custard tart

1 portion sweet shortcrust pastry
plain flour for dusting
2 free-range egg yolks, beaten, to seal tart base
9 egg yolks
75g caster sugar
600ml whipping cream
freshly grated nutmeg
1 vanilla pod, split lenghtways, seeds removed

Place a buttered 18cm tart pan (3.5cm deep) with a removable bottom on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roll out the dough until you have a circle about 2-3mm thick and about 7cm larger in diameter than the tart pan. Place the circle between two sheets of floured waxed paper and chill for half an hour. Then line the tart pan with the dough, letting the surplus hang over the edges. Press any cracks together with your fingers. Chill again for half an hour.

Preheat the oven to 190C.

Line the pastry case with parchment paper and fill with baking beans. Bake blind for about 10 minutes or until the pastry starts to turn golden. Carefully remove the paper and beans, brush the inside of the pastry case with the beaten yolks. Return to the oven for 5 minutes. Leave to cool.

Turn the oven down to 150C.

Heat the cream together with the vanilla pod and seeds to simmering point. Remove from the heat and allow to infuse for half an hour.

Whisk together the yolks and sugar. Add the vanilla infused cream and mix well. Pour into a saucepan and heat to blood temperature, stirring all the time. Decant to a jug.

Put the cooled case on the middle shelf of the oven, then fill it with custard. Grate over a little nutmeg. Bake for 45 minutes until the custard looks set — it should have a slight, even quiver when you shake it gently. Cool to room temperature and trim excess pastry.