Portuguese Custard Tart Diaries: Nova Era Bakery

Nova Era Bakery - Candy Coated Culinista

Nova Era Bakery – Candy Coated Culinista

Location: 770 College Street, Toronto, Ontario, M6G 3R1 – (416) 516-1622; Hours: Everyday – 6am – 11:00pm

Walking through Little Portugal & Little Italy of course I’m going to run into many bakeries serving Portuguese Custard Tarts. This however is the exact tart that introduced me and made me love this Portuguese treat. I had my first Portuguese Custard Tart back in 2005… how do I remember this you ask well it was the first year I started working for a new company and the bake sale had tarts from here. I remember the sweet, chewiness off the tart shell and the creaminess of the custard like it was yesterday. From the moment my mouth touched there tarts I was hooked. These Portuguese Custard Tarts taste exactly as they did back in 2005 and I enjoyed them so so much. I also enjoyed an orange tart which was a sweet citrusy treat with coarse sugar bruleed on top.

Apple Rose Tarts & Rose Bud Tarts

Apple Rose Tarts - Candy Coated Culinista

Apple Rose Tarts – Candy Coated Culinista

I have been eyeing this recipe for about a year now and have wanted to make apple rose tarts so badly. I just didn’t trust my skill level; as I found this to be one of those what I like to call more “cheffy” desserts; which requires a certain amount of skill and finesse that this home cook probably doesn’t have yet. Well when my male co-worker came to work after promising to make these with 24 apple rose tarts in hand believe me it was on. I thought if he can do it I can surely, not because he was a male but because he isn’t a baker by any means. So if that’s the case then what am I afraid of and that weekend I spent a couple of hours squashing my fear.

Yield/Serving: 14-18
Prep Time:
1 hour
Cook Time: 30-35 minutes
Difficulty level is: Medium, time consuming

• 450g box of butter puff pastry , contains 2 rolls/packages
• 6 royal gala apples, thinly sliced
• Lemon juice
• 1 cup raspberry jam
• 1 tbsp cinnamon
• 1 tsp cardamon
• Raspberries, for centre of tart
• Confectioners’ sugar, to decorate

1. Preheat oven to 360°F.
2. Spray muffin tray with cooking spray.
3. Prepare butter puff pastry as instructed on the box.
4. Work on a marble surface if possible like a pastry board, or otherwise flour your surface.
5. Roll out the puff pastry until thinned and slices sheet into 6 stripes of pastries.
6. In a small bowl mix raspberry jam and cinnamon until combined.
7. Cut apples in half and core.
8. Using a mandoline thinly slice apples and place in a bowl with lemon juice and toss. (so apples don’t brown)
9. Using a microwave safe bowl cook apples for 40 seconds until apple are pliable.
10. Brush entire puff pastry with raspberry jam.
11. Make a dome shape with the apples on the top edge of the puff pastry; letting the apple peak overtop.
12. Overlap the apples until you reach the end of the puff pastry.
13. Turn up the bottom half of the puff pastry to seal the apples in.
14. Roll the pastry tight and place in the muffin tray.
15. Place raspberry in the centre.
16. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes or until puff pastry is a golden brown.

• Use one full stripe for a full sized tart and cut pastry strip in half for a mini sized tart.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I have no idea what I was afraid of as these turned out so well and I even did a little recipe variations as I never like to copy a recipe exactly. The dough was flaky with the sweet and tart quality to the apple and raspberry. These went very fast for father’s day and the compliments came in just as fast. This took a lot of time and lots of love was put into this recipe for sure; but it was worth it in the end. People couldn’t believe I made this and frankly I couldn’t either.

Apple Rose Tarts - Candy Coated Culinista

Apple Rose Tarts – Candy Coated Culinista

Apple Rose Tarts - Candy Coated Culinista

Apple Rose Tarts – Candy Coated Culinista

Mini Jumbleberry Tarts & No Cook Jumbleberry Jam

Mini Jumbleberry Tarts - Candy Coated Culinista

Mini Jumbleberry Tarts – Candy Coated Culinista

I have never made tarts before and I stay away from anything that requires rolling dough. I lack the counter space and the skill to evenly roll. After making these tarts I know I will need to hone these skills. This recipe looked so enticing I made the homemade jam immediately and let the flavours marry and then I would tackle my tarts later. I have 6 weeks until the jam goes bad, so I have time right? I was ready to make this recipe I realized the dough had to sit in the fridge for 1 ½ hrs prior to rolling. Way to not read the recipe in full C.C. That meant I found myself making dough @ 6:45 in the morning to get this recipes completed in time.

