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Nov 20, 2010 04:27 AM

Teeny Tiny Custard Tarts

My eight year old girls and I are having a little tea party tomorrow and we want to try out the teeny tart and pie tins my mother gave us. To make things easier, I have some refrigerated pie crust and a can of English custard. (I thought we'd also do some simple apple pastries with thin slices of apples, and some cinnamon sugar and butter.)

I assume we bake the little tart shells first, then fill them with custard, but do we bake them again with the custard?

Also, can I flavor the custard with lemon juice or will it curdle.

We're also making traditional tea sandwiches and we'll be drinking Arnold Palmers.

I hope the stuffed animals appreciate it!



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  1. Yes, bake the shells first. It takes time to shape that many little pie crusts, so give yourself more time than you think it'll take (a shot glass work great to flatten the dough on the bottom and sides).

    If you want to add lemon to the custard, I'd use some lemon peel. To add enough lemon juice to it to flavor it would make it runny. Also, if you want to fill easily and don't have a pastry bag, it's easy to put the custard into a ziplock bag and cut a tiny hole in the corner. That way, the girls can do it themselves and it's fun. You can also buy a little plastic tip (in the frosting/cake decorating section of most grocery stores) to put in, if you want to make it fancier. Oh, don't bake the custard again. If you do the apples, cook them first. Sounds like a great party!

    1. Little dabs of jam, jelly, or marmalade make a great easy filling too as does chocolate ganache. Just leave out the rum in the recipe and allow it to cool completely and thicken up for tart filling.

      Chocolate Ganache

      9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
      1 cup heavy cream
      1 tablespoon dark rum (optional)

      Place the chocolate into a medium bowl. Heat the cream in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil, watching very carefully because if it boils for a few seconds, it will boil out of the pot. When the cream has come to a boil, pour over the chopped chocolate, and whisk until smooth. Stir in the rum if desired.

      Allow the ganache to cool slightly before pouring over a cake. Start at the center of the cake and work outward. For a fluffy frosting or chocolate filling, allow it to cool until thick, then whip with a whisk until light and fluffy.

      1. Yes you should full bake your shells.
        Do not bake the the already prepared custard. Use only finely grated zest to flavor the custard.
        If you are putting apple in the tiny shells you should make a fully cooked filling and just spoon it in.

        6 Replies
        1. re: chefj

          Great tips, everyone, thanks! I'll let you know how they turn out. I'm really craving some ganache now! For the apple pastries, I saw a recipe where you just lay a very, very thin slice of apple or two on top of a flat piece of pastry (shaped with a cookie cutter), then sprinkle butter, cinnamon and sugar and bake. Sounded too easy to pass up.

          1. re: shaiken

            Tea party was a great success! We ended up just using custard and jam for fillings - We had so many of those, we didn't get around to making the apple pastries. The girls also enjoyed just the empty tart shells.

            Thanks again!

            1. re: shaiken

              Great photo pf the girls! You've inspired me to have a tea party with my granddaughters in the near future!

              1. re: shaiken

                That looks great! I'll bet the girls will remember this forever.

                1. re: shaiken

                  Looks like teddy bears were invited also! They love tarts.

                  1. re: karykat

                    Teddys also love "Pasteis de Nata" and from what I understand, they will actually help seek them out also! It's a great time to introduce the girls to these lovely little custard tarts, and as an adult you'll probably really enjoy them as well for your next tea party.

                    Nata (Top left corner) --> http://cattycriticfood.files.wordpres...

            2. To first answer your question, bake the shells fill with your custard or curd, and then a fruit topping either fresh or macerated.
              I was watching Alex G, on foodnetwork and she made the most darling shells with a batter on the back of cookie tin. She then formed them over the tiny mini tins so they'd hold her filling. They were basically a tuille, which makes a nice shell. Watching her gave me soooo many ideas. I've also used a vanilla wafer for a little cream cheese base, it works great. OOPS, I mean a cheese cake base. sorry~