Hope that your week has been going well so far! Have you all got your christmas shopping done yet? Can’t believe it’s only 5 days away from Christmas. I’m sure a lot of you are planning lots of wonderful things for Christmas! This will probably be my last post before the Christmas holidays! I will be on hiatus for a week as I’m going to be overseas to celebrate Christmas with my family. I hope all of you have a wonderful Christmas full of plentiful delicious foods, lots of happiness and joy with your loved ones and most importantly indulging in all the wonderful foods on offer…I know I will be doing just that!
I had some puff pastry sitting in my freezer that I had not used yet and I wanted to find a recipe that would utilise this ingredient. I searched online and decided I wanted to make Portuguese Custard Tarts as I had tried a few in various places and really liked them. The best one I tried would have to be the one I tried in Macau who are famous for making wonderful Portuguese Custard Tarts which are fresh and eaten warm. The pastry is crispy and the custard is nice and smooth. I wanted to replicate this but in my own healthy way. I found Not Quite Nigella’s low-fat version of Portuguese Custard Tarts and knew I had to make these (http://www.notquitenigella.com/2007/11/26/portuguese-custard-tarts/).
I followed her recipe but used various substitutions to what I had in my pantry and utilising the ingredients I liked:
- 2 egg yolks and 1 whole organic free range egg
- 1/2 cup of rapadura sugar (this will make your custard look a bit more brown than yellow)
- 2 tbsp of arrowroot/tapioca flour
- 400ml of unsweetened soymilk
- 2 tsp of pure vanilla extract
- one sheet of puff pastry (I used the Pastry Pantry’s gluten-free & wheat free rolled puff pastry) thawed
- Combine the eggs, sugar, tapioca flour in a small pan/pot and whisk. Gradually whisk in the soymilk until the mixture becomes smooth.
- Place the pan/pot over medium heat and stir until the mixture thickens and comes to a boil.
- Remove the thickened mixture from the heat and add in the vanilla extract.
- Transfer your custard to a bowl and cover the top of the custard with cling film to prevent any skin forming on the top of your custard. Leave this to cool to room temperature.
- Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
- Cut your puff pastry sheet in half (vertically) and put one half on the top of the other half.
- Roll up the pastry from the short end and roll into a cylinder log. Divide the log into 1cm thickness for each circle (base).
- Roll each piece of pastry with a rolling-pin until the circle is roughly 10cm in diameter. Ensure that you keep your pastry nice and thin.
- Press your pastry rounds into a muffin tin.
- Spoon your custard mixture once cooled into each pastry round until you have used up all your custard mixture.
- Bake in the oven for around 20-25 minutes.
- Transfer the tarts onto a wire rack to cool down.
- Best eaten warm. These do not keep well so it is best to be eaten on the same day you make them.
I was happy with the way my Portuguese tarts looked. The appearance resembled a classic Portuguese tart with the black marks on the top of the custard. The flavours of the custard were lovely even when I used a different sugar substitute. My custard may have appeared more brown than the usual looking yellow custard that most of you are familiar with however the flavours and the soft texture of the custard were still reminiscent of the tarts I have eaten before. The pastry itself was unfortunately a bit harder than the normal flaky pastry I remember. I used a different type of pastry and I found this gluten and wheat free puff pastry gave my tarts a much harder texture. When you bit into the tart, the pastry was crunchy rather than being soft and flaky. Next time I will try this again but using a different puff pastry. I also found that these did not store long as the pastry the next day was not the same as what it tasted like when it was baked, so you definitely need to ensure you eat these tarts on the same day you make them. All in all, it was a good experiment and I will definitely be trying some more dessert tart recipes and tweaking them to make them healthier.
“Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.”
Norman Vincent Peale
Until next time! Happy Holidays!