Portuguese Custard Tarts

Errghhhh. Custard + pastry. Winning combo. The Portuguese do it right!

I have been eating these tarts forever, but i had just always assumed they were difficult to make.

….until i actually read a recipe and tested it myself. So simple. The only risk is of you not stirring the custard enough over a heat and it turning into scrambled eggs but you can very easily avoid that!

So. I have heard that adding a squeeze of lemon juice or grating some zest into the custard will add a good kick and helps to cur through the sweetness. I only read this after i made my recipe, so have a play if you want!

Recipe by Bill Granger.
Photos by Daniel Nadel.


  • 115g caster sugar
  • 2tbsp cornflour
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 230ml cream
  • 170ml milk
  • 2sp vanilla extract
  • 300g rolled puff pastry, thawed
  • Icing sugar for dusting


  1. Grease a 12-hole muffin tin
  2. Put the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour in a medium pot and whisk together.
  3. gradually whisk in the cream and milk until smooth
  4. Place the pot over a low-medium heat and cook, stirring the whole time until the mixture thickens. Be patient, you might find that it doesn’t change much and then al of a sudden it’s thick. And don’t stop stirring! You don’t want the mixture to scramble.
  5. Once thick, add the vanilla extract, transfer to another bowl, cover firmly with glad wrap and allow to  cool.
  6. Preheat the oven to 190° C.
  7. Cut your pastry sheet in half and layer one half over the other and set aside for a few minutes.
  8. Roll up the pastry tightly from the shorter end. Cut the pastry roll as 1cm rounds, as many as you can get. On a floured surface lay the pastry cut side up and gently roll flat with a rolling pin, until you have disks about 10cm in diameter. Don’t worry about making them perfect rounds. Flouring your rolling pin helps to prevent sticking as well.
  9. Press the pastry rounds into the muffin tin. Spoon the custard into the pastry cases and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the pastry and custard are golden. You will notice the distinct Portuguese tart caramelisation on the top. Don’t think you’ve burnt anything  - this is a good sign!
  10. Leave the tarts in the muffin tray for about 10 minutes until the pastry has cooled enough to remove the tarts. Then allow them to cool completely, before dusting with icing sugar and serving.

Good luck and enjoy!

The Friday Baker. xx



  • Posted

    31 August, 2013
  • Serves

  • Preparation

    20 minutes
  • Cooking



  • Susan 16 February, 2014 at 10:00 AM

    Hi thanks for your site! I wonder if Portugese Tarts can be made gluten free and if so how? Any ideas on replacing the cornflour with gluten free and puff pastry gluten free? Thanks FB

  • Sharon 11 May, 2014 at 2:08 PM

    These tarts look amazing and the recipe was easy to follow but once in the oven the custard started overflowing, covering the pastry and resulting in disaster tarts. I only filled the pastry to about half but maybe next time I should only fill up to 1/3.

  • Ruvini 8 July, 2014 at 9:54 AM

    Thank you so much for this lovely recipe. It was delicious! My only concern being I wasn’t getting any caramelisation on my tarts. Any reasons as to why this might be?

  • Stephanie Alexandra 26 August, 2014 at 4:06 AM

    Hi there,

    So sorry your comment into my unapproved spam folder!
    I’m not quite sure why you weren’t getting caramelisation on your tarts.. were they placed in the middle of your oven, on the middle tray?
    The sugar should caramelise. Your oven may not have been hot enough.
    I hope you tried again one day and got caramelisation!

  • El 12 January, 2015 at 11:34 AM

    Hi, thanks for this great recipe – I’d never made custard before let alone Portugese Tarts, and they were fabulous!!! Custard was perfect.

  • Stephanie Alexandra 7 April, 2015 at 9:07 PM

    Hi there. Sorry for the late reply – so glad the recipe worked for you and you enjoyed the bake!

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