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Nosh Pit Recipe: Baked Egg Custard Tart

Suggested soundtrack: Led Zeppelin - Custard Pie

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

Butter, for greasing

3 large eggs, 2 large egg yolks

100g caster sugar

300ml double cream

300ml whole milk

½ tsp vanilla extract

½ whole nutmeg

METHOD

Preheat the oven to 150C/130C/gas mark 2. Butter a 1.2 litre ovenproof dish and set in a small roasting tin. Bring a kettle of water to the boil. Mix the whole eggs, egg yolks and caster sugar in a heatproof bowl with a wooden spoon until smooth. Don’t use a whisk because you don’t want to incorporate bubbles into the mixture.

Put the cream and milk together with the vanilla extract in a medium saucepan. Finely grate half the nutmeg over and heat until hot but not boiling, stirring occasionally. Slowly pour onto the eggs, stirring well.  Pour into the prepared dish and grate the remaining nutmeg over the top.

Pour the just-boiled water into the roasting tin, until it rises no more than a centimeter or so up the outside of the dish.  Transfer carefully to the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until only just set. It should be fairly wobbly in the centre, as it will continue to set as it cools.

Remove the tin from the oven; carefully lift the dish from the water and leave to cool thoroughly. Chill the custard for 2-3 hours before serving. Either serve from the dish, or cut into portions and put on dessert plates with some berries. Serve with double cream for pouring if you like


NOW TURN THIS INTO A CUSTARD TART!

Make the custard filling up as before then put into a pastry case to make a delicious rich custard tart.
 

For the pastry

200g plain flour

125g butter, cut into cubes

1 medium free-range egg, beaten

To make the pastry, put the flour and the butter in a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. With the motor running, gradually add the beaten egg and blend until the mixture forms a ball. Do not overblend or the pastry will be tough.

Tip onto a floured board and roll to around 5mm thick, turning the pastry and flouring the surface regularly. Use to a line a 20cm loose-based cake tin - the kind used to make a Victoria sandwich. Trim the edges neatly, prick the base lightly with a fork and chill the pastry for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas 6.

Put the pastry case on a sturdy baking sheet and line with crumpled baking parchment. Fill with baking beans. Bake blind for 15 minutes then carefully take out of the oven and remove the paper and beans. Return to the oven for a further 3-4 minutes until the surface of the pastry is dry. Remove from the oven and reduce the temperature to 170C/Gas 3.

Then pour in the custard, sprinkle with nutmeg as before and bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the custard is set. Leave to cool, slice and serve with a nice cup of tea.

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