"Like most good pastry cooking this tart is about juxtaposition: buttery crisp crust contrasted with a silky smooth centre," says Alistair Wise. "Use good cream - this is one of those times when you'll taste it."
- 750 ml pouring cream (3 cups)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 12 egg yolks
- 120 gm caster sugar
- 1 nutmeg
Sweet shortcrust pastry
- 200 gm plain flour, sifted (1⅓ cups)
- 60 gm pure icing sugar, sifted
- 120 gm butter, diced
- 1 egg, plus extra lightly beaten for eggwash
- 1For pastry, place flour, icing sugar, butter and a pinch of salt in a bowl and rub until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add egg and mix just to bring the mixture together. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate to chill (2-3 hours).
- 2Roll out pastry on a lightly floured bench to 3mm thick and place it in a 4.5cm-deep, 20cm-diameter cake ring or springform tin on an oven tray lined with baking paper. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to rest. Trim edges and dock with a fork.
- 3Preheat oven to 170°C, then blind-bake pastry case for 15 minutes (see cook's notes p182). Remove foil and weights, brush tart shell with lightly beaten egg and return to oven to just set (7 minutes).
- 4Reduce oven to 130°C. Bring cream and vanilla to the boil in a saucepan. Lightly whisk eggs and sugar in a bowl, then, whisking continuously, pour hot cream into egg mixture. Transfer custard to a jug, then pour into tart shell and bake until set with a little wobble in the centre (20-25 minutes). Remove from oven, finely grate nutmeg over the top, leave to cool (about 1 hour), then serve. Custard tart is best served on the day it's made but will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for 3-4 days.