Traditional Egg Custard Tart with a lovely homemade pastry and a very silky smooth filling.
Serve warm or chilled. I love mine chilled! You can also make mini ones in a muffin pan if you prefer!
Traditional Egg Custard Tart is one of my all-time favorite desserts!
It's a great recipe to serve for parties, potlucks, gatherings and also for weekday times.
If you wanted to make mini ones to serve at a party or an Afternoon Tea that would also be perfect!
I think everybody loves an egg custard tart!
It can evoke many childhood memories, and often they are presented as a whole round-shaped tart or as little individual tarts.
No one can argue that this traditional egg custard tart, if it is made correctly, has a silky smooth custard, in contrast to a crispy pastry base.
It's one of the oldest recipes I know and can be found in medieval recipes.
Depending on where in the world you are, this traditional egg custard tart may be also known as a sugar cream pie, custard pie, old fashioned sweet egg pie, or other variations.
As with many recipes, the ingredients may vary from country to country!
The egg custard tart included a shortcrust and puff pastry case filled with a mixture of cream, milk, or broth with eggs, sweeteners such as sugar or honey, and sometimes spices, for example, nutmeg.
Recipes found date back as early as the fourteenth century and can still be recognized as custard tarts today.
I have also made a recipe up to show you how to make your own shortcrust pastry.
Of course, you can buy the shop stuff, but this recipe is easy, cheaper and by far more tasty!
You can make little egg custard tart flans, but make sure you adjust the cooking times.
At the end of the recipe, I'll give you the details of how to make these in a muffin pan if that is what you prefer.
So go on, give it a go! Try out a recipe similar to what our ancient ancestors were crazy about!
So let's get straight to the recipe and see how we make this delicious traditional egg custard tart and please enjoy!
1. As with any pastry cases, if you are going to put a 'wet' filling in, then you will need to 'bake blind' first to stop the pastry from going soggy.
No one likes a soggy bottom! I have some instructions in a link below to help you with this if needed.
2. You can use this recipe for Gluten-Free by substituting the flour in the pastry with gluten-free flour.
The photo below is one I made in a disposable foil tray to take to a party. It disappeared very fast!
10 minutes for pastry & 10 minutes for filling
20 minutes for pastry & 35 - 40 minutes for tart
You will need
a flan/quiche dish measuring 23 cm / 9 inch diameter.
6 oz or 170 g Shortcrust pastry. See here to make your own Shortcrust pastry.
3 Tablespoons regular Sugar
1 pint or 2 ½ cups or 550 ml milk.
Sprinkle of ground or fresh grated nutmeg
First things first! Get all your ingredients ready. I like to weigh out and put everything in order of adding into the recipe. If it's all ready, you will whizz through the recipe and NOT forget anything!
Make The Pastry
1.*** If you are using a shop-bought pastry case, skip to the FILLING instructions. Put the oven on to 190 C, 375 F, Gas 5
2. Make your shortcrust pastry. Click here for instructions.
3. Grease your flan dish & make sure you grease up the sides too. Then roll out the pastry.
4. Place your rolled out pastry into your chosen dish.
Make sure you gently push the sides around the dish and trim any excess pastry.
5. If you see any cracks or missing bits of pastry, use the excess from your trimming to patch these areas.
6. Now you will need to prepare the flan case to take the wet filling. You need to first 'Bake blind' the pastry. See here for more information. You need to bake blind for 20 minutes in the oven.
7. Place in the oven for 20 - 25 minutes (for a 23 cm, 9 inch dish). If using smaller cases, reduce the cooking time.
8. When ready, the flan case should look like the photo on the below left. Say about 70% cooked, and ready for the filling.
9. Once you have baked blind your pastry, you need to get all your filling ingredients ready if you haven't done so already and reduce the oven temperature to 180 C, Gas 4, 350 F
What is baking blind?
The Bake Blind technique is used when you have a 'wet' filling or the filling cooks faster than the pastry.
If you were to simply place the filling onto the raw pastry, the base would never cook properly resulting in a very soggy bottom!
This method is also used if you are putting a ready-cooked filling in the flan case, such as a mousse or chocolate torte which doesn't require any baking.
You can read more about Baking Blind in our guide.
