Sunday, 1 February 2015

Custard Tart Success

Served with orange zest baked rhubarb and sorbet

You know you're straying into obsession as you watch your family taste the new attempt and then try and spend twenty minutes minutely dissecting mouth-feel, flavour, granularity, creaminess. Was the pastry crisp? Did it snap? Too thick maybe? Their responses weren't as eager as I wanted but this was the fifth custard tart they'd tried in seven days.

But finally I'm happy with it. Any less set and I would have been pouring it. Following the same recipe I monitored the wobble every two minutes for 16 minutes; removing the tart after 42 minutes. But it was only 42 minutes for that mix of those eggs, in that tin, baked in that oven, on that shelf on that day. The custard centre still looked very liquid and had I not read Heston's recipe for 'perfect' lemon tart I probably would have left it in. Heston advices using a temperature probe and cooking the custard filling to 70°C. This is what I did. It worked. You would have to be a very brave, or very experienced cook to take it out without the technological tell-tale though.

I'm not sure what custard perfection is but this was damn close: rich, rewarding, entirely smooth and (yes, that word) unctuous. 

My tip: buy a probe or eat a lot of unset tart.


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