One of the joys of living in my particular rural town is the weekly market, selling the most eclectic mix of French artisanal cheeses, mobility aids, fruit & veg, pet food, and speciality breads. Now that lockdown is easing the market is back and it has been wonderful to be able to wander through it and wave to local friends as we pick up some non-essential yummy treats (for us or our pets).
There is one stall that sells all things delicious and pastry based. In particular my family have developed a taste for Portuguese custard tarts (Pasteis de nata) with their flaky, buttery puff pastry case and the lemon and cinnamon infused wobbly custard centre.
Last week disaster struck and I turned up too late and there were no tarts left and it left me thinking ‘how hard can they be to make?’. It turns out that to make them according to the traditional method is actually pretty tricky and so I decided to experiment with some of the myriad ‘easier’ versions out there.
The proof of the pudding is in the eating and in this instance, I won the family’s highest award which is being told that ‘these are nicer than the shop bought ones’. I am not sure that I will rushing out to make them every week as I definitely don’t have the sort of lifestyle that lends itself to knocking up a quick batch of rough puff pastry on a regular basis, but maybe for special treats.
In the meantime, I am going to go and sit in the garden with a coffee and a tart and feel smugly proud of myself.