Make The Smooth Egg Custard Filling
1. Prepare custard filling by hand whisking eggs in a mixing bowl.
2. Heat milk & sugar in a pan and bring to the boil.
3. Add the milk to the whisked eggs gradually, stirring as you pour, to prevent the eggs from scrambling.
4. Pass the mixture through a sieve and allow to cool for 15 minutes, or immerse the bowl in cold water in the sink to cool the custard down a little.
5. Carefully pour the mixture into the pastry case and sprinkle some nutmeg on the surface.
6. Place in the oven, after 30 minutes, check if it's done. If the surface of the custard 'wobbles' too much when you move the dish, leave for a further 5 minutes.
See below I made 2 Egg Custard Tarts, one for us and one to take to a party!
When done, leave to cool before removing it from the flan dish
Some like to eat this tart warm, I enjoy it more after it has been chilled for an hour in the fridge.
It is also easier to slice when it has cooled. And there you have our lovely Traditional Egg Custard Tart. Please enjoy!
To make small individual tarts
If you want to make small individual tarts, use a well-greased 12 muffin pan and cut 12 discs of pastry using an 11cm/4½in fluted cutter.
The pastry should overlap the top of the molds by a few millimeters so that you can crimp the edges if you wish
Add the custard filling to each tart case and put them in the oven for 25 minutes.
**NOTE: There is no need to bake blind for small tarts.
Turn the oven down to 350F, 180C for the last 10 minutes of baking.
Allow the tarts to cool in the tin for 30 minutes before carefully removing them.
If you enjoy pastry, we've also got a great tutorial recipe for how to make pie dough using Flaky Pastry. be sure to check it, it's really quick and easy to make
We'd love to hear from you and what you thought of our traditional egg custard tart recipe. Did you make any changes or add some other goodies? Let us know in the comments below. Thanks for reading and happy cooking!
Traditional Egg Custard Tart
Traditional Egg Custard Tart with a lovely homemade pastry and a very silky smooth filling. Serve warm or chilled. I love mine chilled! You can also make mini ones in a muffin pan if you prefer!
- 170 g / 6 oz Shortcrust pastry
- 3 Tablespoons regular Sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 pint / 2 ½ cups / 550 ml milk.
- Sprinkle of ground or fresh grated nutmeg
- Put the oven on to 190C, 375F,Gas 5
- Make your shortcrust pastry. Use our recipe for making your own pie crust if you prefer. Grease your flan dish & make sure you grease up the sides too.
- Roll out the pastry into the shape of your flan dish. Make sure there is enough to reach up the sides of your dish. I just place the dish over the pastry to see if I've rolled enough.
- Use your rolling pin to transfer the pastry to the dish.
- Gently push the pastry around the sides of the dish. It's easier to lift the pastry a little and then push into the sides.
- Use a sharp knife and trim the edges to make it tidy.
- If you spot any holes or bits of pastry missing, use some of your cut-offs to patch up.
- Now you will need to prepare the flan case to take the wet filling. You need to first 'Bake blind' the pastry. See here for more information. You need to bake blind for 20 minutes in the oven. 5 minutes before the end of baking blind, remove the weights used and return to the oven.
- Once you have baked blind your pastry, you need to get all your filling ingredients ready if you haven't done so already and reduce the oven temperature to 180 C, Gas 4, 350 F
Make The Smooth Egg Custard Filling
- Prepare custard filling by hand whisking eggs in a mixing bowl.
- Heat milk & sugar in a pan and bring to the boil.
- Add the milk to the whisked eggs gradually, stirring as you pour, to prevent the eggs from scrambling.
- Pass the mixture through a sieve and allow to cool for 15 minutes, or immerse the bowl in cold water in the sink to cool the custard down a little.
- Carefully pour the mixture into the pastry case and sprinkle some nutmeg on the surface.
- Place in the oven, after 30 minutes, check if it's done. If the surface of the custard 'wobbles' too much when you move the dish, leave for a further 5 minutes.
- When done, leave to cool before removing it from the flan dish
- Some like to eat this tart warm, I enjoy it more after it has been chilled for an hour in the fridge. It is also easier to slice when it has cooled.
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Webake 4 Inch Mini Tart Pan Set of 6, Non-Stick Quiche Pan Removable Bottom Mini Tart Tins
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 6 - 8
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 182Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 112mgSodium: 160mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 1gSugar: 8gProtein: 7g
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mine only tastes of egg, I followed the recipe exactly but I’m not getting any custard-y flavours, just egg
Would it be possible to make this without pastry? I am on an extremely low carb diet for health reasons and although I could substitute the sugar, I am wondering if the egg custard would hold up without the pastry. My mum used to make this for me when I was little and it would be wonderful to relive the memories! Many thanks
Hi Jacqui, thanks for writing in. Yes, you can have something similar without pastry, however, the baking is different in that you use a water bath. If you use this recipe for crème caramel( and leave out the caramel if you wish) the recipe will work better in your situation.
