Portuguese Custard Cups
3 egg yolks, brought to room temp and slightly stirred
1/2 cup caster sugar (superfine sugar, you can do this by processing normal sugar in a food processor or blender for a while)
2 tablespoons corn starch
3/4 cup heavy cream (preferably organic, but¦make do)
1/2 cup water
1 strip of lemon rind (try to get the whole lemon rind off in one go, I dare you)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 sheet puff pastry, slightly thawed
Preheat oven to 425F and grease a 12-hole (1/3 cup capacity) muffin pan.
Cut the pastry sheet in half and stack the 2 halves on top of each other. Roll the pastry up tightly from the short side and cut into 12 rounds of about 1cm thickness. Roll out each pastry round on a lightly floured board to 10cm. Press into the prepared muffin pans.
Place egg yolks, sugar and corn starch in a meduim saucepan and whisk until combined. Gradually whisk in the cream and water until smooth. Add the lemon rind and stir over medium heat until the mixture just comes to the boil. Remove from heat immediately, remove lemon rind and stir in vanilla. Let sit for 5 minutes to thicken and then spoon the custard into the pastry cases.
Bake for about 20 minutes or until well browned. If you like your tops scorched, move oven rack to the top position and turn on the broiler until the tops get bubbly and dark - you must keep an eye on these, about 5 minutes or less should do it. If you have a kitchen torch, just scorch the tops that way.
Remove from oven and when the pan is cool, take out cups and cool on a wire rack. EAT!
Pairs Well With
In Portugal we would actually eat these for breakfasts, but I think it's really considered a dessert. This just takes me waaaay back to my childhood and the Delight bakery in Yonkers. You have to scorch the tops to get the real flavor right. Using puff pastry makes things a LOT easier.