British Egg Custard Tart

British Egg Custard Tart
“This is right up your alley” was all her email said. She included this link. She was right – and I haven’t stopped dreaming of it since.

I’m sidelined by the enormity of it. It’s not easy to buy a business in the UK when you’re not a citizen. Yet, a similar cottage in New England doesn’t hold any appeal. And what would I do with my two “boys?” Sending them across the ocean followed by quarantine is more than their little pampered hearts could take, I’m afraid. What to do with my typical American superfluous “stuff” that couldn’t make the trip? Finally, there’s the brisk and rainy Yorkshire weather – a 66⁰ F. June summer HIGH. Brrrrr!!

And yet, I can’t shake it from my mind.

I’d have to learn to make a proper cuppa – and traditional High Street pastries like this one:


British Egg Custard Tart

Eggnog fans rejoice – all that creamy nutmeg-gy flavor wrapped in a pastry crust. This recipe uses a forgiving pâté sucrée dough rather than brisee which requires cutting in the butter.

Ingredients

  • 3 ¾ oz. butter, softened
  • 1 ½ oz. sugar
  • 1 ½ oz. egg, beaten
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 6 oz. All-purpose flour
  • 6 oz. heavy whipping cream
  • 6 oz. whole milk
  • 4 egg yolks, beaten
  • 3 ¼ oz. sugar
  • Freshly ground nutmeg

Directions

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until pale. Add egg, a little at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift together salt and flour and stir into sugar mixture. Flatten dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate about 30 minutes.
  2. Roll the dough on a well-floured surface into a large enough circle to cover the bottom and sides of a 9” tart pan. Ease the dough into the pan, nudging the dough into the sides of the pan. Trim excess dough and return to the refrigerator for about 30 more minutes.
  3. For the filling, warm the heavy whipping cream and milk in a saucepan. In a bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugar together until pale and creamy. Slowly pour the warm milk into the egg mixture stirring constantly to avoid scrambling the eggs. Stir well until all sugar has melted. Transfer to a liquid measuring cup for easy pouring.
  4. Preheat oven to 350⁰ F. Blind bake the pastry for about 30 minutes. Remove the parchment or foil and pie weights and bake for another 10 minutes until bottom of pastry is light brown.
  5. Fill the pastry with custard mixture. The mixture is very runny so I recommend filling as close as possible to the oven to avoid splashes. Grate fresh nutmeg over the top and bake for 30-40 minutes until the edges look set but the center still wobbles. Cool on a wire rack. Enjoy slightly warm or at room temperature. Refrigerate any leftovers.

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Cranberry-Dried Cherry Tart

Cranberry Dried Cherry Tart

If I can’t find a new situation, how do I find contentment in my current state?

I have been begging anyone who will listen to help me escape from my daily slog. So far, my pleas appear to have fallen on deaf ears. Now I’ve begun to wonder, if it’s not time for my situation to change, how do I find contentment with what I have?”   Not, “what can I do/change/buy to find contentment,” but “how can I find contentment where I am right now with what I have?” If I never break free, I don’t want to live this life unhappily.   I can’t look for solutions externally; I can’t change who I am. So, how do I find happiness with what is here, now?

My temporary placation, as I ponder my predicament, comes in the form of a sugar pacifier. Thanksgiving just isn’t complete without cranberry sauce, but my favorite recipe makes 4 ½ cups and I’m always left with a large Tupperware container of the stuff after the main event. This year, I decided to make a tart with the leftovers and, full of chagrin, devoured the whole thing in two days.

Cranberry-Dried Cherry Tart
Inspired by Bon Appetit’s Cranberry Sauce and Amanda Hesser’s Peach Tart
Makes one 9”-10” tart

Cranberry Sauce & Filling
2 ½ c. Cherry cider
1 8 oz. pkg. dried tart cherries
1 c. Sugar
1 12 oz. pkg. cranberries
¼ t. (generous) Ground cloves
Tart Crust and Topping
1 ½ c. plus 2 Tablespoons All-purpose flour
½ plus ¼ teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon White sugar
¼ c. Canola oil
¼ c. Mild olive oil
2 Tablespoons Whole or 2% milk
½ teaspoon Vanilla extract
½ c. Demerara sugar
2 Tablespoons Cold, unsalted butter

Make the Filling Bring cider to simmer in a large saucepan. Remove from heat and add dried cherries. Let stand for 8-10 minutes. Mix in sugar, cranberries and cloves. Cook over medium high heat until cranberries burst, stirring occasionally, about 9-10 minutes. Refrigerated until cold, at least 4 hours. Sauce will thicken as it cools. Make the Tart Heat the oven to 425. In a bowl, stir together 1 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon sugar. In a small bowl, whisk together the oils, milk and vanilla extract. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix gently with a fork, just until dampen. Do not overmix. Transfer the dough to a 9 or 10-inch tart pan and pat out the dough so it evenly covers the bottom and sides of the pan to the rim. In a separate bowl, combine 1/2 cup demerara sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt and the butter. Using your fingers, pinch the butter into the dry ingredients until crumbly like wet sand and small pebbles. Fill the tart shell with the cranberry mixture (you may have extra). Sprinkle all of the streusel mixture over top. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until the tart is bubbly and the crust is slightly brown. Cool on a rack. Serve warm or room temperature.

Cranberry & Dried Cherry Tart