An Egg Custard Challenge

I’ve joined the army of bakers, bloggers and everyone in between who seem to be taking over twitter at the moment with their efforts at the Great British Bake Off technical challenges. So, here we go – my attempt at last weeks challenge – Egg Custard. Who’d have thought some pastry and custard could be so difficult! Gregg’s make it look easy, I can tell you! So, with the help of a friend, her kitchen and even her little cat, and with the threat of a soggy bottom hanging over us, I got cracking with the job at hand. We used Paul Hollywood’s recipe from the show which you can find on the BBC Good Food site here.

Egg Custards
No soggy bottom here! Phew!


  • 165g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 25g ground almonds
  • 120g unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
  • 55g caster sugar
  • 1 egg


  • 700ml whole milk
  • 7 egg yolks
  • 90g caster sugar
  • ground nutmeg

(Adapted from the original Egg Custard recipe on the BBC Good Food website)

  • Start with the pastry – stir the flour and ground almonds together in a large bowl, then rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture is like breadcrumbs. Finally, stir in the sugar.
  • Break in the egg and mix it in with your fingers, bringing it together to form a soft dough.The dough for us was quite wet at this point so we had to sprinkle some extra flour on.
  • Tip the dough onto a lightly floured worktop and shape it into a ball. Flatten to a disc and wrap in cling film. Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
  • Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured work surface and using an 11cm fluted cutter, cut out twelve discs and line the muffin tray moulds with the pastry circle. The pastry should overlap the top of the moulds by a few millimetres so that you can crimp the edges if you wish.
  • For the custard filling, warm the milk in a saucepan, and beat the egg yolks and sugar together in a separate bowl until pale and creamy.
  • Pour the milk onto the egg yolk mixture and stir well, creating little bubbles.
  • Pour the custard mixture into each of the tart cases and sprinkle a ground nutmeg into the middle of each tart.
  • Bake the tarts in the oven for about 10-15 minutes, then turn the temperature down to 180C/350F/Gas 4 and bake for another 10 minutes. Top tip from Paul: You are looking for a very slight dome on the custard, indicating that it is baked. If the custard domes too much this indicates that you have over-cooked the custard, it will have boiled and will sink back down leaving a big dip. If this does happen you can help rescue it by removing the tarts from the oven immediately and placing the tin in cold water on a cold surface.
  • Cool in the tin for 30 minutes and then carefully remove from the moulds. We used baking paper strips aka Ruby from GBBO so that we could just pull the tarts out. The base of the tarts should be perfectly baked through, without having over-cooked the custard filling.

Egg Custards out the oven

Once cooled, eat your egg custard tarts straight away! These are really old fashioned and just delish! They are quite hard to get right though. The first tray of ours turned out well but the second lot were a bit sorry! They didn’t make it onto the blog! Teehee… 

Naughty Lily trying to help out with our baking paper strips (stolen idea from GBBOs Ruby!)
Making sweet shortcrust pastry
Heating milk on the hob
Sweet Shortcrust pastry

Leave a comment

  1. 19th September 2013 / 12:32 pm

    yours looks really good!… i'm not a fan but I know how they should taste and look and you've done so well… this challenge actually annoyed me because it is impossible to get hot pastry out of a tin with no cooling off time… so well done you!

  2. 19th September 2013 / 1:03 pm

    Thanks Dom, we were quite pleased with them! The little strips of baking paper were perfect for pulling them out the tin 🙂

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