It was back in 2006 that I took my first ever overseas holiday. I’d just turned 21 and my sister and her partner had spent the last couple of years living and working in London, so I decided to travel over to visit them. I spent two weeks with them in London while they finished up work and then we travelled together (along with another sister who met up with us along the way) through a few different countries including Ireland, Spain, Morocco, France, Germany, Croatia and Portugal. Until my holiday late last year it was the most amazing and fulfilling thing that I’d ever done in my life – I felt so brave flying over to London from Melbourne on my own and spending the two weeks exploring London on my own.
I find that most of my great memories from that trip include some sort of delicious food or another. One particular food memory I have is from Portugal. We didn’t spend a lot of time in Portugal, but we did hire a car there and travelled from the south to north before catching a train back into Spain. I remember while we were there though that we all became addicted to the custard tarts. Every time we stopped for food we’d get a little tray of them. They were just so delicious! Not long ago I found this recipe through Pinterest for what seemed like quite an easy recipe for Portuguese Custard Tarts and decided to give them a go. They actually turned out really nicely and are very similar to the ones we had back in Portugal (from my memories anyway).
To start off with, grease a muffin pan - one on the smaller side is perfect - and preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius, or 390 Fahrenheit. Then, in a small saucepan, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour until well combined. Slowly pour in the milk and mix well.
Pour the cooled custard into each tart case up to about 3/4 level and bake for about 25 minutes. The custard bubbles up a little during cooking, which is normal. The finished tarts should have some brownish black patches on the top. Then all you have to do is sprinkle cinnamon powder on the top of each tart and enjoy!
Portuguese Custard Tarts
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp cornflour
2 tsp vanilla extract
Puff Pastry Sheets (I used 3)
1. Grease a muffin pan (small muffins) and preheat your oven to 200C.
2. Place the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour in a pan and whisk together until well combined. Slowly pour in the milk and mix well making sure there are no lumps.
3. Place the pan over medium heat and cook, stirring, until the mixture thickens and comes to the boil. Let it simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, then remove from heat and add the vanilla extract.
4. Transfer the custard to a bowl, cover and let it cool.
5. Thaw the puff pastry sheets and cut out circles of pastry big enough to fit in the muffin pan. Lay each circle into the muffin pan, pour the cooled custard to about 3/4 level and bake for about 25 minutes. The custard will bubble up during baking, which is fine. The top of each tart should have brownish black patches for that authentic Portuguese custard tart look.
6. Sprinkle cinnamon powder over the top and serve.