Egg Custard Tart

The frenzied 'Bake Off' enthusiasm sweeping Britain at the moment can occasionally leave high cholesterol suffers (probably dieters too) feeling slightly dejected.... After all, we're not really supposed to be eating stuff like pastry, are we?! OR ARE WE??? Because this delicious pastry base was engineered using Extra Virgin Olive Oil instead of butter, and, to be honest, was one of the nicest tarts I've ever eaten. I'm annoyed that it has taken me over a year to twig that pastry is just as feasible (and delicious) without butter as it is with; but simultaneously delighted that the world of low cholesterol pastry possibilities has just opened. This Egg Custard Tart is a great place to start; is easy to bake, tastes really good and has a brilliant wobble.


  • 240g Plain Flour
  • Pinch Salt
  • 1 small tbsp Caster Sugar
  • 7tbsp Olive Oil
  • 63ml Water

Custard Filling

  • 500ml Semi Skimmed Milk
  • (Bit of a) Vanilla Pod (or Extract)
  • 4 Egg Yolks
  • 90g Caster Sugar
  • Half a tsp Cornflour (optional)

To make the Pastry (enough to line a 22cm diameter round tart tin)…

In a large bowl, mix 7 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil and 240g Flour, together with a pinch of Salt and 2 or 3 teaspoons of Sugar.  When combined, add the 63ml Water and mix gently until the Pastry comes together… don’t work it too hard before you roll it into a ball, wrap it in clingfilm and leave it in the fridge for half an hour to an hour

When you come to use the Pastry, roll it out (using plenty of Flour on the counter top and rolling pin) line an oiled flan / tart tin with the Pastry, gently squashing the Pastry into the edges of the base, and cutting off extra pastry around the edge

Put some greaseproof paper on the Pastry and fill with beans or baking bead things… Bake for 10 mins at 190˚c with the beans in, and 10 minutes with the beans taken out

While the Pastry is cooling down – make the Custard

Start by whisking together the 4 Free Range Egg Yolks and 90g Caster Sugar until creamy

Bring nearly a pint of Semi Skimmed Milk to the boil, with a third of a Vanilla Pod in it (or some Vanilla Extract, maybe half a teaspoon?!)

Whisk the just about to boil Milk into the Egg Yolk and Sugar mixture and transfer to a large jug (to make it easier to pour)

Pour the Custard into the Pastry tart base (still in the tart tin) and bake at 190˚c for 30 – 40 minutes.  You might want to gently drape some foil over it as it cooks so it doesn’t brown at all

Cool a little before serving in slices, dusted with Icing Sugar

[This recipe for Pastry comes from Fuss Free Cooking…  The Egg Custard bit is a kind of mash up of BBC’s recipes from Good Food, William Leigh and (oddly) Alan Bennett]

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