I’ve been binge-watching The Great British Baking Show at night (okay… I really only make it through one episode per night before kid-induced sleepiness kicks in), but I consider it binge-watching. I love the show so much because A) everybody is so damn nice on it and B) the people are truly amazing bakers.

I’ve never considered myself much of a baker honestly, and watching this show just confirms how much I have to learn if I ever want to really be great at it. If you haven’t watched it, the show is in three parts and the most stressful part, in my opinion, is the second stage: The Technical Challenge!

In this stage the bakers are given a tricky recipe with very bare instructions and expected to make it. One I watched recently featured Egg Custard Tarts as the technical challenge. They seemed completely up my alley (sweet pastry filled with slightly sweet custard) so I thought I would give them a shot without the stress of a timer and with a slightly more filled out recipe!

I was able to dig up Paul Hollywood’s (one of the judges) original Egg Custard Tart recipe because, well, the Internet, and I tried to follow it just as closely as I possibly could.

Egg Custard Tarts

12 tarts
Prep Time:
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Just a moment please...

Egg Custard Tarts: Inspired by The Great British Baking Show, I tried my hand at a classic Egg Custard Tart. The results were mostly successful and definitely delicious! | macheesmo.com
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Inspired by The Great British Baking Show, I tried my hand at a classic Egg Custard Tart. The results were mostly successful and definitely delicious!

Recipe followed as closely as possible from Paul Hollywood's Recipe.


Sweet pastry:

165g/5¾ oz. all-purpose flour, plus some
25g/1 oz. ground almonds
120g/4¼ oz. chilled unsalted butter, cubed
55g/2 oz. sugar
1 free-range egg

Custard filling:

2 1/2 cups whole milk
7 free-range egg yolks
90g/3¼ oz. sugar
freshly ground nutmeg

Show Directions

  1. For pastry, stir the flour and ground almonds together in a large bowl, then add the butter and rub in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar last.

  2. Crack in the egg and mix it with your fingers until the mixture forms a soft dough.

  3. On a lightly floured surface, form a disc with the dough. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and leave to chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

  4. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

  5. Roll out the sweet pastry on a lightly floured work surface.

  6. Using an 11cm/4½in fluted cutter, cut out twelve discs and line the muffin tray moulds with the pastry circle. The pastry should be a tiny bit above the edges of the muffin tins. You may have to re-roll the dough a time or two to get all twelve cut out.

  7. For custard filling, warm the milk in a pot until steaming, but not simmering at all, and beat the egg yolks and sugar together in a separate bowl until pale and creamy.

  8. Pour the milk onto the egg yolk mixture and whisk well, creating little bubbles.

  9. Transfer the custard into a pourable cup. Feel each custard tart almost to the top of the pastry.

  10. Sprinkle each with fresh ground nutmeg.

  11. Bake the tarts in the oven for about 25 minutes – you may need to turn the temperature down to 180C/350F/Gas 4 for the final 10 minutes. Rotate the muffin tin halfway through to ensure even baking.

    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.

  12. Cool in the tin for 30 minutes before trying to remove the tarts. The base of the tarts should be perfectly baked through, without having over-cooked the custard filling.