Custard Egg Tarts

Friday, 5 September 2014

My 4-and-a-half year old is starting primary school this week. No matter how much I have prepared myself, I still feel like I'm not ready.

In a few days he will be a big boy. Dressed up in his brand new uniform, feeling excited and nervous. And I’ll spend the whole day thinking about what he’s doing, what he’s thinking, if he’s ok, if he’s eating his lunch, if he misses me and his dad and his brother.

He’s dreaming about being an inventor, a pilot, a scientific. Just 4 years old and he’s interested in electricity, DNA codes, machinery. He’s a clever, patient, intelligent, generous boy.

The hardest part of him starting school is to realise that I must give up to the less-than-perfect world that awaits him. And that is what really concern us.

I’m pretty conscious that the world has been and always will be imperfect. I’m not this kind of mum that tries to wrap their children up in cotton wool. Parenting is an on the job learning curve. But while he is with us, we can learn together, fail together, say sorry together and grow together. And now we’re releasing him, knowing from experience that school, like parenting, will be rewarding and frustrating, and that I cannot change that. And he will have sad days, and happy days, and days his best friend won’t play with him and nobody will realise, and days when it will be tough to cope with something and he just won’t want to go. And he will grow, and will become more and more independent and life will get more and more difficult.

The only thing we can do is just what we have been doing since he was born: being with him all the way, showing every day that no matter what his thoughts are, what he does or may become, we will always be there for him. With him. 

This week’s recipe is a first-day-of-school lunchbox treat. Just because it’s nice to know that, when the bell rings, mummy will be there to give you a big cuddle.


For the pastry

170gr Plain Flour
40gr Ground Almonds
120gr Butter
50gr Caster Sugar
1 Free-range Egg

For the Custard Filling

700ml Milk 
7 Free-range Egg Yolks
90gr Sugar
Ground Nutmeg


We’ll start making the pastry. 

Stir the flour and ground almonds together in a large bowl or working surface. Then, add the butter and mix with your hands until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the sugar and mix again.

Add the egg and work it into the mixture with your finger, bringing it together to form a soft dough.

Shape the dough into a ball, cover with cling film and leave to chill in the fridge for around 30 mins. 

In the meantime, we’ll start preparing the custard filling.

Warm the milk in a deep saucepan. In a separate bowl, mix the egg yolks and sugar together until pale and creamy. Pour the milk onto the egg yolk mixture and stir well, creating little bubbles. Save.

Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured work surface. Tip: the pastry should be 0.5cm thick. We’ll make the tarts cases with the help of a muffin tray mould. Our tray has 12 holes, so we’ll cut 12 discs and will line the moulds with the pastry circles. The pastry should overlap the top of the moulds a bit.

Pre-heat the oven to  200C. 

Fill each of the tart cases with the custard mixture and sprinkle a pinch of nutmeg into the middle of each tart.

Bake the tarts for around 25 minutes and enjoy warm or cold.

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