Egg custard tarts

Egg custard tarts

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(9 ratings)

Prep: 1 hr Cook: 30 mins plus chilling

More effort

Makes 12

These Portuguese-style golden tartlets are perfect to finish off a dinner party or as an afternoon treat with coffee

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per tart

  • kcal300
  • fat20g
  • saturates12g
  • carbs25g
  • sugars11g
  • fibre1g
  • protein4g
  • salt0.1g
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    For the pastry

    • 200g plain flour, plus extra for rolling
    • 1 tbsp golden caster sugar
    • 100g unsalted butter, chilled

    For the filling

    • 4 egg yolks
    • 1 tbsp cornflour
    • 100g golden caster sugar
    • 1 vanilla pod
    • 1 cinnamon stick
    • thick strip of lemon zest
    • 250ml milk



      One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a 'complete' food…

    • 250ml double cream


    1. Tip the flour and sugar into a large mixing bowl. Slowly add around 150ml very cold water, or just enough so that you have a soft dough that picks up all the crumbs from the outside of the bowl, but isn’t too sticky to handle.

    2. Wrap the dough in cling film and chill while you coarsely grate the butter. Roll the dough out onto a floured work surface to a 30 x 40cm rectangle, then sprinkle the surface with half the grated butter to form an even layer. Don’t worry if the butter clumps together, just make sure the pieces are evenly distributed. With the shorter edge facing you, fold the top third of the dough towards you to the centre and the bottom third up over it. Give the dough a quarter turn, then roll out to the same size as before, sprinkle with the rest of the butter and repeat. Wrap the dough tightly in cling film and chill for 30 mins while you make the filling.

    3. Put the egg yolks and cornflour in a large heatproof mixing bowl and whisk in the sugar until pale and thick. Split the vanilla pod in half along the length and scrape out the seeds. Put the seeds in a medium-sized saucepan, along with the empty pod, the cinnamon stick and the lemon zest. Pour the milk and cream over the aromatics, stir and heat very gently until only just simmering. Pour the hot mixture over the egg yolks and whisk well. Pour the custard back into the pan and warm through for 2-3 mins or until thickened slightly to a consistency similar to double cream. Strain the custard through a sieve into a large jug and set aside, covered with cling film.

    4. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Grease a 12-hole muffin tin with butter. Take your pastry out of the fridge and roll it flat to 40 x 20cm. Starting at the longest side, roll it up tightly to make a long roll of pastry. Trim the ends, then cut into 12 pieces, and turn them cut-side up on the work surface, so the spiral is facing upwards. Carefully flatten them out until they are big enough to line the holes in the muffin tin, trying not to skew the spiral shape too much. Press into the tins, then carefully pour in the custard mixture, filling each tart almost to the top.

    5. Bake for 30 mins or until the pastry is cooked through and the custard is just starting to puff up but not balloon.

    6. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool and sink gently back into shape. Serve cold with coffee.

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    Comments, questions and tips

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    2nd May, 2016
    pakistani food are wonderfull in taste and its have fun while cooking.. share some pakistani dishes please..
    2nd May, 2016
    what we love most is the recipes of the site and the quality teachings, keep it up!
    1st Jun, 2015
    I tried this using the unamended pastry recipe but thankfully realised there must have been an error and didn't use all the water and the pastry came out beautifully. The custard is completely beautiful, I would use it as a custard with other dishes as well with it's gorgeous subtle flavour of cinnamon and lemon.
    12th May, 2015
    Just awful! Not sure where I went wrong but my little tarts ended up swimming in fat and the pastry was so crunchy it resembled filo. The filling tasted OK but after spending quite a bit of time (and money) making these, I won't bother again. Mine certainly didn't end up looking like the photo and the taste wasn't anything like the Portuguese tarts that I've eaten in the past.
    30th Apr, 2015
    Really disappointed with this recipe. BBC Good Food website corrected its misprint of 300ml of water for the pastry, but I haven't seen any correction in subsequent issues of the magazine. Having failed at this recipe twice, despite being an experienced cook, I contacted a Portuguese relative; among other things, the recipe misses several vital stages of chilling the dough (overnight is recommended), allowing custard to cool and the butter needs to be smoothed with a wooden spoon not grated. If this recipe was triple tested, I don't know how the testers successfully made the dough using 300ml of water rather than 150ml and missing out several stages of chilling. If you want to make an authentic pasteis de nata..refer to a Portuguese recipe.
    26th Mar, 2015
    Ok, a couple of things: First, those are not egg custard tarts on the picture above. Second, that's not the recipe for egg custard tarts. This recipe is for milk queijadas. Egg custard tarts should be enshrined in the altar of European pastry. Milk queijadas are simply... meh.
    10th Mar, 2016
    No these are definitely Portuguese custard tarts or pastéis de nata as they are called. You may not have noticed but Portugal actually is in Europe. Milk queijadas are a totally different thing altogether
    28th Mar, 2015
    You really tested this recipe? The custard is divine...the pastry is NOT. Are you sure you've published the correct ingredients and method for the pastry 'cos it doesn't work. 300ml water? I barely used 150ml and even then I had to use a lot of flour for dusting. I am an experienced cook and baker but I don't believe this recipe.
    goodfoodteam's picture
    21st Apr, 2015
    Hi adelereynolds, many thanks for bringing this to our attention and apologies for the confusion. There was an error in the text but this has now been changed and the method above is now correct. All our recipes are triple tested but occasionally mistakes do happen. Many thanks for getting in touch, hope you'd be tempted to try this recipe again. 
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