Orange Custard Tarts

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March 4, 2015 by Smock Alley

While browsing through recipes of old, an orange pudding stood out as a recipe that is practically unchanged since 1654, done in 20 minutes from start to finish.

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The original recipe calls for orange zest to be boiled until tender, then beaten with sugar, butter, egg yolks and cream, with some salt and then baked in puff pastry. The modern version is very similar, omitting the boiling, the butter and salt, while adding a couple of current tasty delights.

All you need is the zest of 2 oranges, 100 ml of cream, 2 to 3 tablespoons of caster sugar, 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence, 1 egg, a sprinkling of cinnamon, 4-5 dashes of orange bitters (entirely optional) and a small sheet of puff pastry (shop bought- I got things to do) and a muffin tin. This will be enough to make 6.

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Use a cup or a round edged cutter to cut out 6 circles of puff pastry, gently pressing them into the muffin tin. Sprinkle some cinnamon on top, and bake at 150 degrees for 10 minutes. The puff pastry will live up to its name and puff up- but you can use a finger or spoon to flatten it back down.

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Zest the oranges into the cream, add the egg, caster sugar, vanilla essence, dashes of bitters and whisk well until light and fluffy.

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Spoon the mixture into the pastry shells and place back in the oven for 5-10 minutes, or until the custard tarts have turned slightly golden, while still a bit wobbly. Like me on holiday.

Remove from the oven and let cool. if you can. They should be slightly firm with a little runny custard deliciousness. Perfect with an espresso as a mid afternoon pick me up. You will want to make these a lot. De-lish.

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