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Mary Berry’s Apricot Portuguese Tarts

If you love Portuguese custard tarts, or pastel de nata, this is the recipe for you. Mary Berry finishes her take on the classic sweet treat with an apricot jam glaze.

Introduction

Such a favourite around the world and particularly in London where there are dedicated shops to the Portuguese tart. It is a worldwide treasure – pastel de nata!

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Ingredients

1 x 320g packet ready-rolled all-butter puff pastry
½ x 400g tin apricots, drained and sliced
15g (½oz) demerara sugar
About 3 tbsp apricot jam, melted, to glaze
For the custard:
250ml (9fl oz) milk
100ml (3½fl oz) pouring double cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg and 2 egg yolks
115g (4oz) caster sugar
4 level tsp cornflour

Essential kit

You will need a 12-hole deep muffin tin and a 10cm (4in) round cutter.

Method

You will need a 12-hole deep muffin tin and a 10cm (4in) round cutter.

To make the custard, add the milk, cream and vanilla to a saucepan. Place over a medium heat until hand hot. Meanwhile, break the whole egg into a heatproof bowl, add the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour and whisk by hand until combined. Pour in the hot milk and cream and whisk again until smooth.

Pour the custard back into the saucepan. Place over a medium heat and whisk to a thick custard consistency. Be careful not to overheat. Spoon the custard into a bowl and cover with a piece of cling film. Set aside to become cold.

Unroll the pastry and cut it in half lengthways to make two strips. Sit the strips on top of each other, press down, and then cut the pastry in half widthways. Take one piece and roll it thinly to create a large piece of pastry big enough to cut 5 10cm (4in) discs from. Using a 10cm (4in) cutter, cut 5 discs out of the pastry. Repeat this process with the other piece, producing 10 round discs in total. Put the rounds in the muffin tin, press down firmly and up the sides of the tin. Prick the bases with a fork.

Spoon the cold custard into the pastry cases and top with the apricot slices. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes, if you have time. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C Fan/Gas 6.

Sprinkle the tarts with the demerara sugar and bake in the preheated oven for about 25–30 minutes, until the pastry is golden and the custard is set. Remove from the oven and cool slightly.

Brush the melted jam over the tops of the tarts to serve.

Mary’s Tips: Can be made up to a day ahead, but best fresh on the day. Freeze well but better made fresh.

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