Queen Elizabeth II is said to have a sweet tooth and enjoys a piece of cake or a scone at afternoon tea every day. However, her 80th birthday called for something different and top British chef Marcus Wareing managed to delight with a special custard tart.

The Queen recently celebrated her 94th birthday in lockdown on April 23.

On what will have been a pared-back birthday, she may have reminisced fondly on her 80th birthday celebration at which a magnificent custard tart was served.

The custard tart recipe is treasured by Mr Wareing’s family which he shared with Town and Country magazine.

The delish sweet treat is still regularly on the menu at The Berkley Hotel where Marcus is a chef.

However, the recipe is here if you want to give making it at home a go.

How to make the Queen’s favourite custard tart

This is the recipe for Marcus Wareing’s custard tart as first published by Town and Country.

Ingredients (Makes six to eight slices)


1 quantity chilled Shortcrust Pastry (See recipe below.)

2 large organic egg yolks, lightly beaten, to glaze


9 large organic egg yolks

75g caster sugar

500 ml whipping cream

1 whole nutmeg, for grating


Line a large roasting pan with non-stick baking parchment. Place a buttered 18 x 3.5 cm pastry ring (or loose-bottomed tart tin) in the centre. Roll out the pastry, chill for half an hour and then use to line the ring, letting the surplus hang over the top. Chill for another half an hour.

Heat the oven to 374F.

Bake the pastry case blind for 10 minutes until it starts to turn golden brown.

Remove the paper and rice, and brush the inside of the party case with the egg yolks.

Return to the oven to bake for 5 minutes. Leave to cool.

Next, make the filling.

Put the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl and whisk to combine.

Pour in the cream, mix well and then strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a heavy pan.

Warm over a low heat to blood temperature (98.6°F), stirring all the time. Put into a jug.

Put the cooled pastry case, still in the ring, in the parchment-lined pan, on the middle shelf in the oven.

Slowly and carefully pour in the custard, filling the case as full as you can – right to the very top.

Grate nutmeg liberally all over, to cover the custard completely.

Bake the tart for 45-50 minutes until the custard looks set but not firm – it should have a slight, even quiver across the top when you gently shake the roasting pan.

Leave to cool to room temperature, then remove the ring. Cut into neat wedges with a sharp knife to serve.

Sweet Shortcrust Pastry


230 g plain white flour, sifted with a pinch of salt

150 g chilled unsalted butter, diced

75 g caster sugar

Finely grated zest of 1 lemon

1 medium organic egg beaten with 1 medium organic egg yolk


In a large bowl, gently work the flour and butter together until the mix looks like breadcrumbs.

Stir in the sugar and lemon zest, then add the eggs slowly to form a dough. Gently shape it into a ball, flattening slightly and then wrap tightly in clingfilm and refrigerate for two hours before using.

This pastry is very fragile, and handles best when well-chilled.

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