Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Lemon Custard Tarts

After attempting a previous lemon custard tart recipe, seen here, and not thinking it was amazing I decided to try making one of my own combining a few recipes and experimenting a little. 

The first step was to decide what type of pastry I wanted to use. I've had really good comments about my puff pastry but it's quite time consuming so I wasn't sure I wanted to spend the day making it. The other option was sweet shortcrust pastry. I decided that I would do puff this time because I wanted the recipe to be as good as it could be. The recipe for the pastry can be found here. Of course you can use shopbought pastry as well, either puff or shortcrust. 

I rolled out the pastry and, using a 9cm cutter, cut out circles. The custard recipe will make around 12 tarts. These were placed in a muffin tin, covered in greaseproof paper and filled with beans. I baked these, blind, for 15minutes. 180oC. 

Meanwhile I made the custard filling. I decided to do this similar to a previous recipe as that worked really well. For vanilla custard tarts with a chocolate swirl look here. I needed to be careful that the mixture didn't curdle, lemon and milk is not usually a good mix. 

For my first attempt, which didn't work, I tried adding lemon juice and zest in with the milk and heating it. I then strained it and thickened to custard. This mixture seperated and tasted awful so I won't be attempting that again!! 

My second attempt, which did work, was the method I settled on:

90g Caster Sugar
3 Egg Yolks
1 tbsp cornflour
250ml Semi skimmed milk
Zest of 2 lemons

Place the zest and the milk in a saucepan and heat up until the milk is just boiling. 

Mix together the sugar, egg and cornflour until a smooth paste. 

Strain the milk through a sieve, to remove all the lemon zest, and place it back in the saucepan. 

Add the paste and whisk, heat gently always mixing. This will start to thicken up quite quickly, as soon as it does remove it from the heat and allow to cool slightly. 
Lemon Custard
Once your pastry cases are cool, remove the paper and beans. Fill with the custard mixture. Place back in the oven, 180oC, for 10minutes. 
Tarts in the muffin tin
Once done allow to cool and enjoy!! 
Ready to eat!

The verdict: I really enjoyed these tarts, and it's not just because I made them up!! I thought the lemon was strong enough to have a fresh flavour but not so strong that it was over powering and sharp. The tarts had a lovely sweetness to them. I could happily have eaten the whole batch. I'm still not overly keen on pastry so for me I would probably make a big tart so there's a large custard to pastry ratio, however, I'm sure others would disagree with me on that one. I give the recipe 10/10! Yummy!!