Do you eat cold custard? I do. I’m talking about making it in the microwave and then leaving it to cool completely before eating it. Or buying it in tins and eating it straight out with a spoon – none of that ‘put in a pan to warm up’ nonsense. Or when offered ‘custard with that crumble?’ asking if I can have it later. That kind of cold. Dead cool. A bit like you really.
Hence, my love of custard tarts. Cold custard AND pastry AND nutmeg? In one? I must be dreaming.
There’s something quite nostalgic about custard tarts. A sort of ‘I should really be eating this with my granny whilst watching Fireman Sam, reading the Enchanted Wood and wearing my pink Oshkosh pinstriped dungarees’. I think it’s partially due to their beautiful simplicity. Oh, when life was just a bit simpler.
But it’s true, custard tarts and reminiscing go hand in hand. My mum tells me I’m too young to be reminiscing. Mums are always right. But how I long to go back to the days when all this slightly OCD 4 year old had to worry about was how best to arrange her skittles into rainbow order.
Sadly, custard tarts are a bit of a hassle to make when you’re in that nostalgic mood but it’s the middle of the week and you have a Chemistry test the next day. SO… Next best thing? Custard tart cupcakes. Get excited.
Custard tart cupcakes
Adapted from Juniper Cakery
112g unsalted butter at room temperature
112g caster sugar
112g self-raising flour*
2 large eggs
¾ tsp. ground nutmeg
2 tsp. vanilla extract
125g unsalted butter
125g icing sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 ½ tbsp. custard powder
40g white chocolate
¼ tsp. grated nutmeg and extra to dust
*To make these Gluten free swap the self-raising flour for 125g Gluten free white mix and 1 tsp. baking powder
Preheat the oven to Gas mark 3/170°C and line a muffin tin with 9 cupcake cases.
Using an electric whisk cream the 112g of butter until soft and paler in colour and then beat in the caster sugar. Mix in the flour and one egg along with the vanilla and nutmeg. Add the other egg and beat for about 5 minutes.
Spoon the mixture into the cases, filling to about 1/3 from the top. Place in the oven and cook for 20-25 minutes – until an inserted skewer comes out clean and they spring back when lightly pressed.
Once cooked, remove the cakes from the tray and place on a wire rack to cool completely. Meanwhile make the buttercream: Beat the 125g butter with an electric whisk and gradually add the icing sugar until you reach a smooth consistency. Melt your white chocolate (I should tell you to do it in a Bain Marie but you can do it in the microwave if you’re careful) and add to your buttercream along with the vanilla, custard powder and nutmeg. Beat for a couple of minutes until it reaches a light, creamy texture. Fill a piping bag with your buttercream and pipe onto the cooled cakes, dusting lightly with grated nutmeg and dreaming of your younger years.