake for 5 more minutes until the base is dry but not too brown. Leave pastry to cool while you make the custard.
  3. Reduce oven temperature to 180ºC.
  4. For the custard, mix eggs, vanilla and sugar in a bowl. Bring the milk to a boil in a saucepan and gradually add to the egg mixture, whisking (important, or else you’ll get lumpy custard!).  Strain custard through a sieve into the pastry case.
  5. Sprinkle the tart with nutmeg and place in the oven.  Bake for approximately 40 minutes, until the centre of the tart is just set.
  6. Cool and cut into wedges to serve.

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