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RECIPE: MARCUS WAREING’S ROYAL CUSTARD TART

Marcus Wareing’s winning custard tart from the 2006 Great British Menu is a dessert fit for a Queen. The original recipe for this tart was Marcus’s grandmother’s, but it was made famous when he cooked it for the Queen’s official 80th birthday lunch at Mansion House in 2006. In celebration of the Queen’s 90th birthday, Marcus Wareing is sharing the recipe here: 

Marcus Wareing’s custard tart

  • Serves 6

Ingredients

FOR THE FILLING
9 large organic egg yolks
75g caster sugar
500 ml whipping cream
1 whole nutmeg, for grating
FOR THE SWEET SHORTCRUST PASTRY
230g plain white flour, sifted with a pinch of salt
150g chilled unsalted butter, diced
75g caster sugar
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1 medium organic egg beaten with 1 medium organic egg yolk
PLUS: 2 large organic egg yolks, lightly beaten, to glaze
FOR THE FILLING
Line a large roasting pan with non-stick baking parchment. Place a buttered 18 x 3.5cm pastry ring (or loose-bottomed tart tin) in the centre. Roll out the pastry, chill for half an hour and then use to line the ring, letting the surplus hang over the top.
Chill for another half an hour.
Heat the oven to 170⁰ C fan (190⁰ C/gas 5).
Bake the pastry case blind for 10 minutes until it starts to turn golden brown. Remove the paper and rice, and brush the inside of the party case with the egg yolks. Return to the oven to bake for 5 minutes. Leave to cool. Turn the oven down to 130⁰ C fan (190⁰ C/gas 2).
Next, make the filling. Put the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl and whisk to combine.
Pour in the cream, mix well and then strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a heavy pan. Warm over a low heat to blood temperature (37⁰ C), stirring all the time.
Put into a jug.
Put the cooled pastry case, still in the ring, in the parchment-lined pan, on the middle shelf in the oven. Slowly and carefully pour in the custard, filling the case as full as you can - right to the very top. Grate nutmeg liberally all over, to cover the custard completely.
Bake the tart for 45-50 minutes until the custard looks set but not firm - it should have a slight, even quiver across the top when you gently shake the roasting pan.
Leave to cool to room temperature, then remove the ring. Cut into neat wedges with a sharp knife to serve.
FOR THE PASTRY
In a large bowl, gently work the flour and butter together until the mix looks like breadcrumbs.
Stir in the sugar and lemon zest, then add the eggs slowly to form a dough.
Gently shape it into a ball, flattening slightly and then wrap tightly in clingfilm and refrigerate for 2 hours before using.
This pastry is very fragile, and handles best when well chilled.

 MORE: 5 WAYS TO EAT LIKE ROYALTY ON THE QUEEN’S BIRTHDAY 

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