Day 180 – Custard Tart

Today I started week 3 of my Puff the Bakery pastry course, making the deceptively simple custard tart.

After making last week’s frangipane tart I had kept half of the pastry to one side to make the custard tart, and thinking back to my melting butter problems, I waited until the weather had cooled slightly to begin baking.

So although I saved some time on making the pastry, I couldn’t whack everything in the oven together as I had done with my previous pastry attempts – the custard would go everywhere! – today I had to blind bake it and cook it before I added the custard. I had it in my head that blind baking was really difficult to manage, but actually, it could not have been easier. Thanks to the instructions to keep checking the crust every 5-10 minutes, my pastry came out nice and golden, with no shrinkage and no cracks or gaps, something I was really surprised at!

I let it cool a little whilst I started making the custard, and oh boy, this was stessfull. The custard takes a whopping 260g egg yolks, which is around 13 large eggs. Rather than counting the eggs, I weighed them, and after 13 eggs I was only at 220g! I looked at my egg box and realised I’d mistakenly picked up medium and not my usual large size, and had to use my another two eggs to bring the total up to scratch – 15 eggs!! This custard better be worth it. Of course, I wasn’t using the whole egg, so I now had over 500g of egg whites to think about too. I’m making lemon meringue later in the week but that only takes 90g, what to do with the rest? I’ve portioned them out into 100g tubs in the freezer, and then put the rest in an ice cube tray as we sometimes use them for Pisco Sours or other recipes, but I’ve no idea what to do with the majority of it. If anyone has any ideas, please let me know!

Putting the tart in the oven, with the liquid custard inside was one of the most stressful moments I’ve had in baking. Blimey, that was difficult! I very, very carefully slid it into the oven, and was very pleased that I didn’t even spill a little bit!

I sprinkled some nutmeg on the top too

It came out with the slightest bit of a wobble, which according to my instructions is how you know it’s perfectly done. I really wanted to dive into it, but it was torture waiting the few hours for it to cool completely. Eventually, I was allowed to have a slice, and the wait was totally worth it.

The pastry was absolutely perfect, I’m so impressed that I managed to make that. I’ve never made pastry before this course, so every time it turns out ok I’m over the moon. The custard was lovely and simple, with a nice bit of warmth coming through from the nutmeg. Although it isn’t the most exciting, and it’s not my favourite bake so, it was so satisfying to eat a well made, simple and delicious dessert that I’d made from scratch.

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