Easy Portuguese custard tarts
For the sugar syrup
For the custard filling
Preheat the oven to its highest setting, or at least 230C/210C Fan/Gas 8.
To make the sugar syrup, bring the sugar, cinnamon and lemon rind to the boil in a saucepan with 250ml/9fl oz water. Reduce the heat until the mixture is simmering, then simmer for 3 minutes. Set the syrup aside until completely cool. Once cool, discard the cinnamon stick and lemon rind.
To make the custard, mix the flours together in a bowl. Pour in a splash of milk and stir with your finger until combined.
Bring the remaining milk to the boil in a saucepan over low heat, stirring regularly. Gradually add the boiled milk to the flour and whisk for 1 minute, or until smooth and well combined. Slowly whisk in the sugar syrup. Whisk in the egg yolks, whole egg and vanilla seeds until smooth. Set aside.
Roll out the pastry onto a lightly floured work surface to a rectangle measuring approximately 50x30/20x12in, but more importantly to a thickness of 1mm. With the longest edge of the pastry rectangle facing you, roll the pastry as tightly as possible, brushing it from right to left with water as you go. Cut the pastry roll into 2cm/¾in-thick discs.
Place the discs in the holes of a muffin tin and massage them with a circular motion using a wet thumb, until the pastry rises up the sides of the holes in the tray. Make sure you don’t make any holes in the pastry.
Fill the pastry cases with the custard until they are almost, but not quite, full.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until the pastry has risen and the surface of the custard is scorched. Set aside to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving to allow the custard to set slightly.
To glaze the tarts, spray them with a chefs' water-pressure sprayer as soon as they come out of the oven.