Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Portugese Custard Tarts & Duck Eggs

Duck Eggs

Duck egg yolks
My husband recently bought home 2 duck eggs and told me I could use them as I please. I said thank you and stared at them in the fridge wondering what I could possibly do with them. I'd never seen a recipe using duck eggs before, let alone actually seen or held a duck egg. As coincidences go, I reread my issue 11 Feast magazine, the one I got my sticky buns from here and there it was, a duck egg article with recipes. I actually laughed out loud and told the husband all about it. Lucky for me, the main recipe was one my husband would love - Portugese Custard tarts (shame for me because I'm not a huge fan of them). If you are a time saver like me, use ready rolled sheets of puff pastry. 

I don't know a lot about duck eggs except they are almost twice the size of chicken eggs and seem to have double yolks inside (unless the two I happened to have are mutants). Word is they produce fluffier, lighter cakes (must try this) because their egg white is a lot thicker than normal chicken egg whites. Their yolks are also a lot creamier which makes good custard. 

What you will need for the pastry cups:
3-6 sheets of Ready Rolled Puff Pastry, thawed
2 teaspoon Caster Sugar
1 teaspoon Cinnamon 

Combine the caster sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl and sprinkle evenly over the puff pastry sheets (I rubbed the mix over the parts that were naked). 
Pastry with cinnamon/sugar mix
I used a 90mm round cutter but you have to use the size cutter that will cuts circles in your pastry that are big enough to fit into your 12 hole muffin pan allowing for pastry up the sides, the idea is that you are making a pastry cup. Using your round cutter, cut 12 circles from your puff pastry. Put the puff pastry into the muffin pan, pressing down the middle and making sure the pastry is sitting against the bottom and sides of the muffin holes. Make sure there are no cracks in your pastry otherwise the custard mix will seep out. You should have little piles of cinnamon in the bottom of the pastry cups. Put the trays into the fridge for about 20 minutes.  

Pastry in muffin pan

What you will need for the duck egg custard: 
¾ Cup / 165g Caster Sugar
1¼ Cup / 310ml Milk
⅓ Cup / 50g Plain Flour
1 Vanilla Bean, split and scraped
Lemon Rind (about 10cm or as much as you like)
½ Cup / 125ml Cream
2 Duck Egg Yolks 
Preheat the oven to 220°C. To make the custard, first you need to make a sugar syrup. Put sugar and 125ml of water into a small saucepan over low heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved (should take about 2 minutes). 
Sugar Syrup ingredients
Bring to the boil and reduce heat to medium. Cook for a further 5 minutes or until the sugar reaches 112°C (if you don't have a thermometer, the syrup is ready when a drop of it is placed in water and forms a soft ball, check out this website for more info). Remove from the heat and set aside. 
Sugar Syrup cooking
Whisk 125ml of milk and all of the flour in a large bowl until smooth (you can do this while the syrup is cooking for 5 minutes above). Set aside. 
Flour and milk mixture
Place remaining 185ml of milk, vanilla bean and seeds and lemon rind into a small saucepan. Bring to the boil and then remove from the heat. 
Milk mixture
Whisk into the flour mixture until combined. Stir in the duck egg yolks and cream until combined. 
Add the egg yolks

Add the sugar syrup in a steady stream, stirring as you go. Set aside for about 10 minutes to cool. 

Get the pastry cups from the fridge and spoon 3 tablespoons of custard into each pastry cup (if like you me you end up with heaps of custard left over, I just cut up more pastry and made another 9 tarts). 
Ready for the oven
Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes or until the custard has lightly puffed up and has a skin on top. 
Fresh from the oven 
Let them stand in the pan for 5 minutes to cool before transferring them to a wire rack. Best eaten the same day.  

I couldn't decide which photo was better so added both!

Duck egg portugese custard tarts

Duck egg portugese custard tarts

Tagged by my husband as the best Portugese custard tarts he's ever had, in his words "deadly".

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