Walk into any trendy gourmet bakery and it’s clear that Portuguese tarts are very much en-vogue these days. Generally the custard is flavoured with vanilla and perhaps a little orange zest. This recipe adds a sophisticated twist on the classic by using another Portuguese favourite: almond custard. Apples, gooey caramel and brandy seal the deal… and why on earth not.
For the Caramelised apples
- 4 x crisp apples (cored, peeled and chopped into slim wedges)
- 25g x Butter
- 5 x tablespoons caster sugar
- 1 x teaspoon almond extract
- 1 x handful chopped almonds (toasted)
- 1 x big glug of brandy
- Pinch of salt
For the custard
- 125 g caster sugar
- 3 x egg yolks
- 100ml milk and 400 ml double cream mixed
- 2 x teaspoons almond extract
- 1 x tablespoon corn flour
- Shop bought All-butter puff pastry
- Melt butter in a pan with 2 tablespoons of sugar
- Stir in the apples and cook on a moderate heat until the sugar just begins to caramelise
- Add the rest of the sugar and continue to simmer until the sugar is turned to caramel and the apples are translucent and sticky.
- Splash in the almond extract and brandy the caramel will loosen. Continue cooking until it is thickens again.
- Add the toasted almonds to the mix.
- Pick out 3 slices of the apple per tart for decoration, and retain the rest for the tarts gooey core.
- Combine egg yolks, sugar and corn flour and whisk until a creamy paste forms
- Heat the mix in a pan over a low heat whisking constantly, the paste should loosen slightly
- Add the cream and milk in a constant steady stream, whisking the whole time
- Add the almond extract at this point
- Turn the heat up, allow to boil and then remove from heat. It should now be thick and creamy.
- Allow to cool and thicken further
- Roll out pre bought puff pastry
- Cut out circles of pastry and press to the edges of greased and floured muffin baking trays
- Place a teaspoon full of the apple, brandy, almond caramel in the bottom centre of each individual pastry case
- fill to the top with almond custard
- About 20 minutes in a preheated oven at 180 degrees
- See photo, slices of caramelised apples and toasted almond