Deep Custard Tart
Custard tart was the first bake I was able to make. My grandmother taught me when I was about 10 years old. A custard tart made well is a classic and I love it. Unfortunately the soggy bottom can make an appearance with this bake if not made correctly so follow my instructions and you will not go wrong.
Make the pastry first. In a food processor blitz together very briefly until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs the flour, salt and butter. With the motor still running add the egg mix and when the mixture has formed a ball, take from the machine, wrap in greaseproof paper or a beeswax wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes.
Roll out the pastry thinly between two sheets of plastic then line the tin and allow surplus pastry to overhang the edges. Chill again for 15 minutes whilst the oven comes to a temperature of 200 degrees c then prick over the base with a fork, line with paper and baking beans and bake blind for 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and carefully lift the paper and beans. The pastry may well look slightly waxy and wet. Pop the pastry back into the oven and bake for a further 2-3 minutes to dry off.
Break the eggs into a bowl. Take the pastry case out of the oven again and this time give a quick brush with egg white (taken from the eggs in the bowl). Pop back into the oven for a further minute. The coating of egg white will set over the pastry and will ensure your pastry has a waterproof layer.
Reduce the oven temperature to 150 degrees c
To make the filling whisk together the eggs into the bowl. In a small saucepan place the cream, sugar, vanilla and butter and a grating of nutmeg. Place the pan over a gentle heat but do not allow the mixture to boil as it may burn on the bottom of the pan and you will have flecks of burnt deposits floating around in your custard.
With your whisk in hand – pour the heated cream mixture over the beaten eggs, stirring as you go. For a really smooth custard you may now want to pass the custard through a sieve into a jug. In that way you will remove any cooked white pieces of egg that have not mixed well into the custard.
Transfer the custard into the pastry case then grate over more nutmeg. Carefully transfer to the oven and bake for 30 minutes. I prefer to fill the case about two thirds full then pop it into the oven. Once on the oven shelf I then pour in the rest of the custard so that it can be filled right to the top with no spills.
When baked the custard tart will still have a jelly like wobble when gently moved. That is fine as it will firm up completely as it cools. Overbaked your custard will be rubbery and may even crack.
I prefer custard tart at room temperature.
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