Do you remember that one food. You know the one. That one food that brings back memories of childhood and more innocent days, like sitting in grandmas kitchen or picnicking at the park. For me it was Portuguese tarts. These little bite sized pieces of heaven bring back so much joy for me. They remind me of sitting in my grandmothers kitchen stealing spoon fulls of custard, and running around with my cousins playing make believe. Yes this little dessert hold a very special place in my heart and unfortunately i was not fortunate enough to learn my grandmothers recipe but after years of hunting through google and A LOT of trial and error, i had come across this a recipe by Lorraine Elliott from the blog Not Quite Nigella. This recipe was the closest thing to my grandmothers tarts i had found, and with a few tips from my Aunty Anna and a couple of my own twists i was finally able to create in my opinion the best Portuguese tarts i had ever had. So i should probably tell you what Portuguese tarts are. They are tarts with a flaky, and buttery outer layer and are filled with a sweet and smooth custard.
For this recipe you will need:
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 full egg (yolk and whites)
- 115g of caster sugar
- 2 tsp corn flour
- 1 1/2 cups of milk
- 2 tbsp Vanilla extract (i like to use the seeds from a vanilla bean)
- roughly 2 sheets of puff pastry
- A quarter of a small lemon (the tiniest piece! or a little lemon zest)
- cinnamon for dusting
- a spoon or two of melted butter
Now how to make these little babies:
First you need want to lightly spray a muffin tin with a cooking spray. I make mine a small 24 hole muffin tin. (this makes them small and easy to eat). And dont forget to preheat your oven to 180 degrees.
Next you will need to whisk together the eggs, sugar and cornflour until combined in a small pot. Then slowly pour and mix in the milk until smooth.
Once smooth you need to put the pot over a medium heat and cook while continuously stirring. The custard should begin to thicken. Once the mixture has come to a boil remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract (or vanilla seeds) and drop in the lemon. (you just want to place the lemon piece in the mixture you do not want to squeeze out the juice.
Cover the custard with cling wrap and place aside to cool.
Now we want to work on the pastry!
Layout a pastry sheet and lightly brush with butter. Lightly dust with cinnamon and roll tightly into a log. Now you want to cut the log in to 2-3 cm pieces starting from the end.
Take a piece of pastry and push it flat with your palm. Now you can roll it into a nice little circle and line your muffin tins. Don’t worry if there are small holes you can always pinch them closed.
Once your muffin tins are lined, take your custard and remove the lemon piece. after giving the custard another mix you can spoon it into your muffin tins.
I like to sprinkle a little cinnamon on top of each tart but it is only optional.
Place your tarts into the oven to cook for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
These are the best warm with a cup of tea or coffee!
Hope you enjoy the recipe, Happy baking xx