Saturday 26 March 2016

Quick Orange Caramel and Cinnamon Portuguese Tarts

Happy Easter everyone! I bring you these tasty portuguese tarts (instead of a chocolate egg), but they are rather 'easter' ish with the hot cross bun flavors of cinnamon and orange. These tarts are perfect for when you've got a pack of ready made puff pastry in the fridge and you don't know what to do with it. When flicking through my old Jamie's 30 Minute Meals book I came across his recipe for quick portuguese tarts and was interested to try this rendition made with crème fraîche instead of the tradish' custard method and topped with an orange caramel. Mmmmmm!!!

I didn't quite manage to bash 'em out in 30 minutes (disappointedly) but nonetheless they were quick to do, and were ready to eat in under an hour. Still very impressive, well I think so! I'd forgotten how great his 30 minute meals book was to be honest, I'll definitely be revisiting it to try out some recipes I've never actually got round to making before. 

I have adapted Jamie's recipe slightly, the tarts have cinnamon sprinkled between the layers of pastry and in the custard too along with the zest of an orange. Then, the caramel to top it all off, is flavoured with the juice of an orange, made with that instead of your usual water sugar syrup. Oh and I made the recipe to give 12 tarts instead of 6, who wants just 6 tarts?! They'd be gone in a flash. 

Note: To clean your pan after making the caramel, boil a kettle ready and then once you've emptied the pan, quickly pour in boiling water and put it back onto the heat to dissolve those annoyingly hard bits of caramel left which won't budge. 

Quick  Orange Caramel and  Cinnamon  Portuguese  Tarts


Makes 12 tarts
plain flour for dusting
500g pack of ready made puff pastry
few good pinches ground cinnamon
10 tbsp caster sugar
flavourless oil spray for greasing
250ml crème fraîche
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 large orange


Preheat the oven to 200°C/ 400°F/ gas 6. Dust a work surface with flour and then roll out your pastry to a rough rectangle measuring approx 30 x 40 cm. Sprinkle over a a few good pinches of cinnamon and a tbsp of sugar. Roll up the pastry starting at one long side to the other, into a swiss roll shape tightly. Cut into 12 equal sized rounds. 

Grease a 12 hole muffin tin with oil spray and then press each pastry round into the tin, cut side up so you can see the swirl, then use your fingers to mold and push the pastry into the sides of the muffin hole, stretching the pastry until the bottom is flat and the pastry comes up the sides to the top. Put the pastry cases into the oven to bake for 10 mins. Then take the tin out of the oven and with a small teaspoon, push the puffed up pastry back to the sides and bottom to make room for the filling. Put them back into the oven to bake again for another 2 minutes until lightly golden. 

Meanwhile, to make the filling put the crème fraîche, eggs, vanilla, 2 tbsp sugar, a few pinches of cinnamon and the zest of an orange into a large jug and whisk till well combined. Once the pastry cases have cooked, take them out of the oven and slowly pour in the custard mixture into the cases, being careful not to overfill them or spill any down the sides. 

Return the pastry cases back to the oven to bake for 10 minutes. When the tarts have a few minutes left to cook make the caramel. 

Put a small metal saucepan on a high heat and squeeze in the juice of the zested orange, add 7 tbsp of sugar and leave to dissolve and bubble. Keep an eye on the caramel and don't be tempted to stir it, only swirl the pan. Once the mixture begins to bubble less and turns to a light golden straw colour it's done and lift the pan off the heat immediately. 

Carefully remove the tarts from the tin using a palette knife and leave them to cool on a wire rack. Pour over a little hot caramel onto each tart, leave the tarts to cool down and set. They're best eaten on the day of the making, store in the fridge in an airtight container. 

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