Whether it's doused in sugar syrup or spiked with ginger, most countries have their spin on this eggy, creamy classic.
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8 Jul 2019 - 2:29 PM  UPDATED 8 Jul 2019 - 2:29 PM

Malaysia: Egg tart

Big in Kuala Lumpar, these silky smooth Hong Kong-style tarts were a colonial legacy from the British. You want the custard to be just cooked through – only 10 minutes on the stovetop, max.

Greece: Semolina custard pastry with syrup (galaktoboureko)

Featuring a pastry base rather than a tart one, Greece’s custard-y hallmark sports a thick, creamy custard bulked up with semolina.  Then in true Greek dessert style, It’s doused with hot sugar syrup at the end, which is sometimes infused with orange blossom.

Portugal: Portuguese custard tarts (pastéis de nata)

Few can resist these pint-sized flakey favourites. With their crisp and crumbly base and golden top, these ones are made with a store-bought puff, but trust us: no one will notice!

Portuguese custard tarts (pastéis de nata)

Australia via France: Crème brûlée ginger tart

Our Bakeproof columnist Anneka Manning confesses that these are one of her all-time favourite desserts. The rich and velvety Crème brûlée filling, spiked with a good hit of crystalised ginger, might be the reason. Again, it’s using store-bought pastry (shortcrust this time) so it’s totally achievable.

South Africa: Milk tarts

Sometimes called Melk tarts, the South African classic needs to be started at least six hours ahead to really have time to set. Finished with a dusting of cinnamon, it’s slightly more subtle than its other custard tart counterparts.

Brazil: Brazilian coconut baked custard cake (quindão)

With its bright yellow glazed top (made with no less than 18 large egg yolks), Brazil’s quindão can be made the day ahead. The coconut base adds earthy tropical notes to the rich eggy custard.

Australia: Caramel cream tartlets with almond pastry

If you like your caramel, you’ll love these salted cardamom dulce de leche desserts. No time to make your own? No worries - you can use canned caramel from the cake aisle.

Caramel cream tartlets with almond pastry

Portugal: Portuguese espresso custard tarts

These punchy spins on the Portuguese classics are the perfect after dinner dessert and coffee hit in one. A muffin pan makes light work of feeding en masse, as does some ready-rolled butter puff.

Australia: Passionfruit tart

Served cold rather than warm, this is a zingy, bright version of the beloved custard tart, best made over the summer months. It’s a knockout dessert when it hits the table, with all that passionfruit curd oozing about.

Love a custard tart? There are Portuguese tarts in the oven on Wednesday night this week on River Cottage Australia  (Catch-up on all episodes via SBS On Demand). 

More custard-y delights
Baklava with custard filling

This version of the classic Lebanese pastry combines my two loves - custard and baklava, all wrapped up in filo and finished with fennel-spiced walnuts.

Baked chocolate egg custards

Good-quality dark chocolate that has a cocoa content of 70 per cent or higher will be rich in antioxidants and will also contain less added sugar than low-quality brands.

Mini custard filo pastries

“These pastries are my version of a traditional sweet Greek dish called galaktoboureko. It might be a hard word to say, but the combination of creamy semolina custard, crunchy buttery filo and fragrant syrup is definitely not hard to eat! If you can bear the wait, they’re best eaten the day after making.” Rachel Khoo, Rachel Khoo's Kitchen Notebook Melbourne

Classic baked custard with macerated prunes

The secret to a silky smooth baked custard is the balance of eggs to milk and cream and gentle baking. This velvety one is teamed with macerated prunes for a memorable dessert.