I am not a great lover of pastry – pies and tarts – but I do like Portuguese Custard Tarts. I have enjoyed many when abroad, as well as from London’s Brixton and Borough Markets where they do taste authentic, unlike others I have purchased from local supermarkets, (although not yet in Portugal, still a country I have to visit).
Anyway, thought I would ‘give it a go’ and try making my own. A mixture of success and error, mostly errors, and as the saying goes ‘you should learn from the mistakes of others as you will not live long enough to make them all yourself’ I thought I would share my experience.
I used a recipe from Pinterest – just Google ‘Portuguese Custard Tarts’ and read through the hundreds of options then pick one that appeals to you. The one I choose was written very simply in a ‘Steps’ format (appealed to the Simpleton in me)
Gather together the ingredients – I used half the recipe as I did not want, or need, 24 tarts. Rolled out the pastry to half the suggested length but the same width – am guessing the idea is to have many flaky layers so the more turns you have the better
I would suggest making the syrup first, although it was Step 5 in my instructions, as it needs to cool. 1st error – so I had to wait an hour before proceeding.
Having rolled out the pastry to a rectangle, then rolled it into the required sausage shape I cut this into 12 pieces and followed the instructions to slightly flatten out each circle. As instructed, I used a 12-hole fairy cake tin – 2nd error – this turned out to be too shallow and as a consequence my tarts could not hold the expected amount of the custard (it was not wasted as I cooked the remaining custard separately and ate it)
Don’t skip chilling the pastry cases once in the tin – pastry chefs are correct when they say this assists the cooking process and helps prevent shrinkage. A good pastry chef always sieves a sauce so don’t skip this step either.
This is a tart that needs time and attention so not one to do in a last-minute hurry, that said making them correctly is worth the effort. Not sure that they freeze so best eaten on the day.