Hope that helps!
I want to make individual egg custard tarts and wanted to know how long to blind bake the pastry for and also the filling.
Hi Linda, I’ve just added a few details at the end of the post to make individual tarts. Please note, you won’t need to bake blind these as they are small and the pastry won’t need to be baked for as long. For ease, here is the link which will take you straight to that section. https://lovefoodies.com/traditional-egg-custard-tart/#to-make-small-individual-tarts
Thanks for writing in and please enjoy!
Well I made these the individual ones unfortunately they were a disaster, the pastry ended up soggy and the filling overcooked and I followed the recipe to a tea.
I will not be beaten
Thanks for your help
Hi Linda, sorry to hear that about the pastry, it shouldn’t have turned out soggy at all. You ok don’t need to bake blind the pastry if making small tarts however, you could try pre baking the pastry for 6 or 7 minutes first and that should do the trick.
Can you use double cream in this recipe instead of milk ?
Hi Colin, yes you can, although it will be extremely rich! Enjoy!
Is this sweet at all? On another recipe I see that they use 1 whole cup of sugar! I’m not sure what to go with. Another recipe uses 3/4 cup. Is 3 tbsp enough?! I’m planning on making this tonight but I’m not sure…
Hi Mia, the amount of sugar can be adjusted.I find this amount to be fine, and I have made this recipe for several friends and neighbours who say the sweetness is just right. However, I suppose it does depend on if you like things very sweet or not. I know the European palate has less sweetness than American. If you are used to European desserts, then this amount of sweetness will be perfect for you!
Feel free to add a little more sugar if you find it not sweet enough. You can always taste the custard whilst you’re cooking it through and see what you think? Add a little more if you want then!
I just made this and it turned out lovely! My husband and parents really like it. I’ve been using your crust quite a bit and the fact that I don’t like crust speaks volumes!!!!. I first made it for a pork pot pie, Yum!!! Thanks a bunch for your recipes!!!
Thank you so much for the great step by step for this recipe!! I will be making this for the holiday season for sure!!
Egg custards are so good, but it’s hard to find good ones at the bakery. These came out perfectly. I made them into smaller individual tarts (with a shorting baking time). Oh, and I left the nutmeg off – I’m not a huge fan of nutmeg. They were perfect!
Everytime I try to make an Egg Custard tart I overcook it. I always follow the directions but it always comes out overcooked. I think my oven might be hotter than most. How can I make sure it doesn’t get too done?
Hi Cassidy, try this recipe out and keep an eye on it from around 5 minutes before the end of cook time. The tart should wobble slightly in the middle, that will set once it’s cooled.
Might be a matter of personal preference, but this tart as is is not sweet at all- the only sweetness I got was from the crust. Because it wasn’t sweet or savory, it tasted a bit bland to me? The shortcrust pastry recipe that was added however had quite a lot of sweet buttery flavor and ended up being the star here. The filling was creamy and correct, but with very little sugar and the bitter nutmeg on top, it just tasted like it didn’t know if it was meant to be sweet or not, so it sort of fell flat for me. Will definitely make again (crust recipe is fab) but will at least double the sugar. Still appreciate the recipe and very detailed directions!
My first attempt at making an Egg Custard! This is a great recipe – some I found were overly complicated with lots of ingredients. This recipe was easy to follow and my Egg Custard turned out very well! Looks like it should and tastes delicious! The only slight ‘tweak’ was to make the shortcrust pastry as sweet pastry using a little castor sugar. Thank you!
Followed the recipe to the letter, and the results were…..eggy! maybe the size of the eggs differs, we used large (ontario)? Also, there isn’t enough sweetness to the custard, could be the eggs overpowering the 3 table spoons? Would also make with full fat milk next time. Thoughts?
Thank you so much for being 665 and not to familiar with the computer I feel so silly.
I just didn’t know how to print this I’m so sad. Thank you so much for helping me.
Now Linda, don’t you worry! On every page in the top right, you will see a little GREEN PRINT button, it sits just on top of the menu bar, click that and you will be happy once again!