Spiced cus­tard tart

Landscape (UK) - - Sweet Indulgence -

Serves 6

170g gin­ger bis­cuits 120g chilled but­ter, plus ex­tra for greas­ing 100g plain flour, plus ex­tra for dust­ing 60g caster sugar 2 tbsp cold wa­ter 1 whole egg co­coa pow­der, to dust ic­ing sugar, to dust 400ml whole milk 75ml Ir­ish cream 4 egg yolks 2 tbsp corn­flour 1 tbsp grated nut­meg 35 x 11cm fluted rec­tan­gle tart tin In a food pro­ces­sor, blend the bis­cuits un­til bread­crumb size. Melt 70g but­ter in the mi­crowave and mix into the crushed bis­cuits. Grease the fluted tart tin and tip the bis­cuit mix­ture into it, press­ing down with the back of a tea­spoon un­til a flat, firm case of bis­cuit cov­ers the bot­tom and sides of the tin. This could take up to 10 mins. Leave to chill for 2 hrs un­til hard. In the mean­time, pre­heat the oven to 190°C/ gas mark 5 and grease a small flat oven tray. Cut the re­main­ing but­ter into cubes and place in a mix­ing bowl with the flour. Rub the but­ter into the flour us­ing the fin­ger­tips un­til com­bined thor­oughly. Mix in 1 tbsp caster sugar, then add the 2 tbsp cold wa­ter. Stir, then bring to­gether by hand into a dough. Knead the dough for 2 mins un­til smooth. Wrap the dough in cling film and leave to chill for 1 hr. Once chilled, dust a clean sur­face with flour, then roll out the pas­try. Cut out 12 stars of dif­fer­ent sizes and trans­fer to the pre­pared tray. In a small bowl, whisk the whole egg, then brush the stars with it. Bake for 5 mins, then dust three stars with co­coa pow­der and three stars with ic­ing sugar. Turn the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. In a saucepan, com­bine the milk and Ir­ish cream and sim­mer gen­tly for 3 mins. Whisk the egg yolks, re­main­ing caster sugar and corn­flour to­gether with an elec­tric whisk for 1 min. Grad­u­ally whisk in the hot milk un­til fully in­cor­po­rated and smooth, then trans­fer to a saucepan and sim­mer, whisk­ing, for 4 mins un­til thick. Place the tart case on a flat oven tray and pour the milk mix­ture into the case, to the top. Sprin­kle over the nut­meg and bake for 25-30 mins un­til the cus­tard is firm. Al­low to cool, then dec­o­rate with the stars and serve.

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