Easy Homemade Custard Tart
This easy homemade custard tart is the perfect healthy morning tea or afternoon tea snack. It’s made from shortcrust pastry, eggs, vanilla and coconut cream – making it dairy free. It keeps well in the fridge and can travel too.
If I’m honest, I didn’t know how this one was going to turn out. But if BJ likes it, it gets shared and his words when he crashed my photoshoot were ‘Yummy’. If you saw me share that moment on my Instagram stories – no it was not a set up.
Way back when I was a little Lou, there were 2 desserts that ruled my childhood. Besides home brand Neopolitan ice-cream with Ice Magic eaten on the lounge while watching MacGyver.
Dessert 1: My Pa owned a Locksmith in Cabramatta (in Sydney’s West)
My mum used to help out and I’d go along too. The biggest highlight of the day was the vanilla slice from the epic Vietnamese bakery. This was the OG style of vanilla slice, no thick passionfruit icing. Just flaky layers of pastry, soft vanilla custard and lots of icing sugar.
Dessert 2: My Little Gran volunteered at Vinnies in Merrylands (Sydney’s West)
She called it ‘The Shop’. On the days she’d look after me and my brother, we’d drive to The Shop, via picking up her work friends Mary and Inga and spend the morning playing in the large circular clothing racks and jumping out at people scaring them.
Midway through this mayhem, we’d pop over to the bakery and she’d buy us a custard tart. Custard tarts were THE dessert that reminds me of my Gran. She’d pick us up from school… custard tart. Go to The Shop… custard tart. Picnic… custard tart.
I always thought it’d be impossible to recreate these 2 desserts without a whole heap of dairy and sugar but here we are Linda. And it all started because I had leftover shortcrust pastry and an extra carton of eggs.
Introducing this easy homeade custard tart – a dairy free mashup between a classic English custard tart and an old school vanilla slice.
The pastry reminds me of the vanilla slice because I forgot to add my baking beads while blind baking, resulting in this crispy flaky pastry.
If you’re like me and these 2 desserts bring back all the early 90’s memories or you’re really trying to eat a more wholefood diet – I reckon you’re going to love this recipe.
Let’s talk about the magic of eggs for a sec…
Egg yolks are high in choline, cholesterol and grass-fed (pasture raised) yolks are rich sources of Vitamins A, D, iron and folic acid. Making them the perfect ingredient for pregnant women, postpartum women and babies (once introduced properly) and everyone in between.
The key here to reap the nutritional benefits is buying the best eggs you can with your money. Local, pasture raised eggs are worth the 90c per egg price tag. I don’t believe that is expensive, however it can seem that way if you’re comparing supermarket eggs to pasture raised side by side without taking into account how they’re treated, managed and how your body absorbs them.
Fat and cholesterol have had such a bad rap over the years. I feel like it’s dissipating but I still hear people stress over adding butter to their meals believing they’ll get fat. I’d never be concerned about eating this recipe or serving it to BJ because of fat or cholesterol.
We need to start looking toward and questioning relatively new ingredients in the history of humans eating food. Food/ingredients created in labs like margarine, industrial seed oils, vegetable oils, refined sugar and refined white flour, before we go questioning basic natural foods (eggs and butter) that have been around for a really long time and a relatively un-messed with.
Let’s talk about the ingredients
1 batch of shortcrust pastry: you can use puff if you like and you don’t need to make it yourself but it’s an easy thing to do.
3 eggs: the eggs is how this whole custard tart idea came about. We had a whole carton of eggs to use and I immediately thought of making a Russian custard. Which is egg yolks, heated gently with some sweetener.
2 egg yolks: the egg yolks makes the custard extra creamy.
Maple syrup: Up to 1/3 cup maple syrup (I use just under 1/3 cup). For sweetness. Coconut sugar, honey and rice malt syrup would work too.
Vanilla bean: need I say more? Is it a dessert without vanilla bean?
Tapioca flour: this will act as the thickener for the custard and help it achieve a perfect wobble.
Milk: I used a mix of coconut milk and homemade almond milk. You can use full cream milk or oat too.
Cinnamon or nutmeg: to dust the top and provide that classic custard tart flavour.
Easy Homemade Custard Tart
- 1 batch of shortcrust pastry
- 3 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- Up to 1/3 cup maple syrup I use just under 1/3 cup
- 2 tsp vanilla bean
- 1 tbsp tapioca flour -
- 500 mL milk - I used a mix of coconut milk and homemade almond milk
- I was a bit wary about heating up homemade almond milk too much as it tends to separate but it worked well. I probably had 350-400mL coconut milk and the rest almond.
- Cinnamon or nutmeg to dust the top
- Make your shortcrust and blind bake (either with or without the beads). I used a 26cm tart case, greased with tallow (beef fat - butter or ghee would work too).
- Preheat oven to 160 C fan forced.
- Whisk together the eggs, maple syrup, vanilla bean and tapioca flour. Whisk really well to combine the tapioca flour.
- Gently heat milk on the stove top. Don't bring it to a boil, just heat it so if you were to stick your finger in it'd be hot but not burn your finger hot. Does that make sense? I had steam starting to rise but no bubbles. Let's say, 70ish degrees C.
- Slowly pour the heated milk into your egg milk, while you're whisking the eggs. As you whisk you're aerating the eggs and mixing in the milk, without turning the eggs into scrambled eggs.
- Pour egg/milk mix back into the egg pot. I placed this over the gentlest heat and whisked/mix for 5 minutes. This brings it back to a good gentle heat, without it boiling.
We're about to pour our custard into our tart BUT before we do that. ** This is an important step **
- If you blind baked properly - this isn't for you - go to next step.
- If you blind baked without the beads, this means the sides of your pastry fell inwards and you don't have a way to contain your custard mixture while baking. I removed the pastry. Lined the tart case with baking paper, then poured the mixture into the case and baked separately without the pastry. Once baked, I put the pastry on top of the custard layer, then a plate and carefully flipped the custard upside down.
- Pour mixture into your tart. Bake for 10 - 15 minutes. Check at 10 minutes, as this will depend on your oven. The custard should look cooked, no runny egg mixture visible. The centre should be springy and hold the tension as you press on it gently. But don't over cook.
- Sprinkle with some cinnamon or nutmeg, whatever you've got.
- Leave to cool until room temperature. Cut into it and enjoy.