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Mary Berry Portuguese Custard Tarts with Apricots

  • Vegetarian Recipes Icon
Calories: 281.73|Fat: 14.43|Carbohydrates: 32.48|Protein: 3.96 |
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Nothing simpler and tastier than Mary Berry's Portuguese Custard Tarts! Creamy custard, sweet apricot jam, sliced apricots and buttery pastry—a super tasty treat awaits!
apricot tart mary berry
Mary Berry’s Apricot Portuguese Tarts use a homemade custard whipped up with milk, cream, vanilla extract, eggs, and sugar, poured into a buttery puff pastry crust and then topped with sliced apricots. Baked until the pastry turns golden and the custard sets, they create a visually appealing treat with an enticing aroma.
A pastel de nata is a traditional Portuguese custard tart crafted from delicate puff pastry and generously filled with creamy egg custard. These delectable treats are typically served with a light dusting of powdered sugar and a sprinkle of aromatic cinnamon. Baked at high temperatures, the tarts emerge with beautifully scorched tops, adding to their irresistible allure. – Caroline

Why You’ll Like It

  • Unique Fusion: Mary Berry’s Apricot Portuguese Tarts blend the best of jam buns, Bakewell tarts, and custard tarts into one irresistible treat.
  • Evokes Italian Memories: Reminiscent of Italian crostata, these tarts bring back fond recollections of cherished flavours and experiences.
  • Creamy Custard: Enjoy a homemade custard filling made with milk, cream, and vanilla extract.
  • Fills Kitchen with Aroma: Encased in a flaky puff pastry crust, each bite offers a crispy, buttery shell topped with homemade custard and sliced apricots. Baked to golden perfection, these tarts fill your kitchen with a delightful aroma.
    Make Ahead Option: The tarts freeze well, allowing you to prepare in advance for special occasions.
apricot tart mary berry

Portuguese Tarts Recipe Mary Berry

  • Vegetarian Recipes Icon
Author Caroline Sciberras
Servings 10 tarts
Calories 281.73
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Fat: 14.43|Carbohydrates: 32.48|Protein: 3.96


Nothing simpler and tastier than Mary Berry's Portuguese Custard Tarts! Creamy custard, sweet apricot jam, sliced apricots and buttery pastry—a super tasty treat awaits!


  • 1 packet 320 grams ready-rolled all-butter puff pastry
  • ½ tin 200 grams apricots, drained and sliced
  • 15 grams ½ ounce demerara sugar
  • 3 tablespoons apricot jam melted, to glaze

For the custard:

  • 250 millilitres 1 cup milk
  • 100 millilitres 2/5 cup pouring double cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 115 grams 4 ounces caster sugar
  • 4 level teaspoons cornflour


  • Prepare the muffin tin and preheat the oven. You will require a 12-hole deep muffin tin and a 10cm (4in) round cutter. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C Fan/Gas 6.
  • For the custard. Heat milk, cream, and vanilla in a saucepan until hand hot. In a heatproof bowl, whisk together the whole egg, egg yolks, sugar, and cornflour. Pour in the hot milk mixture, whisking until smooth. Return the custard to the saucepan, heat over medium heat, and whisk until it thickens to a custard consistency. Avoid overcooking. Spoon the custard into a bowl, cover with cling film, and let it cool.
  • Unroll and cut the pastry.  Unroll the pastry, cut it in half lengthways, stack the strips, and cut it in half widthways. Roll out one piece thinly to create a large enough pastry for 5 discs using a 10cm (4in) cutter. Repeat with the other piece, yielding 10 discs in total.
  • Assemble the tarts. Place the rounds in the muffin tin, pressing firmly up the sides and pricking the bases with a fork. Fill the pastry cases with the cold custard, top with apricot slices, and chill for 30 minutes if time allows. Sprinkle the demerara sugar over the tarts.
  • Bake. bake for 25–30 minutes until the pastry is golden and the custard is set. Cool slightly.
  • Serve. Brush melted jam over the tart tops before serving.
Essential kit: You will need a 12-hole deep muffin tin and a 10cm (4in) round cutter.
Mary’s Tips: This can be made up to a day ahead, but best enjoyed fresh on the day. Freezes well but is better when made fresh.

Tips & Tricks

    • Whisking Tip: Make sure not to overheat the custard while whisking it to a thick consistency.
    • Choose Your Puff Pastry: Opt for delicate puff pastry to create a light and flaky crust for your pastel de nata.
    • Generously Fill with Custard: Ensure the tarts are generously filled with creamy egg custard for a rich and indulgent flavour.
    • Bake at High Temperature: Bake the tarts at a blazingly hot temperature to achieve beautifully scorched tops, adding to their visual appeal and flavour.

Variations and Ingredient Substitutions

    • Fruit Variations: Experiment with different fruits like strawberries, raspberries, or peaches if apricots are not in season. Consider blending the fruits and adding a drizzle on top of the tarts for added creativity.
    • Dash of Cinnamon: Enhance the flavour of the custard by adding a sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg. This simple addition can provide a warm and aromatic twist to the tarts.
    • Chocolate Drizzle: For an extra indulgent touch, consider drizzling melted chocolate over the tarts. This addition can elevate the flavour and appeal of the dessert, adding a rich and decadent element.
    • Make it vegan. Use any leftover Lemon Curd to replace Mary Berry’s custard filling.
portuguese tarts with lemon curd

Storage and Make-Ahead Instructions

While these tarts are best enjoyed fresh on the day of baking, you can extend their enjoyment with proper storage and make-ahead techniques. STORAGE
  • Leftovers: Place any remaining tarts in an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator for up to a day.
  • Freezing: For longer storage, freeze the tarts in a freezer-safe container or bag for up to 3 months.
  • Prepare them a few hours before: You can prepare the tarts the night before serving and refrigerate them until needed. Simply serve them warm or at room temperature when ready.
  • Prepare them more than one day in advance: If preparing in advance, thaw frozen tarts in the refrigerator before serving.
  • Reheating: Reheat the tarts in the oven or microwave until warmed through for a delicious homemade treat.

How to serve the Portuguese Tarts Mary Berry

Apricot Portuguese tarts can be enjoyed whenever the craving strikes:
  • Use throughout the year but they are particularly delightful during the spring and summer seasons when apricots are in peak season.
  • Serve warm tarts with a generous scoop of whipped cream or a dollop of crème fraîche.
  • Dust tarts with powdered sugar or a sprinkle of cinnamon.
  • Showcase the Portuguese Custard tards on a dessert platter with fresh berries and chocolate truffles.
Share these delicious tarts with loved ones during afternoon tea or as a sweet ending to a dinner party. I’m sure they will be a hit.

Health Info

  • Calories: 281.73
  • Sugar: 18.62
  • Sodium: 114.41
  • Fat: 14.43
  • Carbohydrates: 32.48
  • Fiber: 0.55
  • Protein: 3.96

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