When I made my first pastry tart and first batch of homemade custard, I knew that I would soon be experimenting with new tart combinations. I baked this for my French group and it was very well recieved. It's relatively quick and very straightforward. The best thing about it is it looks very impressive...and it tastes even better! The almond meal is optional in the pastry, if you don't want it then just omit it.
Ingredients for Pastry
1 cup plain flour
1/4 almond meal (optional)
90g chilled butter, cubed
2 tablespoons icing sugar
2 tablespoons chilled water (or more if needed)
Ingredients for Custard Filling
3 egg yolks
2 tablespoons caster sugar
2 tablespoons cornflour
1 cups milk (skim or full fat milk)
1 - 1 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees (fan-forced). Grease 1 tart tin. Make the pastry by sifting the flour into a bowl. With a wooden spoon mix the butter cubes through the flour until the butter is covered. Transfer to a food processor and slowly, and carefully, process the mixture until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Alternatively, this step can be done with fingers. Then, mix in the icing sugar and almond meal. Make a well in the centre and add the water. Take a spatula and use a cutting action until the mixture comes together. Add a drop more water if necessary, but ensure its chilled. Roll out the pastry between two sheets of cling film. Line the tin with the pastry, and trim away the excess around the edges. Refridgerate pastry lined tin for 20 minutes. After this, line the tins with baking paper and spread baking beads or uncooked rice evenly over the paper. Bake for 15 minutes, remove the paper and beads/rice and bake for another 15 minutes, or until golden. To make custard, put egg yolks, sugar and cornflour in a bowl and whisk until pale. Heat the milk in a small sauce pan until almost boiling. Remove from heat and gradually add to egg mixture, beating constantly. Strain back into the pan. Stir constantly over low heat until thickens. Remove from heat and add vanilla, stir through. Set aside to cool, with or without plastic cover on top. When custard is cool, spoon and smooth into pastry dish using an icing spatula and sprinkle with flaked almonds. Chill in fridge before serving.