Weekend Recipe | Milk Tarts

weekend-recipe-milk-tarts-lisbonIf you like the flavour of custard but fancy trying a slightly less involved recipe than a traditional Portuguese Custard Tart, these are perfect. Essentially miniature custard tarts with no pastry, these set in the oven to form scrumptious little puddings. As with many Portuguese sweets, they are often served dusted with icing (confectioners’) sugar and cinnamon.

Makes 12 tarts

  • 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 ¼ cups) whole milk
  • 25 g (1 oz) salted butter
  • 100 g (3 ½ oz/ ¾ cup) plain (all-purpose) flour, plus more to dust
  • 250 g (9 oz/1 1/4 cups) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • grated zest of ½ unwaxed lemon
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract icing (confectioners’) sugar, to serve 
  • ground cinnamon, to serve


  1. Grease 12 paper cupcake cases and dust with flour. Preheat the oven to 200.C (400F/Gas 6).
  2. Heat the milk in a saucepan over a medium heat until just below boiling point, then remove from the heat and add the butter. Stir until the butter is completely melted.
  3. Combine the flour and sugar in a bowl, add the eggs, lemon zest and vanilla extract, then beat just until smooth. Next, pour in the hot milk–butter mixture in a steady stream while continuously whisking the batter.
  4. Using a ladle or jug, divide the batter, which will be very thin, evenly between the cases.
  5. Place in the oven and cook for 25–35 minutes, until nicely browned on top and puffed up. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the cases – they will collapse but don’t worry, that’s what they do. When they’re cool enough to handle, transfer to a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature, dusted with a little icing sugar and cinnamon.

Lisbon: Recipes from the heart of Portugal by Rebecca Seal (Hardie Grant, £25.00) Photography: Steven Joyce

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