Sunday, 5 April 2015

Easter Egg Custard Tart

If you are lying on the sofa near-comatose after an Easter Sunday dinner, the remains of an Easter egg smeared around your mouth, this is not the blog for you.

Put the phone or tablet down, step away from the computer and go slump in front of Poldark (other television programs are available).

I do not specialise in light desserts and I saw no reason to make an exception for Easter. So here it is:

Egg custard tart, spiced with nutmeg and decorated with a chocolate nest filled with chocolate eggs.

I had planned to use mini eggs but had to buy some different chocolate eggs as the shops had run out. You could use any kind of chocolate eggs - foil wrapped or otherwise.

This is adapted from several different recipes and the tart is filled with a baked custard, but should be chilled before serving. Will serve at least 8 and should serve more, unless you are all very hungry.

You will need:

For the pastry:
165g plain flour
25g ground almonds
120g chilled unsalted butter, in cubes
55g caster sugar
1 egg
30cm tart tin (recipe also makes 2x20cm pastry cases)

For the egg custard:
3 egg yolks
250g whole milk
1 tbsp cornflour
half a freshly grated nutmeg

For decoration:
100g plain chocolate
1 handful small chocolate eggs
an upturned dessert bowl, with the base wrapped in cling film
piping bag (optional)

1. Mix together the ground almonds and flour, then add the cubed butter.

2. Rub the butter into the dry ingredients with your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs.

3. Mix the caster sugar into the mixture.

4. Mix the egg in with your hand to form a soft dough, then knead into a ball, wrap with cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes. After chilling, roll out the dough and use to line the tart tin.

5. Trim away any excess pastry with a sharp knife and use a piece of spare dough to press the pastry into every corner. Return to the fridge and preheat the oven to 200C.

6. Make the custard by whisking together the egg yolks, caster sugar and cornflour.

7. Bring the whole milk to the boil in a small saucepan, then pour into the custard mixture, whisking all the time to stop the egg yolks from scrambling. Return to the saucepan and whisk over a low heat until the mixture thickens and the whisk leaves traces in it. Pour into the pastry case and sprinkle over the nutmeg.

8. Bake the tart for 30-45 minutes until the custard has domed slightly but still wobbles a little in the middle. If you are worried the pastry is browning too much, cover it in foil and lower the temperature to 180C.

9. While the tart is baking, break the chocolate up and set it in a bowl over a pan of barely simmering water until it melts, stirring occasionally. When the chocolate has melted spoon it into a piping bag, or use a teaspoon, and pipe it in tight spirals onto the base of the cling film wrapped bowl. Then pipe or drizzle lines outwards like the spokes of a bicycle. Put the bowl into the fridge for the chocolate to set.

10. Once the custard tart has baked and been chilled, invert the cling film wrapped bowl and carefully remove the chocolate nest, then peel away the cling film. Place on top of the tart, fill with chocolate eggs and serve immediately.

And if that has turned your stomach after a day of chocolate punctuated only by a roast dinner and short walk, then I'm sorry, but you were warned.

Happy Easter, hope you had an eggcellent day and that this cracking blog post only makes it egg-stra special.



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