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All things Australian - Part 3, The Custard Tart

Updated on January 6, 2017

Cook Time

Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 1 hour
Ready in: 2 hours
Yields: Serves six people one good size custard tart each

Lets Get Started

"Custard Tart's" or "Flan's", as they are known in some parts of the world. Have been adopted by Australians and are a daily part, of Australian life.

These delicate desserts, have a pastry outer casing and are filled with a scrumptious egg filling, then baked.

The "Custard Tart" that i refer to, is sweet and soft in texture on the inside, with a yummy shortcrust pastry on the outside. There are savoury variations but we prefer the sweet taste, in Australia.

It is extremely difficult to say, where they originated from. We tend to think the British Isles but many variations have circled the globe.

Hong Kong, China, France and Portugal, all have their own variation of the much loved dessert.

The word "Custard Tart", derives from Old French - "Croustade" which means "A kind of pie". There have been recipes dating back, to the 14th century.

In medieval England, they preferred to combine sweet and savoury ingredients. The British consider it a classic dish.

Wherever you go in Australia, you can find a "Custard Tart". You will see people sitting to eat their lunch, with a "Custard Tart" in one hand, meat pie in the other and a Farmers Union Iced Coffee, ready to drink. It is just the Australian way!

I have included the recipe for you. I hope you enjoy making it but most of all, enjoy eating it!

I would love to read your feedback, let me know how it turns out :)

The best of luck!

What you will need - serves 6 people

1) Oven baking tray - Medium size

2) For decoration - 1 leaf cutter ( 5cm )

3) Baking tin - Will need an 18cm wide base, approximately 4cm deep, with at least a 1cm wide rim. For the presentation, it is better if the tin has sloping sides.

Pastry Base

1) You will need 2 sheets, of frozen shortcrust pastry. Only take 1 out of the freezer to start with. The other is for any mistakes made - a back up.


1) Egg yolks, lightly beaten - 2 Large Eggs

2) Also another 3 Large Eggs

3) 50g of Caster Sugar

4) 570ml of cream - not thickened.

5) 1/2 a teaspoon of Vanilla Extract

6) Nutmeg for sprinkling - Fresh ground if possible at 1.5 whole nutmegs.


1) Pre heat your oven to 190c.

2) Gently roll pastry in to a circle and lightly dust with flour, as you go.

3) Test that your pastry fits the tin, by placing your tin upside down on the pastry.

4) Pastry will need to have a 2.5cm overlap, on the tin.

5) Once complete, use the rolling pin to transfer the pastry, over to the tin.

6) Being very careful not to press to hard. Lightly shape the pastry in to the base, sides and rim. Press the base in firmly but be careful ( finger nails can be a problem).

7) Now trim the sides of excess pastry, so a small amount overlaps the rim.

8) Take your trimmed off pieces and start rolling them out. Use your leaf cutter and make 24 leaves.

9) Now brush the entire surface of the prepared pastry case, with a small amount of the beaten egg.

10) You can now display your precut leaves, around the rim. Brush them with beaten egg also, when finished.

11) Prick the centre of your base. This will make sure your pastry, does not rise while cooking.

12) Place your prepared pastry case, on your baking tin. Put the tray on the middle shelf, for approximately 20 minutes or until the pastry is golden and crispy.

Check the pastry every few minutes - if pastry is rising in the centre, prick it again in a couple of places. Being careful not to burn yourself, push it back down firmly. After 20 minutes, remove from the oven.

13) Bring temperature down to 170c, ready for the next stage.

14) Now the cream - Pour your cream in to a saucepan and very gently simmer. Using a heat proof jug, whisk egg and sugar together - use a hand whisk and whisk gently, as you do not want bubbles to appear.

15) Take your hot cream and pour it over the beaten egg mixture. At this point, add vanilla and 1 teaspoon of nutmeg or 1/2 of the whole nutmeg.

Whisk gently again for a short time. It is more about folding the ingredients together.

16) Place prefilled casing back on the baking tray. Make sure oven shelf is half out of the oven. Place your baking tray, with the pre filled casing on the oven shelf.(It will be very full when the filling goes in, you will not want to transfer it).

17) Make sure you have some nutmeg, ready to sprinkle. Pour the egg filling, in to the pastry case - it will be very full. Then sprinkle your nutmeg, evenly on top.

18) Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes. Filling will be golden brown in colour, firm to touch in the centre and slightly puffed up.

19) You are now finished. Your "Custard Tart" can be served, hot or cold.

- In Australia, we love to eat them cold. Mmmmmmmmm

(C)Copyright, Tammy Crossman, 2011-2016

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    • skellie profile image

      skellie 6 years ago from Adelaide

      Hi everyone, I have added a conversion chart link for you all.

    • skellie profile image

      skellie 6 years ago from Adelaide

      lol food for thought!, love it Walt :)

    • Walt Smith profile image

      Walt Smith 6 years ago

      It sounds delicious...Have you ever thought of an Aussie cooking manual as a book project?...Just food for thought,(get it)lol...W

    • skellie profile image

      skellie 6 years ago from Adelaide

      Thankyou for your helpful advice Christine P Ann. Yes, i think i have heard the term "Sweetcrust" before - that could be it WillStarr?

      Thankyou again, that was very helpful :)

      Cheers Skellie

    • Christine P Ann profile image

      Christine P Ann 6 years ago from Australia

      It may be called bakers sugar or superfine sugar. and perhaps shortcrust is sweetcrust or piecrust? and yes this tart is yummy! Good hub skellie.

    • skellie profile image

      skellie 6 years ago from Adelaide

      Wow, we really are WillStarr!

      I will see if i can find the conversions for you.

      Caster sugar, is very, very fine. This way it easily dissolves in the mixture. Not sure what they call it over there?

      Shortcrust Pastry, is just a basic plain pastry (I think that is the best way of explaining it?).

      Yes WillStarr, it is delicious! :)

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      We really are worlds apart!

      Our measurements need to be translated from yours, and I'm not sure what 'shortcut pastry' and caster sugar might be.

      But it sounds delicious! :-)