Portuguese custard tarts
3 hours
Preparation time
35 minutes
Cooking time
Makes 12


Puff pastry

500 g butter
150 ml water
1¼ tsp salt flakes
1 egg yolk
½ tsp white wine vinegar
495 g plain flour, sifted



2 eggs
100 g caster sugar
120 ml full cream milk
250 ml double cream


Puff pastry

  1. In a small pan, melt 50 g of butter then whisk in the water, salt, egg yolk and vinegar.
  2. Using a mixer with a dough hook attachment, place 320 g of flour and pour in the contents of the pan. Mix slowly until it is all fully combined. This is called the détrempe.
  3. Tip out the dough and form a ball. Wrap the dough in cling wrap and allow to rest in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.
  4. Place the remaining flour in a bowl of the electric mixer, fitted with a dough hook attachment. Soften the remaining butter, add to the flour and mix until fully combined on low speed.
  5. Place on a lightly floured surface and shape into a square. Wrap the dough as before and allow to rest in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.
  6. Remove pastry from the refrigerator. On a lightly floured surface roll out the détrempe into a square twice the size of the square of dough. Place the smaller square into the centre and fold the corners in to meet in the centre, like an envelope. Roll out to a rectangular shape about 2cm thick. Fold it into thirds, starting with the shortest edge furthest away from you. This is known as a simple turn. Turn the dough 90°C and roll again to about 2 cm thick. Turn the dough 90° degrees again and fold the ends to meet in the centre and fold over itself again from left to right. This is called a book turn. Wrap the dough as before and allow to rest in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.
  7. On a lightly floured surface, roll out to a rectangle 2 cm thick and do a simple turn then roll again and do a book turn. Refrigerate pastry until you need to roll it out for your recipe.
  8. Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before you need it and proceed with Portuguese Tart recipe.

Tart shell

  1. Make the pastry as per recipe. Grease a 12 hole 1/3 cup size muffin pan.
  2. Roll out on a lightly floured surface to 3 mm thickness. Cut out 12 pastry discs of 10 cm diameter x 3 mm thick.
  3. Line the muffin pans with the pastry, dock the entire base of the tarts with a fork and chill for 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven on Moisture Plus with Intensive Bake at 170°C with one manual burst of steam, and place the baking and roasting rack on shelf position 1.
  5. Line tarts with baking paper or patty cases and fill with baking beans.
  6. Place muffin tray in oven, set the minute minder for 15 minutes and release a burst of steam immediately.
  7. Remove tray from oven and leave to cool for 30 minutes. Remove beans and lining. Change oven setting to Moisture Plus with Fan Plus at 190°C with one manual burst of steam.


  1. Whisk eggs and sugar together and combine with the milk and cream.
  2. Fill tarts with the custard and return to the oven. Release a burst of steam immediately and continue to cook for 15 minutes or until surface has lost its wobble.
  3. Caramelise the top of the tart with a cooks’ blow torch.

Hints and tips

  • Make the puff pastry recipe well ahead of time as there is a lot of chilling time required.
  • Freeze any leftover pastry for up to 3 months.


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