Recipe: Portuguese Custard Tarts

by April@MyFoodTrail on May 12, 2009

in Recipes, Tarts

Mother’s Day lunch was at our place this year and I wanted to try something new for dessert. I have only tasted Portuguese custard tarts a few times before, preferring the Chinese yum cha egg tarts but I thought I would give it a go.

The original recipe comes from Bill Granger, but Lorraine from Not Quite Nigella posted photos, which helps when you are trying to make it for the first time! You can find her version here.


Portuguese Custard Tarts (adapted)
Makes 12

2 egg yolks and 1 whole egg
115g caster sugar
2 tbsp cornflour
230ml cream
170ml milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1.5 sheets of ready made puff pastry


  1. Lightly grease a 12 hole muffin tray.
  2. Put the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour in a pan and whisk together. Gradually whisk in the cream and milk until smooth.

  3. Place the pan over medium heat and cook, stirring, until the mixture thickens and comes to the boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.

  4. Transfer the custard to a bowl, cover the surface with cling film to prevent a skin forming and leave to cool.

  5. Preheat the oven to 200C.
  6. Cut the full pastry dough sheet in half and put the three halves on top of each other. Roll up the pastry tightly from the shorter end and cut the pastry log into 12 equal portions.

  7. Lay each pastry round on a lightly floured surface and using a rolling pin, roll out the pastry to a size that fits into your muffin tin. Press the pastry rounds into the muffin tin.

  8. If like mine, your pastry cases end up with ugly looking overflow, just use a pair of kitchen scissors or a knife to cut off the excess. Spoon the cooled custard into the pastry cases. My custard was still warm but that was okay.

  9. Bake for 25 minutes or until the tops are brown enough for your liking. Leave the tarts in the tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. I find they are best eaten warm.


  • Lorraine didn’t use any cream, just milk, so you can vary the amount of cream to milk so long as the dairy total is 400ml.
  • The original recipe listed 3 egg yolks but 2 egg yolks and 1 whole egg works well.
  • The original recipe used 2 tsp of vanilla extract, but I found it gave the custard a fake vanilla taste which I didn’t fancy (perhaps I should use proper vanilla paste!).
  • I used Pampas reduced fat puff pastry and it didn’t seem to make much difference.
  • The original recipe used one sheet of puff pastry, but I found it was way too thin for my muffin tray so I used 1.5 sheets.
  • There didn’t seem to be enough custard to fill 12 pastry cases, but while baking, the custard rose to the top & after cooking, sunk back down again leaving a crater in the middle. My family commented it was just the right amount of filling.
  • Total cost of ingredients: approx $6

Between 5 of us, these were all finished up while they were still in the muffin tin so it is a testament to how delicious they are! I will definitely be making these again.

EDIT 09/06/09: I made these again over the weekend and had some left overs which I put in the fridge. The pastry becomes soggy so I would advise that these are eaten on the same day they are made, and preferably warm.

Over & Out, Rilsta xx

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella May 12, 2009 at 1:50 pm

They look fantastic! Well done! 😀 My dad who never eats sweets loves there hehe


Rilsta May 14, 2009 at 8:57 am

Thanks Lorraine and thanks for sharing the recipe with photos!


CC11 May 14, 2009 at 5:25 pm

I’ve seen these around but never wanted to try them – however, ater seeing your gorgeous tarts they actually had me salivating. They look gorgeous and what a tasty picture 🙂


Maria@TheGourmetChallenge May 15, 2009 at 1:42 pm

you know, I have never made Portuguese tarts before, but yet they are so yummy!


Rilsta May 17, 2009 at 9:27 pm

Hi Chanel11: Thanks for stopping by my blog! You should give them a go, they really are delish!

Hi Maria: If you like them, you should try making them – nothing beats a steaming homemade tart!


Brooke May 24, 2010 at 2:48 pm

I just tried this recipe too, I agree with the vanilla essence -it makes the tarts taste a little funny!

great job Rilsta 🙂


April @ My Food Trail May 28, 2010 at 9:59 am

Hi Brooke: Good to know someone agrees with me! I think using a good quality vanilla paste or extract might make a lot of difference.


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