Old Fashioned Egg Custard Tarts (or egg custards) are a classic British pastry that are simply a homemade, flaky pastry filled with egg, custard, a sprinkling of nutmeg and then baked.

Interestingly, I recently learned that these tarts are also popular in China. Portugal and in France, the French call it ‘flan’. There is an age old debate as to who invented them first. But being British, of course, I like to say the Brits came up with this delicious treat because they’ve been around since the medieval times and that’s good enough for me!

Small egg custard tarts on a presentation board with fresh lavender and berries for garnish

Over time, they have become a popular ‘grab-and-go’ dessert that are sold in bakeries and grocery stores in the UK.

This recipe is a traditional, family recipe from my childhood in England when my mum would make a Sunday afternoon tea of finger sandwiches and these must-have pastries.

Custard is a very popular dessert in the British isles and not only comes in the form of tarts, but is also served as a hot sauce called ‘English Custard’ which is served over sweet pies, puddings and another classic, Rhubarb and Custard. 

A bite taken out of a custard tart

A popular and modern twist on this recipe is to serve just the custard that is baked in small ramekins without any pastry. This would be perfect for a low carb/keto treat.

I choose to make these in individual sizes because I love the crust edge. But this recipe is customizable because you can also make it into a larger 9-inch (23 cm) tart.

The mini tart pans/molds that I used are fluted, which give them a pretty presentation and measure 2 3/4” (7cm) wide by 3/4” (2cm) high. If you use molds that are deeper, you will run out of filling as the recipe yields just enough for this specified size.

If you’ve made these Old Fashioned Egg Custard Tarts, please feel free to leave a comment below. You can also ask a question there too, I love to hear from my readers!

Yield: 12

Old Fashioned Egg Custard Tarts

Old Fashioned Egg Custard Tarts

Creamy egg custard baked inside delicious, flaky pastry cups.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes

Ingredients

  • For the pastry:
  • 1 1/2 cups (180g) all-purpose/plain flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 tablespoons (120g) unsalted butter, cold
  • 2 tablespoons (25g) granulated/caster sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • For the custard:
  • 1 1/2 cups (350 ml) whole/full fat milk
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup (45 grams) granulated/caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened

Instructions

  1. For the pastry:
    To a mixing bowl, add the flour, salt and butter. Rub the butter between your fingers, incorporating the dough until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar, egg yolk and 2 teaspoons water. Mix until the dough comes together in a ball.
  2. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerator for 30 minutes.
    Preheat oven to 400°F/200°C.
  3. For the custard:
  4. To a mixing bowl, vigorously whisk (or use a hand blender) the egg yolks and sugar until pale and bubbly. Remove the milk from the heat and very slowly drizzle into the egg yolks while whisking. Transfer the mix to a container with a spout.
  5. Rub softened butter inside 12, 2 3/4" (7cm) fluted tart molds and place onto a large baking sheet.
  6. When the dough is chilled, roll out onto a floured surface. Use a round cookie cutter and cut circles. Place each circle in the molds and press to fit.
  7. Carefully fill each tart shell with the cutard and add a light sprinkling of grated nutmeg over each.
  8. Bake for 10-15 minutes, then turn the temperature down to 350°F/180°C for further 10 minutes. Keep an eye on them the first 10 minutes. You will see the filling start to rise, if it starts to rise up too much, turn down the heat. If not, they will rise too much and the custard will deflate and sink when cooled.

Nutrition Information

Yield

12

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 205Total Fat 16gSaturated Fat 9gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 6gCholesterol 171mgSodium 188mgCarbohydrates 10gFiber 0gSugar 2gProtein 6g

This nutrition calculation is provided by Nutronix that is only a guideline and not intended for any particular diet.