There are many recipes out there for custard tarts. The Portuguese have their Pastel de nata, the Italian’s Torta della nonna (Grandmothers tart), even the Chinese have their own version, Dan tat.
But I wanted a classic British egg custard. One with a sweet shortcrust pastry and a smooth, creamy, custardy filling. The sort my own granny would have been proud of.
Well, I got through a lot of eggs before I finally decided to follow Felicity Cloake’s example and create my own. So here it is, my own egg custard tart. I think my granny would approve.
250 g unsalted butter
100 g icing sugar
2 large egg yolks
350 g plain flour
1 medium egg yolk diluted with half a teaspoon of water
5 medium eggs
300 ml double cream
150 ml milk
100 g caster sugar
1 vanilla pod
freshly grated nutmeg
Preheat the oven to 180 C / 350 F / Gas mk 4.
To make the pastry, cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl.
Add the egg yolks and beat until fluffy.
Gradually add the flour, mixing as you go until a dough is formed. Wrap in clingfilm and chill for 20 minutes.
Remove pastry from fridge and thinly roll out on lightly floured surface. Use to line a 9in (23cm wide, 3cm deep), fluted flan tin.
Line the pastry with grease-proof paper and fill with baking beans. Place on baking tray and bake at for 15-20 minutes. Remove paper and beans and bake for further 5 minutes or until base is dry. Lower the heat to 130 C/Gas mk 1.
To make the custard, whisk together the whole eggs and caster sugar.
Split the vanilla pod in half lengthways. Add to the double cream and milk. Bring to the boil and once boiling, remove from heat and whisk into the egg and sugar mixture. Strain through a sieve into a large jug.
Remove pastry case from oven and gently brush inside of the case with the pastry glaze. Bake for 1-2 minutes to seal the pastry.
Pour hot custard mixture carefully into pastry case and top with grated nutmeg. Bake for 45 minutes or until set. Serve warm or at room temperature.