Portuguese Tarts

Delicious Portugese Tarts using free-range eggs from Olliff Farm.

Recipe and styling by Tracey Sunderland. Photography Shona Dey

Makes 12 tarts. Ready in 1 hour.


  • 350g frozen puff pastry sheet, defrosted (I used Paneton Pastry)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • large pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 80g caster sugar


  • 180ml milk
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 strip lemon peel (use a vegetable peeler)
  • 125ml cream
  • 3 large eggs, whisked
  • 2 tbsp plain flour

Preheat oven to 220ºC. Grease a 12-cup muffin pan well, with butter or non-stick spray.

Mix the cinnamon, nutmeg and caster sugar together. Unroll the pastry and sprinkle the cinnamon sugar over it. Starting at the long end, tightly roll up the pastry into a log and slice into 12 equal pieces.

Place the pieces flat on a board and roll them out into flat disks, big enough to fit into the cups of the muffin pan. The side should come up a little bit and form a cup.

To make the filling Place the milk, caster sugar, vanilla, lemon peel and cream into a small pot.  Whisk in the egg and flour. Cook over moderate heat for 5 minutes, whisking constantly. Stir for another 5 minutes or until the mixture thickens and forms custard. Remove the lemon peel and pour the custard into the pastry cases.

Bake for 12–15 minutes until the pastry is cooked and the custard is speckled-brown.

Remove tarts from the oven to the stove top. Remove the tarts from the tin as soon as you can, use a blunt knife to loosen the edges. The base of the tarts will caramelise and turn to toffee in the tin so it is important to remove them quickly.  If they become stuck, return the tray to the oven for a few minutes to melt the toffee and loosen again.

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