A couple weeks ago I went to street eats and had the most amazing cardamom custard tart from Scratch Bakers. My only complaint is that it was a mini tart! A full sized one would have had me satisfied. Being the awesome bakers that they are, their tart was made with shortcrust pastry, a traditional custard filling with the addition of cardamom and topped with a little pistachio and raspberry for colour. It's not a super complicated tart, but it inspired me to create my own version, in full size of course.
I recently posted a recipe for milk tart, which I love far more than custard tart. So I decided to change that recipe and give it a little twist. Cardamom is often used in Indian and Middle Eastern desserts so I wanted to use other flavours that were in that theme. I've made a smiliar flavoured cake before and I thought that flavour profile would work great in this tart. And so, the idea was born, all that was left was the execution.
Just one note about the rosewater. I used natural rosewater from the middle east. It can be found in Indian or Middle Eastern shops. I think I have seen it in Nosh or Farro Fresh as well. It's water that is flavoured with actual rose petals, as opposed to the cheap stuff that is flavoured with artificial rose essence. Please don't confuse rose water with rose syrup. It is not the same thing. Rosewater is a clear liquid that looks like water. The red rose syrup, is nowhere related to rose water at all.
Rosewater & Cardamom Milk Tart (Adapted from SA Milk Tart Recipe)
½ cup sugar
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
4 ½ cups milk
1 pinch vanilla powder, or 1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tsp ground cardamom
2 Tbs cornflour
2 Tbs flour
1 cup sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
pinch of salt
2 tsp rosewater
100g butter, cold
Preheat your oven to 180°C.
We start with the pastry.
Cream the butter and sugar well. Add the egg and mix until combined.
Add the rest of the pastry ingredients and mix until it forms a stiff dough. The dough doesn't need to rest, so you can roll it out immediately and press it into your pie dish. I have used a 25cm fluted flan dish, but a regular 20cm pie dish will work as well. You might have a little extra pastry left over depending on the size of your dish. You can use the extra to make mini tarts in a muffin tray :)
One the pastry has been pressed into your tin, blind bake it for 15 minutes. I used baking paper to cover the pastry and filled it with baking beans, you can use regular beans or rice if you don't have baking beans. After 15 minutes remove the paper and beans and return the pastry shell to the oven for an additional 5-7 minutes until it's a light brown.
Remove from the oven and set aside to cool completely.
Now move on to the filling.
Place your milk in a heavy bottom saucepan on medium heat. Add your vanilla and cardamom and bring the milk to a boil.
In the meantime, in a bowl, place your eggs. Give it a whisk until they are broken. Then add the sugar, flour, cornflour and salt and give another whisk until it's all combined.
Your milk should be boiling by now. Add one ladle of the warm milk to your egg mixture while whisking continuously. Add another ladle. Then add the rest of the milk. This process is known as tempering, and it prevents the eggs from curdling.
Return your mixture to your saucepan and put it back on the heat. Cook it until it thickens.
Once it's reached the desired consistency, remove from the heat, add butter and rosewater and mix through. Pour into the now cooled pastry shell and pop in the fridge to set over night.
Before serving, decorate with crushed pistachios and freeze dried raspberries.