Portuguese Custard Tarts Mary Berry

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By: Tom Valenti


If you have been looking to prepare authentic Portuguese tarts Mary Berry way, I’ll guide you through the steps. Making them at home is easy, and the taste is heavenly. If you have tried them at a restaurant before, you won’t notice a difference.

The secret is to cook them crispy and beautifully browned. At first, I experienced challenges getting them browned, but I learnt my way around it after several attempts.

By mixing the ingredients right and setting your oven temperatures correctly, you can do it too.

Portuguese Custard Tarts Mary Berry

Portuguese Custard Tarts Mary Berry Recipe

Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 30 minutes
Dough chill time 2 hours
Total Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Portuguese
Servings 12 people
Calories 350 kcal


For the dough

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¾ cups water
  • 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature stirred until smooth

For the custard

  • 1 ¼ cups of milk divided
  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 158 ml cup water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 whisked egg yolks

Optional ingredients

  • Powdered sugar
  • Cinnamon powder


  • Make the dough by mixing the flour, water, and salt in a bowl. Knead for about 2 minutes until the dough is soft and pillowy.
  • Transfer it onto a generously floured surface and pat it into a 6 inches square using a pastry scrapper. Sprinkle the top with flour, cover it with a plastic wrap, and leave it to rest for 15 minutes.
  • Roll the dough into an 18 inches square. Lift it with the scrapper and apply flouring on the bottom side to hinder the dough from sticking.
  • Brush more flour on the top of the dough, trim any uneven edges apply 1/3 of the butter on 2/3 parts of the left side of the dough using a spatula. Apply more butter within 1 inch of the left edge.
  • Fold over the unbuttered part of the dough (using a pastry scrapper to loosen it if it sticks). Brush off any excess flour and fold over the left buttered part. Part down the folded dough to release air bubbles, then pinch the edges to close. Brush off any excess flour.
  • Turn the dough packet 90 degrees for the left side to face you. Roll it out again into an 18 inches square and apply 2/3 part of the dough with butter and fold again as in the previous steps.
  • Roll the dough for the last time into an 18 by 21 inches rectangle, the short side facing you. Spread the remaining butter. Ensure the edges are closest to you as much as possible (you can use a spatula to lift the edges as you bring the dough closer).
  • Continue rolling the dough into a tight log, brushing off any excess flour from the bottom. Trim the edges and cut the dough in half. Wrap each part in a wrap and chill for at least 2 hours or, even better, overnight.
  • Now we proceed to the custard; whisk the flour and ¼ cup of the floor in a bowl until smooth and set aside.
  • In a saucepan, add water, sugar, and cinnamon and bring to a boil without stirring. Cook to 100℃.
  • Heat the other 1 cup of milk in another saucepan and whisk together with the flour mixture.
  • Remove cinnamon sticks, add sugar syrup to the hot milk and flour mixture, and whisk vigorously. Add vanilla and stir till warm but not hot. Whisk in the egg yolks, strain everything into a bowl, cover with a plastic wrap, and set aside.
  • Now we can assemble the pastries and bake.
  • Preheat the oven to 290℃ with 2 baking stones for a minimum of 2 hours.
  • Take out the dough from the refrigerator and roll it gently while you flour the surface. Roll to about an inch for the diameter and 15 inches in length. Cut into 1.25-inch sizes. Place the cut pieces side down into the 12-cup aluminum muffin pan. You can let the dough pieces soften for a few minutes to become pliable.
  • Dip your thumbs in water and press down into the middle of the dough each dough piece. Flatten it against the cup to achieve an 1/8 inch thickness, then smoothen it up above the lips of the cup up by about 1/8 inch. Ensure the sides are thinner than the bottom.
  • Fill each cup with ¾ level of slightly warm custard and bake the tarts until the dough edges become frilled and brown, anywhere around 9-13 minutes.
  • Remove them from the oven in the pan to cool for a few minutes. Transfer to a rack and cool to just warm. Cook the remaining dough and custard in the same way.
  • Serve to your liking. You can sprinkle with powdered sugar, then cinnamon, then serve.
Keyword Mary Berry, Portuguese Custard Tarts, Portuguese Custard Tarts Mary Berry

Nutrition Information

  • Calories: 350 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 41g
  • Protein: 18g
  • Fat: 18g
  • Saturated fat: 11g
  • Cholesterol: 140mg
  • Sodium: 201mg
  • Potassium: 70mg
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Sugar: 23g
  • Vitamin A: 645IU
  • Calcium: 51mg
  • Iron: 1.3mg
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Tom Valenti

Chef/Owner of both Ouest and ‘Cesca, and the Executive Chef of Le Cirque, Alison on Dominick, and Butterfield 81.

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