Custard tart – you snooze, you lose

Reading on the sofa Yorkshire custard tart

Hm, perhaps it wasn’t such a wise idea to go and make that cup of tea after all, Trota… 

Custard tart – you snooze, you lose

Yorkshire custard tart

Well, you know how engrossed in their northern reading the Rowes have become. Indeed, apropos the recent curd/custard debate, today we turn for inspiration to page 35 of The Great Northern Cookbook. Other than putting a little less sugar in the pastry, we have followed Sean Wilson’s recipe:

For the pastry: 250g plain flour, 40g icing sugar, 125g unsalted cold butter, pinch of salt, 1 egg yolk, 1 tsp lemon juice, 3 tbsp ice cold water.

For the filling: 3 medium eggs, 40g caster sugar, 1 tsp cornflour, 300ml full-fat milk, a vanilla pod, freshly grated nutmeg.

To make sweet shortcrust pastry chez Rowe, we favour the food processor: mix the flour, sugar and salt, then add the butter and whizz to the consistency of breadcrumbs. Next the egg yolk and lemon juice and pulse again. Gradually add the ice cold water (you may not need it all) and keep pulsing until your pastry comes together, but don’t overwork it.

Roll out the pastry and use to line a 20cm Ø tart tin. Wrap in cling film and leave to chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the custard for the filling: in a saucepan, put the milk, scraped vanilla seeds and pod. Bring to the boil, remove from the heat and allow to infuse. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar and cornflour. Remove the vanilla pod and slowly pour the milk on the egg mixture while whisking.

In a pre-heated oven at 170°C, blind bake the pastry shell for about 25 minutes. Remove the baking beans and give it another 10 minutes if the inside of the shell is still pale. Cool.

To fill the pastry shell: gently pour the custard mixture and sprinkle with a generous grating of nutmeg. Return to the oven and bake for 30 minutes or so until just about set – but do check because, as Sean says, “…without the wobble a custard tart is, quite simply, substandard”.

Remove from the oven, cool, and prepare to serve at room temperature.

Now, Fidget, let’s see how many nanoseconds it takes for you to free up that seat…or else it’s no dessert for you, matey!