I made the first batch in regular size muffin tins and the second in a mini-tin. (This recipe will make one or the other.) The minis were two-biters, which I brought to the gathering. The larger ones stayed behind and made for nice desserts at home and, because they are so good, breakfast with an English cuppa as I wrote this. They are similar to the Chinese egg tarts I love to buy in the Oakland Chinatown bakeries, with the difference being the addition of cinnamon and a less structured, more flakey shell.
If you have leftover custard after filling the pastry shells, it can be eaten warm as-is or refrigerated and enjoyed later. It is similar to a rich pudding and delish!
Notes: Use pastry flour and sugar if possible. Both should be finely ground or the custard will be grainy. If you have regular white cane sugar you can put it in a food processor for about 30 seconds to grind fine. If you only have multi-purpose flour, run it through a fine sieve to remove lumps.
- 2 puff pastry rolls (they generally come 2 to a package in the frozen food aisle)
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 whole egg
- 2 tablespoons pastry or baking flour
- 1/2 cup fine sugar
- 1 3/4 cups whole milk, warmed to room temperature
- 1 whole cinnamon stick
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon for dusting (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Remove the pastry rolls from the freezer and allow to thaw before carefully rolling out.
- Whisk egg yolks, egg, flour and sugar together in a medium saucepan.
- Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture forms a thick paste and begins to lightly brown; about 2 minutes.
- Very slowly, pour in the milk, whisking constantly.
- Once fully combined, add the cinnamon stick.
- Simmer on low until the mixture thickens to the consistency of pudding, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
- While custard is cooling, grease a muffin tin. You can either do one dozen regular muffin sized tarts or two dozen minis with this recipe.
- Cut rounds to fit the bottom and halfway up the sides of the muffin tins. Press into the muffin molds.
- Spoon cooled custard into the pastry, filling to the dough line (about 1 large tablespoon for the minis; 2 for the full sized ones).
- Bake 30-35 minutes, or until the tops of the custard start to brown.
- Remove from oven, dust with cinnamon (optional) and allow to cool. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before serving. They should be served cold.
- Note: The tarts will puff up in the oven and then fall when cooling. This is how they are made and not a mistake on your part!
Makes 12 regular size or 24 mini size.