Chefs' Recipes

Lauren Eldridge’s eggnog custard tarts

Portuguese tarts meet bourbon-spiked eggnog in this Christmas-ready treat.
Golden square tin holding hand-sized custard tarts with burnished tops, each in their own white paper casing. There's also a glass holding a rose-pink speckled bauble, which is kind of weird, but we'll take it.Mark Roper

“Pastéis de nata, or Portuguese custard tarts, are one of my absolute favourite pastries,” says pastry chef Eldridge. “The eggnog inspired custard has been spiked with bourbon and nutmeg to give it a Christmas kick.”


Pastry dough


1.For pastry dough, combine flour, ¼ tsp fine salt and 200ml cold water in the bowl of a stand mixer. Knead on low speed with a dough hook until smooth (2 minutes). Cover and refrigerate until cold (15 minutes).
2.Turn out dough onto a heavily floured surface and roll out to a 40cm square, adding flour to top of dough as needed. Use a dry pastry brush to remove anyexcess flour and spread 75gm butter onto the left two-thirds of dough with a small offset spatula leaving a 1cm border around butter. Fold the right third over, then the left third over the top to enclose (letter style).
3.Carefully turn dough 90 degrees and repeat step two, adding extra flour if needed. Roll out dough to a 45cm x 55cm rectangle with the longest edge parallel to the bench. Trim edges to neaten, brush away any excess flour and spread over remaining butter leaving a 2cm gap along the long edge on far side. Brush edge lightly with water and starting from the side closest to you, tightly roll pastry into a log. Cut in half crossways, trim ends, cover and refrigerate until firm (1 hour). Pastry dough will keep refrigerated for a couple of days or frozen for up to 1 month.
4.Stir flour and bourbon in a large bowl. Bring milk and nutmeg to a simmer in a saucepan over medium-high heat and pour 1 tablespoon milk onto flour mix, whisk until smooth, then whisk in remaining milk. In another saucepan, bring sugar and 160ml water to the boil until sugar dissolves, then pour sugar syrup over milk mixture, whisking constantly. Leave to cool for 10 minutes. Whisk in yolks, transfer to a jug and set aside to cool completely. Custard will keep refrigerated for up to a week.
5.Preheat oven to 280°C (or as hot as it will go). Cut each dough log into 12 rounds. Place slices cut-side down into the holes of an 80ml non-stick muffin tray. Press into the base and to the top of sides, making the base as thin as possible. Divide custard evenly between tart bases to about two-thirds full. Bake in batches until the surface of the custard has blistered (8-9 minutes; if the oven only reaches 250°C, bake for 10-12 minutes). Cool and serve. Tarts are best served on the same day.

Drink suggestion An Old Fashioned made with Spring Bay Single Malt Whisky. Cocktail suggestion by Lee Smith.


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