Custard Pies

  1. PASTRY:\r\nDust a surface with flour and roll out your pastry to a bit bigger than A4. Brush with the egg yolk and scatter the rest of the ingredients over, being subtle with the nutmeg and cinnamon.
  2. Roll the pastry up tightly like a swiss roll to make a long sausage shape. With a knife, cut across the sausage into 2.5cm pieces. Take 8 pieces aside and freeze the rest of the pastry for a rainy day.
  3. Preheat the oven to 200degrees C. Turn all the pieces of pastry swirl-side up and flatten them slightly. Dust the surface and your pastry with flour, then roll each piece out into a thin circle (around the size of a teacup saucer.)
  4. Grease and flour the outside of 8 glass tumblers (you may want to try use something else???) Then place a circle of pastry on top of each tumbler, pleating, pinching and hugging the pastry around the,. Place the tumblers on a baking tray, pastry at the top, and put in the preheated oven for around 15 minutes until crisp and golden.
  5. Remove from the oven and, while still hot, take a tea towel and pat the slightly raised top of the pastry back down on to the flat bottom of the tumbler - giving you a flat base again.
  6. Allow to cool and carefully remove the pastry cases from around the tumblers. Fill your pastry cases with custard filling.
  7. CUSTARD:\r\nWhip up the eggs, honey, vanilla seeds and orange zest in a bowl. At the same time, in a thick bottomed pan, heat the cream until nearly boiling.
  8. Add the cream immediately to the rest of the ingredients in the bowl, while whipping fast with a whisk for 30 seconds.
  9. Add the mixture back to the pan on a medium heat, stirring continually and using a spatula to get into the edges. This is a very quick and almost aggressive method of cooking a thick egg custard - so keep stirring to keep your custard smooth.
  10. When it gets as thick as thick yoghurt, spoon it into your pastry cases and allow to cool. A skin will begin to form on the top of each pie. To finish them off, make a little caramel...
  11. CARAMEL:\r\nPlace the sugar and water in a pan. Bring to the boil and gently agitate until golden brown. At this point it is hotter than hot - don't even think about tasting it!!
  12. Dribble the mixture randomly over your custard tarts - it will bubble and cool to a crisp caramel.
  • Katt 14 Feb, 2010

    Don't waste the vanilla pods; simply pop them in a jar with some sugar to make a tasty vanilla sugar.

  • Katt 14 Feb, 2010

    With the caramel pan, place the pan in the sink and half fill with water before boiling it up again - then it will be easier to clean.

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