Tarte Au Flan (vanilla custard tarts)

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I am in love with custard and puff pastry. And so it happens I am in a serious relationship with danishes. However my recent unemployment makes the $4 (minumum, I have paid up for $6) almost unjustifiable. Like always, I decided I would try to make my own. 

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Inspired by: Croissant d’Or, Potts Point. Sydney.

In browsing my cookbook library I discovered there are so many variations; cream, milk, marscapone. I decided on a classic french vanilla custard that used milk. I chose right… this custard is delicious (but not so nutritious). 

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My first batch I made mini-custard tarts, the thought of a single 12″ of custard was too daunting. When in the miniature form I can grab-and-go, share with my sisters and enforce  some sore of moderation. The downside… there was excess custard mixture. I say this in a sarcastic tone because as I said… I love pastry and I love custard. 

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After defrosting puff-pastry from the freezer, allowing a quick short-bake then filling it up with custard and organic berries I made my very own french vanilla custard pastries. 

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Inspired by: Taste Baguette, university of sydney.

I have provided both the homemade pastry and the frozen pastry options below.

Overall, these tarts are phenomenal and cost me close to nothing. I am so glad to uncover how easy danishes/tarts are to make. These will definitely be something I bring to my next picnic or luncheon.

Next on the list… learn how to make my own pastry. 

Tarte au Flan
the pastry
1 1/4 cups Flour
1/8 teaspoon Salt
1/2 cup Unsalted Butter, cold and cut into pieces
2-3 tablespoon Ice Water
 
the Flan
300 ml Milk
3 Eggs
1/2 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Flour
2 teaspoons Vanilla
Icing Sugar for dusting
sprinkling of nutmeg
Organic berries (optional)
 
the pastry:
In a food processor, pulse together the flour and the salt.
Add the butter and churn until the mixture resembles crumbs
Add the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough comes together as a ball.
Press the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
 
the custard
Warm the milk (microwave or stovetop)
In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar
Whisk in the flour
Then add the warm milk and vanilla.
 
creating the tart
Preheat the oven to 180C
Remove dough from the fridge and roll until ~ 3mm thick
Place in 10″ tart pan or using a martini glass create circles that fit into greased muffin cups. 
Prick each base with a fork
Return to fridge for another 30 minutes
Line each tart with a paddy pans or grease-proof paper. Cover with pie weights (I used dry lentils) and bake for 10-15 minutes or until just golden. 
Remove the weights and paper. 
Fill each tart with custard, do not over fill
Sprinkle each with a dash of nutmeg and icing sugar
bake in oven at 180C for 10 minutes, (add optional berries now ) and reduce heat to 165 and bake for another 15 minutes.** 
Remove the tarts when they are still jelly in the middle – they’ll solidify upon resting
 
Serve cold (although I was impatient and ate some warm and they were still yum) 
 
(** The ten inch tart will need15 minutes at 180C and 30-45 minutes at 165C)
 
The cheating frozen puff pastry alternative:
Preheat oven to 180C
Remove puff pastry from oven and allow for it to defrost. 
Cut into desired pastry sizes, mine are usually the size of the palm of my hand.
Prick each pastry sheet
Bake in oven for 8 minutes until slightly golden
Remove and add custard and berries
Bake for 10 minutes or until custard is still slightly jelly like in the centre.
Allow to cool and serve…
 
 
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