Portuguese tarts

Based on this recipe, with some modifications


  • 375g block of puff pastry
  • 2 tsp caster sugar
  • 1tsp ground cinnamon


  • 165g caster sugar
  • 125ml water
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 50g plain flour
  • 1 vanilla bean, split + scraped
  • 10cm piece lemon rind
  • 4 egg yolks

Preheat oven to 220°C. 

Roll out pastry to a 20 cm x 24 cm rectangle with the long edge facing you. Combine sugar and cinnamon and scatter evenly over pastry.

Tightly roll up pastry from the long edge like a Swiss roll, trim edges and discard. Cut dough into 12 even rounds. Working with one piece at a time, place cut-side up between 2 sheets of baking paper and roll out to an 11 cm round.

Carefully press rounds into a buttered 12-hole (80 ml) muffin pan, ensuring pastry rounds have no holes or cracks, and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

To make custard, place sugar and water in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes or until sugar reaches 112°C (soft ball) on a sugar thermometer, or when a drop of syrup placed in a glass of cold water forms a soft ball. Remove from heat.

Meanwhile, whisk 125 ml milk and flour in a large bowl until smooth. Set aside. Place remaining milk, vanilla bean and seeds and lemon rind in small saucepan. Bring to the boil, then remove from heat, remove rind and bean, and slowly whisk into flour mixture until smooth.

Stir in yolks until combined. Add sugar syrup in a slow, steady stream, stirring constantly until combined. Transfer to a heatproof jug and set aside to cool for 10 minutes.

Spoon 3 tbsp custard into each pastry case and bake for 15 minutes. Increase oven to 250°C and bake for a further 5 minutes or until lightly puffed, custard is starting to brown and a skin has formed on top. Stand for 5 minutes in pan before transferring to a wire rack to cool.