With flavours of deep caramel and molasses, muscovado sugar adds a deliciously complex taste to a plain custard. Buy sweet shortcrust pastry if making your own is a step too far. The cornflake crumble is also optional, but it makes a great textural contrast to the smooth custard. Here you will make double the pastry needed; freeze the other half until needed.
For the sweet pastry
300g plain flour
90g icing sugar
¼ tsp salt
200g unsalted butter, fridge-cold, cut into cubes
1 large egg yolk
1 tbsp ice-cold water
For the custard filling
2 large sprigs fresh rosemary (or 8 fresh bay leaves)
500ml pure cream
8 egg yolks
100g dark muscovado sugar
½ tsp salt
For the cornflake crumble
30g unsalted butter
30g golden syrup
pinch of sea salt
50g cornflakes or bran flakes
1. For the pastry, place flour, icing sugar and salt in a food processor and process for a few seconds, then add the butter and pulse until the mixture has a consistency of breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk and water and pulse until the dough just comes together. Tip onto a bench, knead lightly, then divide into two balls and wrap each loosely in cling film. Press to form two flattish discs and refrigerate for at least an hour.
2. Grease a 22cm tart case with a removable base and set aside.
3. When ready, unwrap one of the pastry discs and place on a lightly floured work surface. Tap the pastry with a rolling pin to soften slightly, then roll out to about 3mm thick. Drape the pastry over the tart case, press into place and trim any overhang. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
4. To blind-bake the pastry case, preheat oven to 200C (180C fan-forced). Line the pastry case with baking paper, covering the base and sides, then fill with baking beans. Place on an oven tray and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the beans and paper, return the pastry case to the oven for another five minutes or until golden, and remove from oven. Reduce oven temperature to 130C (110C fan-forced).
5. While the pastry case is in the oven, make the custard. Bash the rosemary (or bay leaves) lightly using a mortar and pestle, then place in a small saucepan with the cream over very low heat. When the cream is very hot, turn off the heat and allow the herbs to infuse for 10 minutes. Whisk the egg yolks, muscovado sugar and salt in a medium bowl, then carefully pour the hot cream over the eggs, whisking continuously as you do. Strain the custard into a large jug and discard the herbs.
6. Place the pastry case on a baking tray and halfway onto the middle rack of the oven. Carefully pour the custard into the pastry case, then gently push the tray all the way into the oven. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the custard is just set. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
7. To make the crumble, combine the butter and golden syrup in a small saucepan and place over medium-low heat to melt. When it begins to bubble, cook for one minute, then fold in the cornflakes and sea salt. Spread out on a lined oven tray and bake at 200C (180C fanforced) for 10 minutes until golden and bubbling. Remove from oven and allow to cool before crushing lightly over the baked tart. Serve with whipped cream.
Find more of Helen Goh's recipes in the Good Food Favourite Recipes cookbook.