Portuguese-style custard tarts

I have always wanted to make my own Portuguese tarts and was actually excited when Kapiti approached me to see if I would be interested in creating a recipe to match with their single farm, organic milk – here was my chance. I faffed around with the recipe for ages having done a fair amount of research to discover the basics. The first lot I made were almost there, but I found them a little lacking in flavour and too stodgy in the custard department, so I redeveloped them to give you a recipe with a more orange-scented, softer custard, which I think pairs perfectly with the flaky, buttery pastry. Frankly they are pretty bloody delicious. The milk I used is from the new range by Kapiti – Single Farm Organic milk which comes from the Flipp family farm in Manawatu, where they take great pride in their cows and producing an organic product. I love the idea of knowing where my food is produced, I buy only organic, free-range chicken, egg and pork products, so it is a treat to be able to buy milk in the same way.

Yay, Hoob arrived from Welly last night…fresh sheets are on the bed, I’ve aired out his room and stocked the fridge with comfort-food, vego meals. Bring on dinners tucked up on the couch watching QI 🙂 It is such a treat to see him – every time I get a shock at how tall, lean and lovely he is, with a bloody fabulous sense of humour and amazing taste in music. Meanwhile Henry is rocking a new haircut (and some incredible brand new tattoos) and is beautifully settled at the moment. It is so good to know that work is going well and that he is snuggled up in the gorgeous apartment in Melbourne with Will, having had three grotty apartments in a year, this one is such a relief! And me? I had an over-night trip to Waiheke to stay with gorgeous friends last weekend – it is such a weird thing going to the island now, I love it just as much as ever but it makes me sad too. I suppose that is to be expected. Then of course there is the cookbook launch coming up, mwahaha, the first little sneak peek is right here…!

2/3 cup caster sugar
2/3 cup water
1 cinnamon stick or 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
peel of 1 orange (or lemon)
1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
3 egg yolks
3 tbsp cornflour
1 1/2 cups whole milk (I used Kapiti Single Farm Organic)
375g sheet butter puff pastry ( I used Paneton flaky puff pastry)
 

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) and spray a 12-hole muffin tin lightly with baking spray.  Put the sugar, water, cinnamon stick, orange peel and vanilla bean seeds in a saucepan over low heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil for 4 minutes then remove from the heat and take out the cinnamon stick. Put the cornflour and ½ cup of the milk in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Add the egg yolks and whisk until incorporated. Whisk in the remaining milk, remove the peel and cinnamon stick from the syrup, pour it into the milk mixture and whisk until combined. Pour into a saucepan and place over a medium heat. Bring to a gentle boil and cook, whisking continuously, for about 4 minutes or until the mixture is thickened, then cover the surface with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cool.

Trim the pastry to 28cm x 28cm, then cut into two 28cm x 14cm pieces. Layer the halved pastry sheets on top of each other. Starting at the long end of the pastry, tightly roll into a log. Pop in the freezer for 5 minutes, then trim the ends and cut into 12 small fat rounds. One by one squash the pastry rounds with the heel of your hand and roll out to about an 11cm circle – repeat with the remaining pastry. Press the pastry rounds into the prepared muffin tin and pop in the freezer for 5 minutes. Divide the chilled custard between the pastry cases (it will look quite big and blobby but that is OK) and bake for 25–30 minutes or until the custard is just starting to blister on top. Allow to cool in tins for 5 minutes before removing from the tin. The tarts can be served warm for dessert with a little vanilla bean ice cream, or at room temperature for morning or afternoon tea with a coffee, tea or a cold glass of milk.

 

Kapiti Single Farm Organic milk is available in two sizes:
1.25L Homogenised/Non Homogenised RRP $5.49
750ml Homogenised / Non Homogenised RRP $3.50

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