11 Aug Baklava Custard Tart
When you can’t decide what dessert to have, I say – have both! This tart is a delicious hybrid of Baklava and Custard Tart. By combining the two into one spectacular dessert, you get to enjoy ALL the textures in every single bite. Crisp, buttery pastry, thick, creamy custard and crunchy, syrupy nuts. Not to mention the flavour combination of honey, cinnamon and that glorious vanilla flavour that you can only get from Ultra Mel custard! If you can restrain yourself, this tart really improves after a day of standing. This allows for the custard to set up nicely, and the syrup to be evenly absorbed by all the layers of pastry. When you sink your teeth into that first bite, you’ll see that it was so worth the wait!
For the syrup:
100g sugar (½ cup)
250g honey (¾ cup)
125ml water (½ cup)
30ml lemon juice (2 tbsp)
For the custard filling:
580ml Ultra Mel custard (2⅓ cups)
3 large eggs
20ml cornstarch (4 tsp)
65g sugar (⅓ cup)
5ml vanilla extract or essence (1 tsp)
For the baklava:
500g phyllo pastry, defrosted overnight in the fridge
150g salted butter, melted
120g blanched almonds
5ml ground cinnamon (1 tsp)
5ml orange zest, optional (1 tsp)
- Start by making the syrup. Place all ingredients into a small saucepan and heat on low, stirring continuously until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat and allow the mixture to come to a gentle boil for 3-4 minutes, until syrupy. Pour into a heat-proof jug and set aside to cool.
- To make the custard filling, whisk together the eggs, sugar and cornflour until combined. Meanwhile, heat the Ultra Mel custard on a low heat until just coming to a boil. Slowly pour the hot Ultra Mel into the egg mixture, whisking constantly.
- Return this mixture to the saucepan and heat on a low heat, stirring all the time. Gently bring to the boil, still stirring constantly, and heat until the mixture is very thick, about 4-5 minutes (it will initially feel lumpy but just continue to stir briskly and eventually the whole mixture will be smooth and thick).
- Strain the mixture through a sieve into a heatproof bowl. Cover with clingfilm (directly on the surface of the custard) to prevent a skin forming and set aside to cool.
- Preheat the oven to 160°C and brush a 23cm diameter loose-bottomed tin with melted butter. Place the nuts, cinnamon and orange zest into a food processor and blitz until the nuts are quite finely chopped, but still have some texture (or chop by hand if you don’t have a food processor). Add 185ml (¾ cup) of the cooled syrup to the nuts and stir to combine. Keep the remaining syrup in the fridge for later.
- Lay the phyllo sheets out onto a large board or clean work surface. Use a sharp knife to trace around the baking tin. You will need 22 rounds of phyllo in total. I got 14 full rounds of pastry and cut out 16 semi-circles to make up the rest. Use these for the lower layers, saving the complete rounds for the top of the tart. Be sure to keep the pastry covered with a clean, damp tea towel at all times or it will dry out.
- Place one round of phyllo into the base of the tin and use a pastry brush to brush the whole surface with melted butter. Top with another round and brush with melted butter. Repeat this until you have 8 buttered sheets of phyllo in the base of the baking tin. Top with the nut/syrup mixture and spread evenly. Press down gently. Top with another 6 sheets of phyllo, laying and buttering each round as before. Bake for 10 minutes then cool for 5 minutes.
- Spread the cooled custard filling over the partially baked base. Top with 8 rounds of phyllo pastry, laying and buttering each sheet as you go. Brush the top sheet generously with melted butter. Carefully use a sharp knife to slice the tart into 8 or 10 slices.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the top is golden and crisp. Remove from the oven and immediately pour on the cold syrup (using cold syrup ensures you don’t get soggy pastry). Let the tart stand uncovered for at least 3 hours before serving, or preferably overnight in the fridge.
- Store in the fridge for 4-5 days.