A Goan Sweet Treat

Barista Neville Shroff and Pastry Chef Namrata Pai pair coffee with tarts at Goa’s Coffee & Kombucha Bar.

A week before the coronavirus lockdown came into effect in India, our team was in sunny Goa shooting yoga videos and connecting with the yoga community there. As much as we love yoga though, the shoots we enjoy most are the ones that involve food. One of the last shoots we did in Goa was at Anjuna’s Coffee & Kombucha Bar which offers coffee by filmmaker-turned-barista Neville Shroff, and Goa-brewed kombucha, Alyve by Tara D’Souza. 

Neville’s double espresso with almond milk was paired with Portuguese custard tarts and raspberry and frangipane tarts from Handmade by pastry chef Namrata Pai. Check out the recipes below.

Portuguese Custard Tarts

Ingredients (Bakes 12)

  • 420 gms puff pastry 
  • 118 ml heavy cream 
  • 115 gms sugar 
  • 300 ml whole milk 
  • 2 egg yolks 
  • 11gms cornstarch 
  • 5 gms vanilla paste/extra

Method: 

  1. Roll out the puff pastry into a 10×12 inch (25×30 cm) rectangle. From the 10-inch side, start rolling the pastry into a tight roll until you have a 10-inch long roll. Return the pastry to the freezer for 30 minutes to chill until firm. 
  2. Cut the chilled pastry roll into 12 equal disks that weigh about 35 gms each.On a very lightly floured surface, place each piece of dough so the swirls in the dough are facing up. Use a rolling pin to roll each piece into a flat disc about ¼ inch wider than the diameter of the tin and about 3mm thick. Use flour sparingly when rolling out. 
  3. Place each disk onto the bottom of each custard tart tin and press the dough onto the tin. When you spread the dough into the tart tin, form a lip that sits on top of the perimeter of the tin. This is crucial for preventing the custard from overflowing. Work quickly so your dough doesn’t heat up and try not to overwork it. 
  4. Freeze the finished tart cups for at least 35 minutes or until frozen. You can make the pastry tins ahead of time and keep them frozen for up to 2 weeks. 
  5. Whisk heavy cream, sugar, whole milk, egg yolks, cornstarch, and vanilla extract in a small saucepan until the sugar is dissolved. 
  6. Place over medium low heat, continuing to whisk until the mixture begins to coat the sides of the pan. Patience and low heat are key to a successful custard. The custard should get just hot enough so you see steam beginning to form. This is your signal that the custard is almost ready. 
  7. When the custard is thick enough to coat a spoon, remove from heat and continue to whisk, ensuring you scrape the sides of the pan. Whisk until it is no longer hot. Do not cook the custard into a pudding, or it will dry out too much during baking. It’s a fairly thin consistency. 
  8. Set aside to cool completely, pressing plastic wrap onto the surface of the custard so a skin does not form on top. 
  9. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F (245 degrees C). Place the frozen pastry shells on a sheet pan (you can line it with parchment paper for easy clean-up). 
  10. Spoon the cooled custard in each shell until the custard is about 3/16 inches below the top of the pastry shell. Work quickly since you don’t want to give the custard any chance of soaking into the pastry. It’s important to have the oven ready to go once you start pouring custard into the shells. 
  11. Put the pan on the middle rack of your oven, and immediately turn the oven temperature down to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). The total baking time for your Portuguese Custard Tarts should be 30 minutes, but check them after 20 minutes and rotate the pan if they are browning unevenly. 
  12. After 25 minutes, if the pastry is turning golden brown and you see those signature scorched bubbles forming, you’re on track for another 5 minutes. If the pastry looks like it is browning too fast, you may want to turn the heat off to let residual heat finish the baking process. Oven temperatures are not always accurate and may be slightly hotter or cooler than the temperature you set it for, so play it by ear. 
  13. When baking is complete, remove the custard tarts from the oven (leaving them in the tins), and place on a rack to cool. 
  14. Your Portuguese Custard Tarts will have a delicious aroma and you might be tempted to devour them immediately but please wait until they cool, as the custard will be extremely hot. Once they are cool enough to handle, remove the custard tarts from the tins and enjoy them warm.
  15. To reheat these tarts, preheat the oven or toaster oven to 350 degrees F, and heat them for 7-10 minutes until warmed through. 

Raspberry & Frangipane Tart

Ingredients

Tart Dough

  • 240 gms organic all-purpose flour
  • 70 gms raw sugar
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 lemon zest
  • 155 gms cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Frangipane Filling

  • 115 gms unsalted butter, softened
  • 115 gms raw sugar
  • 115 gms almond flour
  • 3 large whole eggs, room temperature
  • 15 gms organic all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 lemon zest
  • 200 gms Raspberry jam

Method

  1. Prepare the tart dough: In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, salt, and lemon zest. Pulse until well mixed. Add the cold cubed butter and pulse repeatedly until the butter is well distributed into the flour. You shouldn’t be able to see any distinguishable pieces. Add the egg yolk and vanilla extract and pulse continuously until the dough just starts to clump together.
  2. Note: It might appear very dry at first, but if you continue to pulse and process, it will come together.
  3. Transfer the dough and any smaller pieces to a clean countertop, and knead — pressing the dough down with the heel of your hand — until it is completely smooth. Press the dough into the tart ring and line. Chill the lined rings in the fridge for a minimum of one hour, or freeze for at least 30 minutes. If you are preparing the dough ahead of time: press it into a disc, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for a minimum of an hour or up to 2 days. If following this method, take the dough out of the fridge at least 15 to 20 minutes before rolling, as it will be too hard to roll right from the fridge. Roll the dough out (between pieces of parchment or wax paper to prevent sticking), carefully pick up and transfer the dough to the tart pan, using fingers to push in dough and gently shape the tart. If it cracks, just simply patch or press the pieces back together. This is a forgiving tart dough. Make sure to press dough tightly inside corners and sides. The dough can be made up to 2 days in advance or frozen up to a month ahead.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190 C) with a rack in the centre position. Lightly grease the shiny side of a piece of aluminium foil and fit it, buttered side down, against the chilled tart dough. Fill the foil with baking weights, dried beans, or granulated sugar (all options work well). Place the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and weights, and bake uncovered for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, or until the shell is lightly golden and cooked through. Set tart pan on a wire rack to cool completely before adding the frangipane and raspberry .

  1. Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or use a hand-held mixer). Beat over medium speed until creamy. Over low speed, add the almond flour, alternating with egg until the ingredients are incorporated evenly. Add the flour and mix to combine. Add the vanilla extract, lemon zest, and mix until just combined. Use right away if the other tart components are ready, or transfer to a container and refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Place the tart pan on a baking sheet. Fill the pre-baked tart shell with the frangipane filling and swirl in small amounts of homemade raspberry jam. 
  3. Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190 C) for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the frangipane has risen substantially around the sides. If the edges of the tart are gaining colour too quickly, you can lightly cover them with a ring of foil – be sure to cook the filling through completely. Transfer the tart to a rack to cool until lukewarm or room temperature before removing the sides of the tart pan.

Best eaten warm with ice-cream.

For more goodies from Handmade by Namrata Pai, call +91 98200 82170.

April 15, 2020
Photos Simon Meier

Leave a Reply