Mr. C. was going to beat me home from work, so he pulled out the dough to rest outside and when I got home I worked fast as I had to beat the light to get a good photo. I put them in the oven and I watched as the jam spilled over in some of the tarts. I was thinking did I do something wrong and is it possible to not have spillage? Looking at the photo I knew I was doing okay, just not as pretty as the photo as usual. When they came out I wasn’t really impressed with myself. They looked okay but not great and Mr. C. keeps telling me time and time again that I am too hard on myself. Today I am starting to believe this is true, you see it’s the perfectionist in me. I wasn’t even sure if I was going to submit my semi-lemony letdowns in my eyes, but Mr. C. said to submit it and I’m glad I followed his advice.

This was a Chatelaine Cooking Club challenge and I can’t believe it but I won the best photo again. I must be doing something right, even if I can’t see it. I won a $100 gift card to Chapters.Indigo and I have some cookbooks that I will now be purchasing thanks to the cooking club. The lesson here is beauty is in the eye of the beholder and to never doubt yourself and just go for it. For the push I needed Mr. C. will be getting a treat from his wishlist also my treat. See my winning picture here.

From Chatelaine

Yield/Serving: 24
Prep Time: 30 min.
Cook Time: 25-30 min.
Difficulty level is: Hard

• 2 cups all purpose flour
• 1 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
• ½ tsp salt
• ½ 260-g cream cheese, at room temperature
• 1 egg, divided
• 1 ½ cups jumbleberry jam
• Coarse sugar (Optional)

1. Whirl flour, butter and salt in a food processor until coarse crumbs form.
2. Add cream cheese and egg yolk.
3. Pulse just until dough starts to form a ball.
4. Divide dough into 2 portions.
5. Shape each into a flat disc, then cover with plastic wrap.
6. Refrigerate until firm 1 ½ hours.
7. Preheat oven to 375°F.
8. On a lightly floured surface, roll each portion of dough into a 12`x 12`square, about 1é4`thick.
9. Cut into 24 3`circles.
10. Gently push rounds into a 24 cup mini muffin pan, pressing along the bottom, then up the sides until pastry is slightly over the rim.
11. Gather and re-roll dough scraps to ¼” thick.
12. Cut into 1” stars (or other shapes) using a cutter.
13. Fill each dough cup with 2 tsp jam.
14. Lay star cut-outs on jam.
15. Brush edges and stars reserved egg white, then sprinkle with coarse sugar.
16. Bake in centre of oven until tops are brown, 25-30 min.
17. Let stand 10 min, then remove tarts from pan.

• Make the jam in advance.

Please Enjoy

Mr. C. liked them and loved the jam.

My thoughts These tasted wonderful the cream cheese in the pastry was a great touch and the jam was amazing. It didn’t look professional but it looked rustic.

No Cook Jumbleberry Jam

This jam is to go in my mini Jumbleberry tarts. The recipe from Chatelaine required me to go get mason jars and freezer jam pectin. I had 2 packets of Club House No Cook freezer Jam and based off of both recipes this is much easier and as I’m a busy lady. I used this method and saved myself a few bucks and a trip to the hardware store. I also added blackberries as I thought it would taste even better.

Yield/Serving: 3 cups
Difficulty level is: Easy

• 1 cup strawberries, chopped
• 1 cup raspberries
• 1 cup blueberries
• 1 cup blackberries
• Lemon zest from one lemon
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• 1 – 45g pack no cook freezer jam

1. Wash and rinse your jar.
2. Place prepared fruit in a large bowl.
3. With a potato masher, mash the berries.
4. Stir in lemon zest
5. Gently stir in sugar and allow to stand for 15 minutes.
6. Slowly sprinkle in gelling powder, a little at a time onto the mixture, while stirring for 3 minutes.
7. Let stand for 5 minutes.
8. Gently stir again for 1 minute.
9. Pour jam into jars and leave 1” space at the top.
10. Seal tightly and jam is ready to eat.
11. Store in the fridge for up to 6 weeks, or store in freezer for up to one year.

Please Enjoy

Mr. C. was trying to sneak into my jam jar before I even got to make my tarts. It was that good from the taste testing.

My thoughts
The Jam is warm and fruity and with the lemon there is a brightness to jam. I have even caught myself licking the spoon or butter knife because I didn’t want to waste a morsel. I will be trying to make my own home jam from now on when the mood strikes me. There are so many possible combinations I can’t wait to make some more.

The Books & Cookie Cutters I bought with my Giftcard

The Books & Cookie Cutters I bought with my Giftcard

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