Things I never thought I would master # 153: Portuguese Tarts. I won’t crap on about it, watch it here


Pastry – make the day before

1 cup plain flour

¼ tsp salt

1/3 cup water

100g very soft unsalted butter

Combine flour and salt, add water and mix until a sticky dough forms. Make a ball, flop it out onto a floured surface, turn the mixing bowl upside down and place over the dough. Rest 10 minutes.

On a clean and well floured surface, pull and push the dough carefully into a square, then roll out until it is about 8 inches wide. With the back of a spoon, spread one third of the butter over two thirds of the surface. Fold the unbuttered section halfway over the buttered section and then again.

Turn 45 degrees and repeat this process of rolling out and buttering with half of the remaining butter. Place on a plate and refrigerate 10 mins.

Roll out once again and spread the rest of the butter over the entire surface, leaving an inch at the end furthest from you. Roll buttered section towards the far end, brush the last inch with water and seal into a sausage!

Wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours. Dough needs to be firm to work with


Step 1: Sugar syrup

¾ cup sugar

¼ cup + 1 tbs water

Zest of a lemon

1 cinnamon stick

Place all ingredients in a saucepan and swirl (without stirring) over medium heat until it starts to bubble around the edges and all sugar is dissolved. Take off heat and set aside.

Step 2: Flour mix

1/3 cup plain flour

¼ tsp salt

1 ½ cups milk

6 egg yolks

Place flour, salt and milk in a saucepan and whisk to combine. Cook over medium heat for about 4 minutes until thickened. You’ll see the bottom of the pan as you stir with the whisk and this means it’s ready. Take off heat and set aside to cool for about 10 minutes, then whisk in egg yolks and sugar syrup and strain into a jug.

Let’s make tarts!

Preheat the oven to as high as it will go.

Take the pastry from the fridge and cut into 2cm long logs. In a muffin tin, place logs standing up and with your thumb, push the pastry down in the centre, then push the sides to the edges and up the sides of each muffin mould. Repeat with all pastry, taking care to cover any holes with pastry. This stuff is pretty forgiving!

Pour the custard up to just below the edge of the pastry and bake for about 9 minutes. While cooking, you’ll see the butter boil between the pastry layers like magic. Surfaces of the tarts will have ‘burnt’ spots and custard will be puffed up but will settle when cooling.

Dust with cinnamon and enjoy warm. These can also be frozen and kept on hand for spontaneous treats – just pop them back in the oven for about 10 minutes to reheat to freshly baked perfection!