Portuguese tarts

Treat yourself with this cheat's version of dainty and delicious Portuguese tarts.
Treat yourself with this cheat's version of dainty and delicious Portuguese tarts. Photo: Bonnie Savage

These little custard tarts originate from Lisbon, and, apparently, were originally one way for monasteries to use up surplus egg yolks left over after using the whites as a starching agent for religious garments. This is such a simple version, where the custard doesn't need to be cooked before baking. They are best eaten on the day of cooking and are even better when still a little warm.


375g pre-rolled puff pastry

1 tbsp castor sugar

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

icing sugar, optional


1/2 tbsp cornflour

1/2 lemon, juiced

200g creme fraiche

150g castor sugar

2 extra-large eggs

2 extra-large egg yolks

1 tsp vanilla extract



1. Preheat the oven to 220C fan-forced or 240C conventional. Grease or spray a medium-sized muffin tin.

2. Lay the pastry out on the bench and evenly scatter over the sugar and cinnamon. Press the sugar and cinnamon into the pastry with a rolling pin, stretching out the pastry a little in the process. Roll up like a Swiss roll, neatening the ends by pushing them in a little as necessary. Cut the roll into 14 even pieces.

3. Flatten each pastry disc out in the palm of your hand with your fingers until about 3mm thick. Press the pastry into the prepared muffin moulds and chill for 20 minutes.

4. For the filling, add the cornflour and lemon juice to a small bowl and mix until combined.

5. Add the remaining filling ingredients to a large bowl and whisk in the cornflour slurry until combined and smooth.

6. Divide the filling between the tart shells and cook for 20 minutes, increasing the oven to 250C fan-forced or 270C conventional for the last five minutes. If you like, dust with a little icing sugar to serve.