Lionel's Custard Tarts

Clare Chambers


In 1399, the coronation banquet prepared for Henry IV included a medieval version of the custard tart. Medieval recipes generally included a shortcrust and puff pastry case filled with a mixture of cream, milk, or broth with eggs, sweeteners such as sugar or honey, and sometimes spices. Recipes existed as early as the fourteenth century that would still be recognisable as custard tarts today.

Custard tarts are a favourite and are regarded as a classic British dish. A version was selected as the final course of a banquet to celebrate the Queens 80th birthday.


★★★★★ 1 vote

1 Hr
20 Min


  • 6 oz
    plain flour (all purpose)
  • 4 oz
    butter - cut into cubes
  • 1 oz
    icing suger (confectioners)
  • 1
    egg, large

  • 1 pt
  • 3
    eggs, large
  • 2
    egg yolks, large
  • 3 1/4 oz
    caster sugar (superfine)
  • 1/2 tsp
    pure vanilla extract
  • ·
    freshly grated nutmeg

How to Make Lionel's Custard Tarts


  1. For the Pastry: Place the butter, flour and sugar into a bowl and cut / rub the butter in until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Make a well in the centre and add the egg. Combine into a dough, wrap in clingfilm and chill for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200C. Roll out the pastry onto a lightly floured surface. Using an 11cm fluted cutter cut into 12 discs. If you do not have an 11cm fluted cut use a plain one or make a template and use a wheeled fluted cutter.
  3. Place the discs into the muffin tray.
  4. For the custard filling: Warm the milk - make sure it does not get hot as you do not want the eggs to scramble. Meanwhile beat the eggs, yolks, vanilla and sugar together in a bowl. Add the warm milk and stir well.
  5. Using a jug or a ladle pour the custard into the tart cases to about 1/2 cm from the top and sprinkle with nutmeg. I was distracted by the dog and as you can see I have overfilled these.
  6. Bake for about 20 minutes. After 15 minutes start to keep an eye on them. They should have a slight dome when the are ready. If they rise too much and crack they are overcooked. Again this picture shows you what happens if you over fill them
  7. Cool in the tin for 30 minutes before carefully removing them. Eat when fully cooled.

Printable Recipe Card

About Lionel's Custard Tarts

Course/Dish: Pies
Main Ingredient: Eggs
Regional Style: English

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