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Bergamot Custard Tart

  • Feeds 8 - 10 people
  • Prep time 150m
  • Cook time 45m

This classic custard tart is flavoured with zest of the highly aromatic bergamot, a citrus fruit that's in season from November to January. You may know the flavour already as it's used in Earl Grey tea, although the flavour of this tart is much gentler.  

Bergamots can almost be too aromatic, which is why we've tempered the flavour with some lemon zest - the tart doesn't taste of lemon, but has a more balanced flavour overall.  

This recipe fills a 23cm/9 inch tart tin with a removable base. 

Recipe by Helen Graves. 

  • 225g plain flour
  • 115g cold unsalted butter
  • 185g caster sugar
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • Zest of 2 bergamots
  • 11 egg yolks
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 600ml double cream
  • Pinch fine salt
  • Rice or baking beans for baking the tart case
  1. Put the flour and butter in a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  2. Add 85g of the caster sugar, the zest of 1 lemon and the salt then start the motor running and add 3 egg yolks, 1 at a time.
  3. Once the pastry comes together into a ball, remove, flatten slightly into a disc shape then wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  4. Roll out the pastry to a circle roughly 12 inches in diameter and carefully transfer to the tart tin. Use a small piece of pastry to press the pastry into the corners of the tin. Pick the base with a fork and chill for 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 190C with a baking tray placed on the middle shelf.
  6. Line the tart case with greaseproof paper and fill with rice or baking beans. Bake the pastry case on the baking tray for 15 mins then remove the paper and bake for a further 10-15 minutes, or until golden and biscuity. Brush with a little beaten egg and return to the oven for 2 minutes.
  7. While the tart case is cooking, make the custard. Add the zest of the remaining lemon and the bergamots to a saucepan with the double cream. Bring almost to the boil, stirring regularly. Take off the heat, cover well and leave to infuse for 15 minutes.
  8. Gently whisk the remaining 8 egg yolks and 1 whole egg with the remaining 100g caster sugar until pale.
  9. Strain the cream through a sieve and slowly add the hot cream to the egg mixture, whisking gently.
  10. Strain the custard back through the sieve and allow to rest for 10 minutes, until a layer of froth has formed on top. Scoop off the froth and discard.
  11. Reduce the oven temperature to 140C. Place the tart tin onto the baking tray and carefully pour the custard into it. Bake for 30-45 minutes, or until just set with a slight wobble in the centre.

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