Monday, 21 March 2011
There is nothing my Todd loves more than a good old fashioned Custard Tart. I think it is his favourite all time dessert. He loves it chilled, served ice cold from the fridge, with just a little wobble, but still oh so scrummy.
Stogged full of lots of nutmeg and vanilla . . . all rich and eggy and covered with lashings of more freshly grated nutmeg just prior to baking.
It needs no more adornment, as it sits there all chilled and proud on the plate . . . screaming to all within hearing distance . . . I am an English Tart . . . a Custard Tart . . . take me in your mouth and feel the rich wobble of my deliciousness, all silky and smooth . . .
Custard is a favourite dessert. Custard in a tart?? Double favourite dessert.
I do confess . . . I prefer mine warm . . . but in defference to my much beloved hubster, I chill it and we has it that way. Oh the sacrifices we make for love eh?
In truth, it is not really much of a hardship. Note: if you don't like nutmeg . . . this isn't the dessert for you!
*A Traditional Custard Tart*
A good old fashioned tart, rich and creamy with a wobbly filling and lots of nutmeg. This is Todd's favourite dessert.
For the filling:
3 large free range eggs, plus 2 large free range egg yolks, lightly beaten
1 pint of single cream (2 cups)
2 ounces caster sugar (a scant 1/4 cup)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 whole nutmegs, grated
1 tsp of softened butter
For the pastry:
5 ounces of plain flour, plus more for dusting (a scant cup)
pinch of salt
1 ounce of softened lard (1/8 cup)
1 1/2 ounces of softened butter (1/8 cup plus a heaped TBS)
1 TBS cold water
Sift the flour for the pastry into a large bowl along with the salt. Drop in the lard and butter. Rub the fat into the flour, using your fingertips and working quickly, until it is nice and crumbly. Sprinkle over the water and then work it in with a fork, adding a few drops more water if needed, until you have a smooth dough that leaves the side of the bowl clean. Shape into a flat disk. Wrap in cling film and then place into the refrigerator to chill and rest for about half an hour.
Preheat the oven to 190*C/375*F/ gas mark 5. Pop a tray into the oven to heat. Roll the pastry out into a circle on a surface lightly dusted with flour. You will want a round about inch wider than the pie dish. Transfer it to the pie dish, dropping it in and pressing it lightly but firmly around the base sides and rim. Trim off any excess, and press decoratively using the tines of a fork all around the edge.Prick all over with a fork on the base and place the crust onto the heated baking tray. Bake for abput 20 minutes on the centre shelf of the oven until crisp and golden brown, checking after it has been in the oven about 5 minutes to make sure the centre of the pastry isn't rising. If it is knock it back down and give it a few more pricks with the fork. At the end of 20 minutes, remove the crust, still on the baking tray from the oven. Reduce the oven temperature to 160*C/325*F/ gas mark 3.
Place the cream and vanilla into a saucepan and bring it up to a simmer. Whisk the beaten eggs and sugar together in a large heatproof jug. Slowly pour the hot cream over the beaten eggs, whisking continuously. Whisk in half of the nutmeg. Carefully pour the whisked mixture into the pastry case and scatter the rest of the nutmeg over top. Dot with the softened butter. Place the tray with the tart on top back into the oven. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the filling is golden brown, firm in the centre and slightly puffed. Serve either warm or chilled. (Todd likes it completely chilled.)