Recently I have become rather emotional and a bit nostalgic, perhaps because our children are about to graduate; knowing that they will have to stay in quite distant cities to pursue their careers brings on mixed feelings.
From now on, home will be a place that they come back to when they have time off or short breaks, unlike the period during their studies, where every time we saw them off at least the next holiday and re-union was not too far away ...
Since exams finished daughter has came home to stay before she goes back to London to take up a job in September. She and I have been spending a lot of time happily chatting, shopping, cooking and baking together. The other day we were discussing what cake to make for afternoon tea, when she reminded me of the custard tart that we had at the LADUREE in Paris. I remember seeing their recipe books on sale in the bookshop Waterstones’ near home, so we drove there and brought it back.
Few hours later, a deliciously smelling big custard tart came out from the oven.
This type of egg tart is very different compare to the Hong Kong style, Macau style and English style egg tarts. Their consistency is not as soft and delicate, and when it first comes out from the oven the surface rises up; but don’t panic, it will settle back down after a while. On biting into the full of vanilla flavour custard tart, the smooth but firm body helps you savour every mouthful, full of a lingering enjoyable taste.
法式蛋撻 French - Style Custard Tart
- 很冷凍的牛油 125g 切粒
- 中號雞蛋黃 2 隻
- Milk 4 湯匙
- 9 in 可脫底撻盤一個
- 麵粉篩在大碗中，加進牛油和鹽，用手指尖搯搓成糠狀，加雞蛋牛奶，首先在碗內同搓勻，然後在洒了麵粉的桌上推揑搓圓成光滑球狀，但不要過份搓揉。包上保鮮紙，放冰箱內置 1 小時。
- 取出，用塗了粉的擀麵棍在洒粉的桌上把粉球擀成 2mm 厚的粉皮。撻盤上掃牛油，小心把粉皮放下按進撻盤，沿邊按貼。 用擀棍或小刀修切整齊邊沿的餅皮，保鮮紙蓋著放回冰箱置 1 小時。
Shortcrust Pastry ingredients：
- Plain flour 250g
- cold buttter 125g cut into small cube
- 2 medium size egg yolks
- Sea salt half a tea spoon
- Milk 4 tablespoon
- 9 in flan tin
- Sift the flour into a large bowl, add the salt and the cold butter. Using the finger tips, work the butter into the flour until it resembles crumb. Add the egg yolks and the milk, incorporate into the butter and flour mixture just until everything is combined well and holds together; do not over work the dough. Form the dough into a ball and wrap in cling film. Refrigerate it for an hour.
- On a floured work surface, roll out the dough to a thickness of 2 mm. Butter the tin and gently press the dough into the tin, working up the sides. Trim any excess dough that hangs over the edge. Cover with cling film and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- 全脂奶 500ml
- 厚忌廉 double cream 325ml
- 砂糖 210g
- 生粉 85g
- 2 隻雞蛋加 2 隻蛋黄
- 牛油 25g
- 雲尼拿香草籽 vanilla pod 1 條
- 小煲內加進牛奶和忌亷， 用利刀直切開雲尼拿香草籽 vanilla pod ，以刀尖輕刮出內部種籽，把 雲尼拿的籽連殼放進煲內，中火煮至微滾，取離火爐。蓋著讓味道融滙 15 分鐘，把雲尼拿殼取出掉走 。
- 預熱焗爐至 170C / 340F / Gas3。把撻皮取出，用义子在粉皮上面小力剌十下八下，以防止在被焗期間浮起。放上烘焙紙，紙上置米撥平。這樣「盲焗」10 分鐘，取開紙和米，放回焗爐再烘 10 分鐘，取出待涼。
- 大碗內，把蛋和糖一起打拌至淡色，加生粉拌勻。把小煲內加了雲尾拿的奶慢火煮至微滾，將 1/3 的熱奶倒入蛋糖生粉混合液去，攪勻後倒回煲內與其餘的 2/3 熱奶拌勻。再放在爐上用中火温沸，期間不斷攪拌。煮滾後把蛋漿用篩過瀘至大碗內加進牛油拌勻，放涼 10 分鐘。
Custard filling ingredients :
- Whole milk 500ml
- Double cream 325ml
- Granulated sugar 210g
- Cornstarch 85g
- 2 eggs + 2 yolks
- Butter 25g
- Vanilla pod 1
- Pour the milk and cream into a saucepan. With a sharp knife, slice the vanilla bean in half lengthwise, scrape the interior to remove the seeds, add the pod and seeds in the saucepan. Bring to a simmer. Remove from heat, cover and let infuse for 15 minutes. Remove the vanilla pod and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 170C / 340F / Gas3. Take out the dough, using a fork, prick the surface of the dough to keep from puffing up during baking. Fit a round piece of parchment paper over the dough, carefully pressing into the corners and working up the sides so it will stay in place in the oven. Place rice or dried beans on top, spreading them out in an even layer. " Blind bake " for 10 minutes, take out from oven, remove the paper and the rice, put back into the oven and bake for another 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
- In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, egg yolks and sugar until slightly pale, add the cornstarch. In a saucepan, bring the vanilla - infused milk and cream to a simmer. Pour 1/3 of the hot liquid over the egg, sugar mixture. Whisk together and then pour back into the saucepan with the other 2/3 of milk and cream. Bring to a boil while continuing to stir with the whisk. Remove from heat, pour the custard through a sieve into a large bowl，add the butter, mix well and allow to cool for approximately 10 minutes.
- 與此同時，再預熱焗爐至 170C / 340F / Gas3。把蛋漿倒進預烘了的撻皮裏，置焗爐內烘大約 45 分鐘。取出時撻面會些微升起，但稍後會回復平坦。將大蛋撻小心放在大碗上，輕輕按下盤邊離盤。待涼後可隨意洒上霜糖作裝飾。
Final step :
- Mean while, preheat the oven again to 170C / 340F / Gas 3. Pour the custard into the pre - baked tart shell. Place in oven and bake for approximately 45 minutes. Remove from oven, the surface of the custard tart may appeared to have been risen slightly, it will settle back down after a while. Carefully place the big custard tart on top of a large bowl, pull down the side, leave the tart to cool down completely before sprinkle some icing sugar on the top if desire.
The exam results came through the post. Both our son and our daughter have been awarded with First Class Honours for their degrees.
My husband and I shed a few happy tears. We couldn’t imagine those two little soft bundles in our arms when they were little， would grow up so much so soon!!
|兒子 8 個月大時|
When our son was 8 months old
|女兒 3 個 月大時|
When our daughter was 3 months old
|哥哥 3 歲時上幼兒班的第一天|
Big brother's first day to kindergarten at the age of 3
|妹妹 3 歲時上幼兒班的第一天|
Little sister's first day to kindergarten at the age of 3