LJ fairburn Poultry


Portuguese Custard Tart


Makes 12 tarts


  • butter, for greasing
  • 275ml full fat milk
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs, plus 3 yolks
  • 20g plain flour
  • 15g cornflour
  • 375g ready rolled puff pastry sheet
  • 3 tbsp icing sugar
  • ground cinnamon


1. Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan.

2. Generously grease a standard 12-hole muffin tin with some butter and put in the fridge to chill.

3. Put the milk, lemon zest, cinnamon stick and vanilla extract along with 100ml of cold water into a saucepan and bring to the boil.  Remove from the heat and leave to one side to infuse.  Meanwhile whisk the sugar, eggs and egg yolks in a bowl until pale and thick.  Sieve the milk into a jug and gradually pour the milk over the egg mixture, whisking to combine.   

4. In a small bowl, mix the flour and cornflour with a splash of milk to a smooth paste and then whisk this into the egg and milk mixture.  Pour the mixture into a clean saucepan and slowly bring to a simmer, whisking continuously until the mixture thickens.  Remove from the heat, cover the surface of the custard with cling film and leave to cool.

5. Put a baking sheet in the preheated oven.  Unroll the puff pastry sheet onto the work surface and lightly dust with some icing sugar and a little ground cinnamon.  Cut the pastry in half lengthways and lay one half on top of the other.  From the longer end, roll the pastry up like a Swiss roll and chill for a few minutes (if the pastry becomes too warm, it will be difficult to handle).  Dust a work surface with a little flour and slice the pastry into 12 slices.  Lay the pastry slices out flat on the work surface and roll with a rolling pin into 10cm rounds.

6. Press the pastry rounds into the holes of the greased muffin tin and fill the pastry cases evenly with the custard.  Place the muffin tin on the preheated baking sheet in the oven and bake the tarts for 18-20 minutes or until the custard has puffed up and the pastry is golden brown and crisp.

7. Once cooked, remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin.  Remove the tarts from the tin and place on a wire rack.  Dust with some cinnamon and icing sugar before serving.