Serves 8


  • 1/2 quantity sweet pastry, chilled (see separate recipe)
  • 1 pound 5 ounces heavy cream
  • 2 3/4 ounces whole milk
  • 1/2 vanilla pod, seeds scraped, or 1/2 tsp. vanilla-bean paste
  • 6 1/2 ounces egg yolk (approximately 9 yolks)
  • 2 1/4 ounces superfine sugar
  • 1/2 of a whole nutmeg, for grating


    On a lightly floured bench, roll the pastry out into a large disc, 14 inches thick. Lightly grease a 9-inch round tart tin with butter, then gently lay the pastry over it. Using your thumb, press the pastry firmly into the base, then trim the excess off with a knife. Place the tart shell in the fridge to rest for 1 hour. While the shell is resting, preheat the oven to 320°.

    To blind-bake the tart shell, line the rested pastry case with baking paper and fill with dried beans, rice or baking weights. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove the paper and beans and return the tart shell to the oven for a further 10 minutes, or until lightly golden. Set the shell aside to cool in the tin, and reduce the oven to 230°.

    (If there are any cracks in the pastry after blind-baking, brush a little egg yolk over them before filling the tart to seal them up. For slightly larger holes or tears, use a little excess pastry to fill the gap, and return to the oven for a few minutes.)

    To make the filling, gently heat the cream, milk and vanilla in a medium saucepan over a low heat, stirring, until combined and just warm.

    Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, gently whisk the eggs and sugar together until combined. Slowly pour the warmed cream and milk mixture over the eggs and sugar, whisking to emulsify. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a measuring jug.

    Line a tray with baking paper and place the tart shell on top. Place the tray in the oven on the lowest shelf, then gently pour in the custard. Bake for around 50 minutes. The center of the custard should have a slight wobble, like a jelly, but no color on top. The residual heat will finish setting the custard.

    Place the tart on a wire rack to cool, then remove the tart from the tin and transfer onto a serving dish. Grate the nutmeg over the top before serving.

    Recipe excerpted with permission from The Tivoli Road Baker by Michael James, published by Hardie Grant Books November 2017, RRP $35.00 hardcover.

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