This is a wonderful baked Egg Custard Tart made from fresh ingredients. Well actually it makes the perfect Egg Custard Tart. Delicious, light and oh so beautiful and pale. The one thing that does need to be done to make the perfect tart is the pastry case needs to be carefully blind baked, then brushed with egg yolk, then baked for a short time once more, to seal and ‘water-proof’. To serve, the creamy texture of this tart goes well with a little honey (a very little) drizzled over, and either a small scoop of ice cream, or serve with a really well made shortbread biscuit. If you like the background taste of vanilla to your egg custard then add in a little vanilla extract, but that being said we don’t really feel that this wonderful baked egg custard needs it.
Egg Custard Tart Recipe
Please note the photograph shows an egg custard tart we baked, this is actually using a deep 23cm tin, and just under double the ingredients listed for an 18cm tin (and about 20 minutes longer to bake) – if you want to make one this big it really is impressive and just as greedily devoured …
For the pastry
- 225g flour (plus extra for dusting)
- pinch of salt
- 1 lemon zest (zest only)
- 150g butter
- 75g caster sugar
- 1 egg yolk & 1 egg (beaten)
- (optional) 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 egg yolk (beaten to glaze the blind baked pastry case)
For the custard filling
- 9 egg yolks
- 75g caster sugar
- 500ml single cream
- freshly grated nutmeg to garnish
For the pastry: with your finger-tips rub together the flour, salt, lemon zest and butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the sugar, then beat together the egg yolk and whole egg and slowly add these, mixing until the pastry forms a ball. Wrap the pastry tightly in cling film and refrigerate for an hour or two. It is important not to use this pastry too soon, (as it is all butter) after bringing it together it needs to rest and chill.
Preheat the oven to 180C
Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface to 2mm thickness. Use the pastry to line an 18cm ring placed on a baking sheet – you can also use an 18cm spring-form cake tin. To ‘blind bake’ line this with greaseproof paper and fill with baking beans, (or rice) then bake blind for about 10 minutes, or until the pastry is starting to turn golden brown and crisp. Remove the paper and baking beans.
Brush a beaten egg yolk all over the blind baked pastry case, put it back in the oven (empty) for another three minutes to harden the egg glaze which will seal the pastry case. Take it out of the oven and allow to cool. Once cool trim the edges to make a neat tart case.
Turn the oven down to 150C
For the filling: in a large mixing bowl whisk together the egg yolks and sugar (and optional vanilla extract if using). Add the cream to a saucepan and bring it up to just under the boil. Once warmed through take the cream off the heat – give it a minute to cool – then pour and whisk into the bowl with the beaten eggs and sugar. Make sure you whisk vigorously as you add the hot cream to the beaten eggs, otherwise they will scramble. Pass this custard mixture through a fine sieve, into a jug. This clears the custard and makes it easy to pour into the pastry case. It is now ready to be poured into the pastry case.
Fill the pastry case with the custard, until 5mm from the top – if you are able, and have a big enough oven, pour in the custard filling when the pasty case is already in the oven, to save moving it and spilling the custard. Grate over a little nutmeg. Carefully place the tart in the middle of the oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes at 150C or until the custard appears set but not too firm.
Remove from the oven and (re)cover the surface liberally with grated nutmeg. Allow to cool to room temperature. Cut the tart with a sharp knife and serve. We recommend serving it with a small drizzle of honey, or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, another way is to make a shortbread biscuit and cinnamon crumb topping (bash several shortbread biscuits with a little ground cinnamon and nutmeg, scatter over the top of the tart and serve).