Portuguese Custard Tarts
I don't know anyone on the planet who doesn't like custard. Then pop the vanillery, silky, deliciousness in a cinnamony tart form and holy heck - they are one of the most delicious things on the planet. I remember making these growing up from a Jamie Oliver recipe (authenticity questionable) and remembering they were just other-worldly delicious.
I've been trying to master the art of vegan custard for a while now. Turns out I was just definitely off on a bum-steer in the beginning trying to chuck some silken tofu in on the mix. Fellow honeybunches came to my aid and told be to get my but into gear with the cornflour method and you were right in a big way. After some experimentation, this recipe is a major winner honeybunches. I might just open a cafe solely to sell these - they're that good!
- 2 tbsp cornflour
- 1/2 cup icing sugar
- 1 cup unsweetened plant milk (I found rice milk, oat milk or soy to be my favourite)
- the hard cream from 1 x 400g tin of coconut milk (I used the macro brand from woolworths if you live in Australia)
- 1 tsp vanilla (paste, extract etc.)
- pinch of black salt (Kala namak - a salt that has an eggy as heck smell/flavour to it. Online is the easiest way to source it)
- pinch of turmeric
- 2-3 sheets puff pastry (most are vegan, but check)
- coconut sugar
- Take out your pastry from the freezer to thaw.
- Make your custard by sifting the cornflour and icing sugar into a small saucepan. Add a little of the plant milk, then whisk until smooth, then add the rest and whisk until combined. This way you don't end up with lumps of cornflour in the stuff. Yay.
- Put your saucepan over the heat, whisking continuously on a medium heat until the stuff thickens. It will take five minutes or so.
- Take off the heat, add your coconut cream (from your can of coconut milk - which FYI, if you open the can and the creamy stuff isn't set, you can still use it. Just scoop out the cream and leave the water below it. If you get some of the water into your custard it doesn't matter one bit) whisking until combined and smooth. Add the black salt, turmeric and vanilla, whisking once more ensuring the yellow from the turmeric is evenly dispersed throughout the custard. Set aside to chill in your fridge or freezer (if your impatient) while you make your pastry shells.
- Preheat your oven to 180C.
- Take a sheet of your pastry, sprinkle it with cinnamon, then roll it up tightly into a log and cut into four little caterpillars (or just smaller logs). Watch my video below if you're confused at all about this process.
- Now take a log, stand it up on it's end then use your wrist to smoosh it down into a little disk. Use a rolling pin (or something similar), roll the circle a little thinner. Repeat with all the little logs of cinnamon puff pastry, making more from your other sheets of puff until you've got 12 disks of pastry.
- Grease a 12-hole muffin tin with vegan butter and then line each hole with your pastry disks. Smooth it up the sides and then if your custard is still quite warm at this stage, leave your pastry to chill in the fridge until the custard has cooled.
- When the custard is at least 70% chilled, take it and your muffin tin out of the fridge/freezer. Divide the custard amongst the tartlets, only filling them 3/4 full at the most. Sprinkle each tart with a little coconut sugar for that burnt sugar effect.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until the pastry is cooked & lightly golden. You don't want to overcook these as the custard will bubble over the sides.
- Leave to cool for at least 15 minutes before digging in. Best served fresh or at least the day of making them.