Last night’s Great British Bake Off was toe-curlingly good. There were bits I had to watch from between my fingers, rather like a horror movie. In the technical challenge, when the bakers were trying to get their custard tarts out of the tins, I could barely breathe. What a shame so many didn’t make it.
The fruit pies weren’t a great success either and as for the filo pastry, well I’ve never seen anything like it. Absolutely fabulous TV.
I’ve never tried to make filo, in fact I have nowhere large enough to roll it out without it getting covered in dog hairs! However, I have made the odd custard tart.
In spring our chickens, geese and ducks start laying with a vengeance, after their winter break. Although we sell our surplus at the gate, we can become inundated with eggs and trying to find something to do with them all is a huge challenge.
The dogs enjoy a boiled egg or two, I only make cakes that take at least 5 and we eat a lot of omelettes.
This year, in despair, I stumbled across a recipe for a custard tart that used a total of 11 eggs – fantastic. That would help to deplete my egg stock somewhat, and it looked pretty simple.
The recipe was from Marcus Wareing and can be found here. I didn’t make any great changes to it apart from adding vanilla to the custard filling.
Rather than go through the grief of trying to get individual tarts out of tins, I prefer to make a large one. If you can’t get it out, you can always slice it in-situ.
This time I thought I would take strips of baking parchment and lay it under the pastry, hanging over the edge of the pie dish, so in theory I could just lift it out (I thought I spotted someone doing a similar thing last night). It didn’t quite work out that way but it was worth a go.
Another hazard is filling the pie casing with the eggy mixture right up to the brim without spilling it all over the place. I guess it’s OK if you can slide your shelves smoothly in and out of your oven but in my case it took two people to accomplish it. But it doesn’t stop there, once it’s filled you have to hold it there with the heat from the oven blasting you whilst you grate the nutmeg over the top!
Whatever the difficulties, it certainly had no impact on the taste of the tart, which was smooth, creamy and absolutely more-ish – the best custard tart I’ve ever tasted and well worth making again but not until the spring. Eggs are not so plentiful right now.