I am seriously in danger of becoming addicted to these little things. Cream, buttery puff pastry… what’s not to love? Despite making three batches of these, I neglected to take a photo of the finished article. This may have been because I was ‘testing’ them rather than being a good blogger. So here’s one that I found on Google (so don’t sue me, copyright-holder).Image

Mine looked remarkably similar, I’ll upload a pic when I make these again (so probably tomorrow). These are best on the day they are baked, as the puff pastry loses crispiness. You can complete steps 2-5 up to two days in advance and store the custard in the fridge until needed, covered in clingfilm. Rolling the pastry then only takes about 15mins in the morning, plus baking time.

Ingredients:

  •  All-butter puff pastry (obviously you can use not all-butter, but why would you?). You only need half of a 500g pack. Bung the other half in the freezer.
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 4oz caster sugar
  • 2tbsp cornflour
  • 230ml cream (I used double but according to the internet, you can use any kind, or even substitute milk)
  • 170ml milk (I used whole, but apparently you can use skimmed)
  • 2tsp vanilla extract or other flavouring
  • A dusting of icing sugar (optional)
  • A sprinkling of cinnamon (optional)

Method

  1. Butter a 12-hole muffin tin.
  2. Put egg yolks, sugar and cornflour in a medium saucepan and whisk together.
  3. Gradually whisk in cream and sugar until smooth.
  4. Cook over a medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens. I used the back of the spoon test again. This may take some time. Bring to just below boiling point, the remove from the heat and add the vanilla.Image
  5. Put the custard in the bowl and put clingfilm over the surface to stop a skin from forming.
  6. Preheat the oven to 200degrees C.
  7. Flour your work surface and rolling pin. The following steps prevent the pastry from puffing up too much during baking and providing the tart’s characteristic crisp crust.
  8. Roll the puff pastry to about 1cm in thickness, then cut in half. Dust one half with icing sugar and cinnamon, which helps make the pastry a tiny bit less savoury.Image
  9. Put the non-dusted half on top of the dusted one and roll out again, to about 5mm thickness.
  10. Now, start at the bottom and roll the pastry up like a Swiss roll. Make it as tight as you can.
  11. Cut the roll crossways into sections about 1cm wide (I am only making 8 tarts with this pastry).Image
  12. Flatten and roll each round until about 10cm in diameter.Image
  13. Put the rounds of pastry into the buttered tin and manipulate a little until they line each hole nicely. Don’t worry if they’re not perfect, the custard covers a multitude of sins and they’re meant to look rustic.Image
  14. Fill ’em up with your custard.Image
  15. Bake for 15-25mins (check after 15. My oven seems to be monstrously hot). Don’t be afraid of baking these, they are meant to have dark spots on the surface. The pastry should be golden brown and the custard set.They’ll puff up during cooking, but sink back down once they cool.Image
  16. Leave to cool in the tin, then cool completely before packing up. Pack them in paper or cardboard rather than plastic if you can, to keep them nice and dry.

According to the internet, you can make these with non-dairy substitutes. Next time, I think I’ll try with the coconut alternative to milk that I like using. Watch this space!

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