Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Brandied custard and fruit mince tart, 500 posts and a giveaway

Have you ever seen a recipe and built up high hopes around it, and literally itched to make it, then when you finally do, it falls short of your expectations?

This is exactly what happened to me when I made Jocelyn Hancock's Brandied Custard and Raisin Tart, from p22 of Brisbane News (December 2-8, 2009). I am not blaming Jocelyn or the recipe - it's just that (a) I found this tart too eggy for my liking (and I am a fan of egg custard); and (b) I used a smaller pie tin than recommended, which resulted in the wrong ratio of fruit to custard in the finished tart, making it a little "meh" in my view.

My tart shell would not take all of the custard, and as I did not reduce the amount of fruit proportionately, I ended up with a tart filled with lots of fruit and with a thin custard shell on top:

I substituted the brandied raisins for fruit mince, which could have worked well if the custard component of the tart had turned out.

If you are a custard tart fan and would like to try this out, the recipe is as follows:

28cm baked shortcrust pie shell (bought or home made)
1 1/2 cups raisins
180ml brandy
zest of 1/2 an orange
2 egg yolks
3 eggs
75g sugar
375ml whipping cream
nutmeg for sprinkling on top

Put the raisins and 160ml of brandy in a small bowl and allow the fruit to soak overnight.

Next day, preheat your oven to 165 degrees Celsius. Put the zest, yolks, eggs, sugar and cream into a large bowl and mix well. Stir through the remaining 20ml brandy.

Cover the base of the pie shell with the raisin mixture, then pour the custard mixture on top. Sprinkle some nutmeg on top of the custard, and place the tart in the oven to bake for 40-50 minutes or until set. Remove the tart from the oven and allow it to cool. Chill before serving.

I have just realised that this is my 500th post - I can hardly believe it, but it is true.

To celebrate the occasion, I am going to introduce a Laws of the Kitchen first - a giveaway. I have bought a copy of The Australian Women's Weekly Little Pies and Cakes to give away:

Just like this blog, this book is a little bit savoury and a little bit sweet - hopefully something for everyone.

If you'd like to win this book, just leave a comment on this post. I will then use a random number generator to generate a number, and if the number of your comment matches that number, you win the book! It doesn't matter where you are from - for this celebration, I will mail anywhere in the world that has a postal service (although I can't guarantee that it will actually get there - the mail can be mysterious). If you don't have a blog, you will need to leave your email address with your comment so that I have some way of contacting you if you win.

Entries close at 6am Australian Eastern Standard Time on 27 January 2010, and the winner will be announced on this blog by midnight Australian Eastern Standard Time on the same date. Good luck!


Ivy said...

I am sorry to hear that the recipe didn't meet your expectations. I am a fan of custard cakes and the addition of fruit mince sounds great.

Amy said...

I hate it when a recipe is less that you had hoped; very disappointing. I love custard so am tempted to see if I would feel the same.....
Nothing like a give away to bring out the lurkers. Hi, I'm Amy and I read your blog :) I found it through NQN.

Food.Baby said...

Such a shame it didn't work out. It sounds delicious though. Congratulations on your 500th post!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Happy 500th post Cakelaw! You don't need to count my entry as I think others would want the cookbook more than I would (not that I'd win of course!). Sorry to hear that the tart wasn't as good as you'd hoped!

natalia said...

Ciao ! Happy 500th post ! Wow they are so many !!! I'm sorry about the tarte !! It looked good.

Gloria said...

I love your Blog dear Cake law and this look so good.
I love custard cakes.
Congrats by 500!!! post Im amazed! Is nice.
I love the book. Dear I remember you today Im using the towel kitchen you send me, xxxx gloria

Lazy Cook said...

That's so disappointing! It sounded so yummy in theory... is there another recipe that might work better?

Happy Cook said...

Oh yes it has happend to me few times. And the dispontment i feel is really bad.
Congragulations reaching 500 posts.
I sure will have to wait long to get to this number. You bake and cook so much.

Anonymous said...

Oh how disappointing for you - a THIN custard layer! Are you going to give it another go & change the ratio?

Jennifer said...

Your tart looks lovely!!!!

Congratulations on your 500th post! It's been so good getting to know you through your blog!

The Blonde Duck said...

What a shame. I love custard.

Cakelaw said...

Hi Ivy, perhaps if I had used a larger pan so it could take all the custard, it may have worked better. Still worried about the egginess though ...

Hi Amy, lovely to hear from you - thanks for dropping by.

Thanks Susan!

Hi Lorraine, another time - and paying more attention to the pan size! - may make it better.

Thanks Natalia.

Hi Gloria, thank you, and thank you for being a regular visitor. Glad you are making good use of the teatowel!

Hi LazyCook, the Caked Crusader has a custard tart recipe that looks soooo good that I'd like to try.

Hi HappyCook, it just sneaks up on you - you'd be surprised how quickly it happens. (My blog is not yet 3!)

Hi Lily, perhaps - but I think I might try another custard tart recipe.

Thanks Jennifer - and it's been great getting to know you too.

Hi Duckie, a kindred spirit in that respect! I love the photo of your dad with his "gravy".

Anonymous said...

Too bad about the tart, but congratulations on 500 posts! I really enjoy reading about all the wonderful things you're baking!

Alison Cook said...

Congratulations on the 500th post!

Johanna GGG said...

congratulations on 500 posts - I have had a few successes from your recipes so look forward to many more posts - and sorry to hear the tart was a meh in your mouth but it is always good to try these things as I think it helps us to know what to do and what not to do - mince in a tart sounds interesting - maybe you will find another way to make it work

Cakelaw said...

Thanks Jill - I appreciate your kind thoughts.

Thanks Alison!

Thanks Johanna - it's always good to hear when someone makes something off this site and it works out well. I also have a few of your recipes marked to make - will let you know once I have made them.

Tanja ( said...

Found your blog via and wanted to check it out because my hubby is a lawyer :)
Just got immensly inspired by your hurrycurry recipes that I just have to make some of my own!