Recipes and Cooking

Portuguese Custard Tarts

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After making this recipe, you'll realise you don't need to travel to Portugal to experience delicious custard tarts. Portugal might be famous for the original recipe, but these are certainly up there with the best.

Preparation time 45 mins Serves 18 people



  • 300ml pure cream
  • 300ml milk
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons cornflour (see tip)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 75g (1/3 cup) caster sugar
  • 2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon


  • 2 sheets puff pastry, just thawed



  1. Combine cream and milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat and bring to just a simmer.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk yolks, cornflour, vanilla and sugar together in a large heatproof bowl. Gradually whisk in the hot cream mixture until smooth.
  3. Return mixture to cleaned saucepan and place over low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until custard thickens and thickly coats the back of a spoon.
  4. Transfer to a glass bowl and cover surface with plastic wrap (to prevent a skin from forming). Set aside to cool then refrigerate for up to 3 days.


  1. Preheat oven to 210°C/190°C fan-forced. Lightly spray 18 holes of two 12-hole, 1/3 cup (80ml) capacity muffin tins with oil.
  2. Cut each pastry sheet in half to form 2 long rectangles and place on top of each other to make 2 stacks. Starting from long side, roll up each pastry stack to form a log. Cut each log into 9 slices.
  3. Flatten each pastry disc out in the palm of your hand with your fingers until about 3mm thick. Press the pastry into the prepared muffin moulds and chill for 20 minutes (this helps to prevent pastry shrinkage).
  4. Stir lemon zest and cinnamon into custard. Spoon custard into pastry cases. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until custard is golden and pastry is golden and crisp. Set aside in tin for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Best served warm.


Tip: For a thinner (Anglaise-style) custard, reduce cornflour to 1 tbs.