If you’ve ever tried authentic, traditional Portuguese custard tarts you know they are heavenly and in the league of their own. Making them at home is no more difficult than making croissants or custard based ice cream. If you’ve ever made those, this recipe should be a piece of cake for you.
The eternal problem is making them crispy and beautifully browned in the home kitchen oven. Almost every recipe I’ve tried warns you upfront that your tarts may not (read will not) brown as much as on the pictures they attach. Hm… There’s got to be a way. After many trials I can say yes, you can get them to brown and look like real authentic Portuguese custard tarts.
The solution, as was the case with making French caneles that I described in my Perfecting Canele Recipe and Technique post, was high heat plus a quick modification to the oven (no worries, you don’t need to take your cooker apart).
This recipe for the Portuguese custard tarts comes from David Leite’s of Leite’s Culinaria who sourced it from Antiga Confeitaria de Belém in Lisbon, Portugal. While there are many other good recipes for Portuguese custard tarts out there, I chose this one based on predominantly positive feedback.
As usual, I made a few adjustments to suite my taste. I made powdered sugar and cinnamon optional as I think the pastry is sweet enough on its own. Not using cinnamon is a personal choice. Add it back if you like it. I also chose to use a regular size muffin pan (cups about 2.5″ by 1.5″) instead of a mini muffin pan. This makes it a bit easier to finish the recipe as you only have to make two batches instead of three. Larger size custard tarts also require longer baking time which helps with browning. Continue Reading…