I am lucky enough to live a short walk away from the most wonderful bakers, Sugardough* in Hove. I go there for the best fresh bread and also for their Portuguese Custard Tarts, which are (and this is no exaggeration) the best I have ever tasted. They are so delicious that until now I have never ever considered trying to make my own: surely it would only send me headlong into disappointment. Well, that was up until I came across Mónica Pinto and her truly inspirational blog Pratos e Travessas. Monica is one seriously talented lady: a food photographer and stylist by trade, but also an amazing cook and writer. Her blog, I can tell you, is very addictive and her recipes - well they are just crying out to be tried. So I have decide to conquer my fear and bake a batch of Portuguese Custard Tarts following Mónica's recipe. Surely being able to produce the most delicate, crumbly, creamy and delicious Portuguese Custard Tarts is a life skill worth striving for. Don't you agree?
Portuguese Custard Tarts: makes 12
Ingredients 450 g puff pastry For the filling: 500ml single cream 200 g caster sugar 8 egg yolks (free range chickens) 2 tbs all purpose flour, not self rising A piece of lemon peel
Preparation: Roll the puff pastry thinly, and cut circles slightly bigger than the cupcake tins border.
Line each tin with 1 circle of pastry (you don´t need to butter the tins, the fat in the pastry is enough). And cut the excess, passing the blade of a knife around the border of the tins.
To make the custard, mix all the ingredients very well with a whisker and take to the heat, whisking all the time until it comes to a boil and thickens. Let it cool until warm, cover the top of the custard with clingfilm to stop it forming a skin.
Preheat the oven to 260º, maximum of gas oven.
Fill the pastry lined tins with the custard almost to the top and bake for 15 minutes until dark brown. Don´t forget to watch them because ovens differ a lot.
Remove from the oven, let them cool a bit, unmold with the help of a knife and dust the Pastéis de nata with icing sugar or, , with lots of cinnamon.
* Sugardough can be found at 12 Victoria Terrace, Kingway, Hove, BN3 2WB.