A Traditional Custard Tart

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*
Serves 6
Printable Recipe

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.)


  1. Marie I agree with Todd I adore custard, is one of my favorites! look delicious Marie, send you huggss and kisses, love yah ! huggs to Todd too, gloria

  2. I love a good custard tart and yours certainly looks very good! I like the contrast between the top skin and the silky middle. yum. I'm afraid I like mine cold

  3. One of my all-time faves Marie. I don't have an addictive personality, but these would send me heading down that path!
    Millie x
    P.S We are being crushed by the mountain of tomatoes that have come from MOTH's vines this week. As I don't have time to do any passamento, chutneys etc. I'm desperate - any thoughts? I've done enough fattoush to last us a lifetime.

  4. Hello Marie,

    The tart looks PERFECT! how do you get your pastry to look so professional? I love your blog and would like to add you to may blog roll. I hope that is ok!

  5. Millie, I freeze my tomatoes whole, skins and all, in zip lock baggies. The wonderful thing is they are ready then to take out as many or as little as you want when you need them during the winter. The skins slip right off, so no peeling and are great in stews, chutnies, soups (my favourite Cream of Tomato) etc. You can also slice them in half and place them on a large baking sheet. Toss with some olive oil, balsamic vinegar, a bit of thyme, minced garlic, cracked pepper and sea salt and then roast them at about 220*C for an hour until they begin to caramelize and get all scrummy. After that toss them with a bit of freshly cooked pasta, along with all of their juices for a fabulous supper! ( A good dusting of parmesan reggiano cheese on top too!) Or, you can thickly slice them and then layer them in a baking dish with some sliced onion, garlic, and herbs. Top with buttered crumbs and bake in a medium high oven for 35 to 40 minutes and you have a tasty luncheon dish., which is even scrummier with some grated strong cheddar cheese or gruyere added to the layers, depending on how rich you would like it. Herbs that go well with tomatoes: Basil, Oregano, Dill, Marjoram, Parsley.

  6. Oh, Marie, that looks lovely! This is probably my son's favorite dessert. I haven't made one in a while, maybe for his birthday coming up at the end of the month! Much love to you my friend! I am a faithful reader, just don't have time to comment a lot! XO

  7. Mary, years of practice are my secret! Even then it doesn't always work out, but I was particularly proud of my efforts the other day! Thanks for your nice comments!

  8. Thanks for the love Raquel! Miss you on the forum! I love you too! xxoo

  9. I don't like much nutmeg so I just grate it on the top before baking. Might have to make one now :)

  10. Yummy!
    I love anything Custard.
    I also love it warm,cold, breakfast or dessert or anytime:)
    My Hubby isnt too hot about custard,but he will eat it fresh and warm.

  11. I too love nothing more than a good custard tart, though I don;t mind it warm or cool ... any way it is served up is fine by me lol. Looks fab, as always my dear!

  12. I will definitely have to try this. I love a British TV show called "As Time Goes By" and one of the main characters, Lionel, loves custard tart!

    How much nutmeg would be used if it were already ground?

  13. HI Today's Gift. It calls for 1 1/2 grated whole nutmegs. That is a lot of nutmeg. I'd say about 2 tsp, but you should use your own judgement on what your own tastes would enjoy. That might be too much for you. Stir 1 tsp of the nutmeg into the custard before you pour it into the crust, and sprinkle the remainder on top of the tart before baking.

  14. Marie; can u explain the forming of the crust? I didn't get that part! Thanks

  15. Alise, you shape the pastry into a round and then wrap it in plastic wrap and chill it in the fridge for about an hour. After that time, you take it out of the fridge and 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 around the edge decoratively using the tines of a fork.Prick all over with a fork on the base and place the crust onto the heated baking tray and proceed as per the recipe. If you are afraid of the crust shrinking or puffing up too much you can place a round of baking paper inside and fill it with baking beans, but if you check it after five minutes and as described in the recipe you should be ok. Hope this helps!

  16. Hi Marie.
    The custard pie turned out great. The only thing is the custard was speckled with bits of nutmeg and didn't look nice & smooth like yours. Any hints?

  17. I'm not sure Patricia! My nutmeg always seems to float to the top!


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