Honey and date custard tart

James Martin gives classic custard tart a Middle Eastern twist with honey and dates. Serve with whipped cream.


For the pastry
  • 225g/8oz plain flour, plus extra for flouring
  • 50g/2oz caster sugar
  • 125g/4½oz butter, slightly softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 1 free-range egg, beaten
  • 1 vanilla pod, scraped
  • 1 free-range egg yolk, beaten, for the egg wash
For the filling
  • 275g/10oz Medjool dates, halved lengthways, stones removed
  • 400ml/14fl oz double cream, plus extra for serving
  • 2 free-range egg yolks
  • 1 free-range egg
  • 2 tsp clear honey

Preparation method

  1. For the pastry, preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Lightly grease a 20cm/8in loose-bottomed tart tin.

  2. Put the flour, sugar and butter into a bowl and rub together gently with your fingertips until the mixture resemble breadcrumbs. (Alternatively, blend the mixture in a food processor.)

  3. Gently stir in the beaten egg until the mixture comes together as a dough.

  4. Tip the pastry onto a floured work surface and knead lightly. Cover the pastry in cling film and rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.

  5. Roll the pastry out on a floured work surface to a thickness of 0.3cm/⅛in. (The pastry should be large enough to line the tin with a little overhang.)

  6. Line the tart tin with the pastry, gently easing it down into the corners. Chill the pastry case in the fridge for 10 minutes.

  7. Place a baking tray into the oven, on the middle shelf.

  8. Line the pastry case with greaseproof paper and fill with dried beans or rice.

  9. Put the tin onto the preheated baking tray and bake for 8-10 minutes.

  10. Remove the paper with the beans and bake the pastry case for a further 5-7 minutes, or until the pastry is cooked through and pale golden-brown.

  11. Carefully trim off the overhanging pastry edge, and then brush the inside of the case with the egg yolk to seal the pastry.

  12. Put the pastry case back into the oven for a further 3-4 minutes.

  13. Remove the tart case from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 170C/325F/Gas 3.

  14. For the filling, line the tart case with the dates.

  15. Heat the cream in a saucepan until just boiling.

  16. Beat the egg yolks, egg and honey together in a bowl.

  17. Slowly whisk the hot cream into the egg mixture until well combined.

  18. Pour the custard into the pastry case and carefully transfer to the oven. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the custard has set and is pale golden-brown on top.

  19. Remove the tart from the oven and set aside to cool for 10 minutes.

James Martin recipes from Saturday Kitchen

30 mins to 1 hour preparation time

30 mins to 1 hour cooking time

Serves 6

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