Portuguese custard tarts




20 min


50 min


  • 4 egg yolks
  • 115 grams caster sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornflour
  • 400 millilitres milk
  • 2 vanilla pods, deseeded
  • 2 sheets puff pastry
  • Pinch of flour, for dusting

Tried and true

I first made these custard tarts after my husband returned from a business trip to Lisbon and raved about the amazing pastries he had. The concept is quite simple – custard inside a pastry case – and I found this recipe to be so straightforward that I’ve made it again and again with the same excellent result every time. The tarts always look so tempting and are delicious with a crisp, burnt sugary top.


Step 1

Preheat oven to 200°C and lightly grease a 12 hole muffin tin (if like me you don’t have a 12 hole muffin tin, use a 6 hole muffin tin and do two batches).

Step 2

Whisk egg yolks, sugar, and cornflour together in a saucepan until fully combined. Gradually whisk in milk until the mixture is smooth. Whisk in the vanilla seeds.

Egg yolks Sugar

Step 3

Cook over a medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and comes to the boil. This will take a little while so be patient, and remember to keep stirring. Once the custard has boiled, immediately remove from the heat and transfer into a bowl. Cover the custard surface in cling film and leave it to cool.

Step 4

Cut the pastry sheets in half, and place one half on top of the other so you have 2 rectangles. Leave the pastry to rest like this for about 5 minutes.

Step 5

Roll up each pastry rectangle from the short end so it forms a log, and slice each log into 6 pieces (about 2cm wide per piece).

Rolled pastryRolling pin pastry

Step 6

Lightly flour a work surface and take each of the pastry discs, rolling out into a thin circle about 10cm in diameter.

Step 7

Line the muffin tins with the pastry circles, trimming the edges off with a sharp knife so the pastry sits neatly around the top. Don’t worry if the edges are a bit rough, this will help the pastry to crisp up nicely in the oven. Fill the pastry about a third with the cooled custard – it will rise up while in the oven but will reduce back down again when cool, so make sure not to overfill.

Step 8

Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until golden. Cool the tarts in the tin for about 5 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack.

Portguese tart single


  • If you don’t have a rolling pin, a bottle of wine works just as well.
  • Use the leftover pastry trimmings to make these 3 ingredient Nutella croissants or if you have leftover custard, these easy Danish pastries.
  • If you’re feeling adventurous you can sprinkle the tops with demerara sugar and crisp up under a hot grill or using a blow torch.
  • These are best eaten on the day they’re made – storing in the fridge overnight will make the pastry soggy, but if needs must, crisp them up again in the oven.

Recipe adapted from www.bestrecipes.com.au

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