Inspired by the Great Biritsh Bake Off on television last night, here's my favourite recipe for quick custard tarts. You can make your own pastry if you like, I do when I have time, but this recipe uses shop bought pastry to speed things up. I can see Paul and Mary rolling their eyes and tutting in disgust but Hey-ho sometimes needs must when you're a super busy Mum.
4 egg yolks
100g caster sugar
2 Tblsp cornflour
1 tsp vanilla extract
200ml milk (not skimmed)
200ml double cream
500g sweet shortcrust pastry
Peach slices, plum crescents or berries to top the tarts prior to serving
Dusing of icing sugar to make the tarts look pretty before serving
Find a heatproof bowl that fits snugly over a saucepan. Put the egg yolks, sugar, cornflour and vanilla extract, in to the bowl and whisk together until well combined.
Fill the saucepan with about 2inches of water and bring it to a gentle simmer on the hob. Put the bowl over the saucepan and gradually whisk the milk and cream into the egg and sugar mixture. Make sure you whisk continuously but not too vigorously until the mixture thickens and just comes to the boil.
Immediately remove the bowl from the heat and cover it with clingfilm so that you don't get a skin on your custard. Leave the custard to cool completely.
Preheat your oven to 180°C. Roll out the pastry to about 1/8 inch thick and cut into 4 inch diameter rounds, or big enough to fit your muffin or tart tins. Line all 12 holes of a muffin tray with the pastry and prick the base of each case twice with a fork. Fill each case with the custard mixture until it's about 3/4 full.
Put the tarts in the oven and cook them for approximately 20 minutes, or until they're slightly golden. The custard will rise during cooking then sink again as it cools down. After you've taken the tarts out of the oven, leave them to cool for about 5 minutes in the tin, then carefully transfer them to a cooling rack.
Top the tarts with some fruit of your choice and then sprinkle them with icing sugar just before you serve them. The tarts can be served warm or cold.