Caramel Portuguese Custard Tart

I’ve been utterly lazy with my blogging lately and its not for want of things to blog about or even time. I have been cooking and baking a fair bit, and even taking photographic evidence of the fact, but the desire to actually sit down for an hour or two to write has just not been forthcoming. I am blaming it on the recent school holidays. Master Seven has been back for a week now but I find it takes me a couple of weeks to get back into the rhythm of managing kids, work, home and hobbies.

Caramel Portuguese Custard Tart

As I posted last time, I’ve become a fan of making friands. This is all very good except for the unused egg yolk that result from needing about three eggs’ worth of whites every time I want a batch of friands. I managed to use one lot of yolk for a creme brulee the other night but there’s only so much of that creamy wickedness that you can consume. I then remembered a tried and tested Portuguese custard tart recipe from a Thermomix cook book. I decided to take a walk on the wild side and tinker with the recipe a little.

Caramel Portuguese Custard Tart

I bought a jar of Hershey’s caramel sauce a few weeks ago from David Jones and after a few nights of using it as ice cream topping, I soon realised that I had bought yet another food item that was destined to sit in the far recesses of the fridge until my husband would gently remind that it’s time to purge again. I’ll admit to having collected many jars and containers of things I thought would be a great addition to my Kitchen Stadium… Anyone for Jalapeno?

Caramel Portuguese Custard Tart

The caramel would be the perfect thing to use in my custard tarts and with a wee dash of Pedro Ximenez, I would be giving the basic tart a really rich taste. I knew I was on to a good thing when the ingredients bubbled away in my Thermomix. The smell was intoxicating!

I sadly didn’t have time to make pastry cases for the tarts but having read Nigella Bites recently (a Mother’s Day) gift, I am less inclined to feel guilty about using whatever I have on hand to complete a dish. If the Domestic Goddess was happy to use shortcuts, then that’s good enough for me too. Afterall, I had two sheets of puff pastry begging to be enveloped by the caramel mixture.

Caramel Portuguese Custard Tart

The result? Exactly what I wanted; a Portuguese custard tart plus alpha :) I added a layer of caramel and walnuts at the bottom of the tart which made the whole thing a wonderfully gooey, caramel delight. The PX also gave the tart a hint of spice and raisin. As for the base, who doesn’t like puff pastry?

Caramel Portuguese Custard Tart

125g milk
125g cream
85g caramel sauce (either Hershey, or the tinned caramel or you can make your own)
25g flour
3 egg yolks
1 tbsp Pedro Ximenez sherry (fortified, if desired)
2 sheets of puffed pastry

To make: Preheat oven to 200C. This is a Thermomix recipe but the custard portion of the recipe can be made on stovetop. Insert Butterfly and place milk, cream, caramel, flour, egg yolk and Pedro Ximenez in TMX bowl. Mix on Speed 4 for 10 seconds. Cook for 12 minutes on 90C and Speed 2. While custard is cooking, prepare some small/medium sized tart or spring form cake pans with puffed pastry. You can also make mini tarts using a mini muffin pan. If desired, scatter some chopped walnuts on the bottom and pour over with caramel sauce. Pour in custard, leaving a little bit of space at the top as filling will rise up a little. Bake in oven for up to 15 minutes for mini tarts or 25-30 minutes for larger tarts. If top of tarts has browned, they should be ready :) Serve once cooked down. Tarts are still quite nice when cold but definitely best when fresh from oven :)

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