John Torode's family-sized classic custard tart is guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser. Crisp pastry and creamy, nutmeg-speckled custard is a match made in heaven.
- Serves: 8 persons
- 284ml double cream
- 3large plus one yolk eggs
- 40g caster sugar
- a couple of drops vanilla extract
- whole nutmeg
- 125g plain flour
- 40g caster sugar
- 25g ground almonds
- 100g unsalted butter, chilled and diced into small cubes
- 1egg yolks
- zest of ¼ lemon
Step 1To make the pastry, whizz the flour, sugar and almonds briefly in a food processor, add the butter and pulse until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg, lemon zest, rum and a pinch of salt, and whizz again briefly until the pastry makes a ball. Wrap and chill for at least 1 hour (2 if possible).
Step 2This much butter makes the pastry a little tricky to roll out so do it between two sheets of baking parchment. Roll out to about 5cm larger than a 22cm loose-based tart tin. Peel off the top sheet of parchment, then pick up the pastry with the bottom sheet. Lay the pastry over the tin, paper side up, and peel off the paper as you lift and ease the pastry into the tin. Trim then push the pastry up a little above the level of the tin in case it shrinks during cooking. Chill for 15 minutes.
Step 3Heat the oven to 190c/fan 170c/gas 5. Line the pastry case with a sheet of foil or baking parchment and fill with baking beans. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the foil and beans and bake for a further 10 minutes until pale golden. Turn down the oven to 160c/fan 140c/gas 3.
Step 4To make the filling, bring the cream to just below boiling point. Whisk together the eggs and sugar with a drop of vanilla extract. Pour on the hot cream, whisking all the time. Put the tart case on a baking sheet and pour in the filling. Grate over a layer of nutmeg. Bake for 20-30 minutes until the custard is setting but still has a slight wobble. Cool completely.