Danish Custard Pies (Linser) from Scandinavian Baking
It's embarrassing to have to say how many cookbooks I have on the subject of baking, but let me tell you, I can never have enough! I was recently in that well known bookstore just looking in the cookbook section as you do, and came across Scandinavian Baking by Trine Hahnemann, Iwas instantly hooked just from reading the title - never mind the beautifully styled berry-spectacular layered cake on the front cover. So of course that's why I put it onto my birthday wishlist immediately.
Luckily, my boyfriend bought it me (thanks by the way!) and this was the first recipe I decided to make after much deliberation, because a custard pie is, for me, just irresistible. Timely fitting for a Mother's day treat eh?
Now here goes the running commentary so you know exactly what was going through my mind whilst making these custard pies. (Your welcome!!)
WELL firstly I'd like to point out to you all that this recipe rocks due to the pastry. It's soooo good. Definitely worth just having the sweet shortcrust pastry recipe for any tart you make. I certainly won't be forgetting it. So easy to work with and doesn't even need chilling for long. The recipe states chill for 1 hour but I think I did 30 minutes and it was ready to go! (As you know I'm a bit impatient and will cut corners where possible- this is one of them.)
I felt the recipe was bit too vague for my liking when regarding 12 hole-fairy cake tins. Trine says just place the pastry circles in the holes but I wasn't taking any risks there! I stuck to my gut instincts and decided to give a quick greasing with a spray of sunflower oil. (I had the disastrous visions of custard tart technical challenge week on The Great British Bake Off at this point.) Thankfully after letting the pies cool in their tin for about 10 minutes they popped straight out, no problem! I decided to use a 7cm cookie cutter for the base but a 6 cm cutter for the lid as I don't think it would have worked with the edges overlapping the top of the tin and that could have been another danger zone for getting the tarts out afterwards. This also made it much easier to press lightly around the edges so it stuck, since there was no call for brushing the edges with egg wash or anything of the sort...
Lastly, you'll notice that my pastry lids cracked on top, primarily I think this is because the custard expands (and you think "oh no I've overfilled them" but when cooling the custard then deflates) so what I'm trying to say is - don't panic! It's just rustic... nothing a little icing sugar won't hide here. Plus this isn't really a bad thing but, the recipe dramatically makes a lot more than the 12 intended by Trine...I'm talking an extra 7! Obviously nothing to complain about there. Just more for me. Yum!
Danish Custard Pies (Linser)
From Scandinavian Baking by Trine Hahnemann (Quadrille, £25)
For the pastry:
110g icing sugar
340g plain flour, plus more to dust
pinch of salt
225g butter, chopped
1 egg, lightly beaten
For the custard:
1 vanilla pod
300ml single cream
3 egg yolks
4 tbsp caster sugar
1 tbsp cornflour
I added a dusting of icing sugar
Mix the icing sugar, flour and salt, then mix in the butter, either pulse-blending
in a food processor or rubbing it in with your fingers, until the mixture has the
consistency of crumbs. Add the egg and mix the dough until firm and smooth.
Wrap in cling film and let it rest in the refrigerator for one hour.
Meanwhile, make the custard. Split the vanilla pod lengthways. Heat the cream
and vanilla pod in a saucepan until steaming hot, then turn off the heat. Whisk
the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour together until fluffy and pale yellow. Pour
a little of the hot cream into the egg mixture, then pour all the egg mixture into
the saucepan. Set over a low heat and whisk until the custard starts to thicken.
Take care not to boil the mixture and whisk continuously to avoid burning.
Leave to cool completely.
Preheat the oven to 160ºC/325ºF/gas mark 3.
Take the pastry out of the refrigerator and roll it out on a floured work surface
to 5–8mm thick. Cut out rounds with a 7cm cookie cutter and place them in
a 12-hole fairy cake tin. Spoon in the custard. Roll out the remaining pastry and,
with the same cookie cutter, cut out the lids. Place on top and press lightly
around the edges. Bake for about 25 minutes or until golden brown. Leave to
cool before serving. These will keep in an airtight container for four or five days.