I think I could eat custard tart every day. I never tire of it. Particularly since one can add as many flavours to the custard as one wants, be it coffee (or in my case chicory concentrate), lemon rind, chocolate, raspberry powder or jam, marmalade…so many to try still!
A custard tart can be rustic and wholesome which makes it perfect to share after a Sunday roast ‘en famille’. It can also be delicate and sophisticated if made in individual tart moulds and decorated according to the filling, with a dusting of cocoa powder and a sweet raspberry, a dusting of vanilla powder and a fanned-out strawberry, a swirly lemon rind or a crushed nougatine….it’s a blank canvas really.
This recipe is very easy to make since I don’t pre-cook the pastry, pre-cook the custard or bother with the bain-Marie in the oven. I keep the temperature down and let it cook gently. The results have worked perfectly for me so far.
The other quality I would add to this recipe is the fact that it keeps very well and in fact, is even better the next day. Mind you, there is not much left by then so not many people know. It might be worth making two at once for that reason…
Just like for an ice-cream after it is iced, baking seems to mute the taste of the custard. So bear that in mind when adding sweeteners and other flavours (see below).
The baking dish I use is perfect for this and the quantities below fit almost entirely into it. It is a deep pan, with a removal bottom (how lucky…) so it is easy to remove from the mould. It is 20 cm/8 inch across. Depending on the size of the eggs, there is often enough left for one mini tart or for some custard to be cooked in a ramekin – which I then hide jealously in the fridge for a treat for one of my mid-week lunches. Please don’t tell.
Shortcrust pastry 2 – 1 portion
Eggs – 5 large or 6 medium
Coconut milk – 400ml, 1 tin (or 200ml coconut milk and 200ml nut milk)
Vanilla extract – 1 to 2 tsp
Coconut sugar – 3 to 4 tbsp (or honey)
Nutmeg – freshly grated
1 – Pre-heat the oven to 160/170°C.
2 – Grease a deep baking tin. Roll the pastry between two sheets of cling film and carefully line the tin with it, having made sure you remove the film (see the shortcrust recipe for more details). Don’t worry if the pastry breaks up, it’s like play-dough and is easily patched-up as you can see from the pictures. Just make sure there are no holes in the casing though.
3 – In a large bowl, beat the eggs with a whisk, add the sugar and beat well until well integrated.
4 – Add the milk, the vanilla extract and mix well.
5 – Pour the custard into the pastry casing until the tin is full but for 5mm.
6 – Grate some nutmeg over the top if you wish.
7 – Place the tin on a baking tray (although it is optional, it helps the bottom of it bake well) and bake for about 40min or until the middle of the pie wobbles only slightly. Do not worry if the custard looks like it has risen, it will go back flat as it cools and will still tastes gorgeous.
Let it cool down before removing it from the tin.
* Coffee flavour – add 1 to 2 tbsp. (or to taste) of chicory concentrate or strong coffee with maple syrup instead of sugar to the custard before baking.
* Jammy – instead of sugar, add a couple of tbsp. of raspberry jam or marmalade to the custard before baking.
* Chocolate – add cocoa powder and maple syrup to taste instead of sugar to the custard before baking.
* Lemony – whisk in some leftover lemon curd or add a few lemon zest to the custard before baking.