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A School Custard Tart

This tart is for those who like to raid the fridge late at A night. Condensed milk was invented in Victorian times and travelled the world during the days of the British Empire, brightening the lives of the many British expatriates stranded in tropical lands where safe fresh milk was unobtainable. In more recent times, it underwent a wartime revival, becoming 'comfort food' for children of all ages in the 1940s. It often found its way into school tarts, and this is one of them. It is very easy to make and is heartily disapproved of by 'proper' cooks.

ingredients

serves 10
225 g (8 oz) rich sweet shortcrust pastry
400 g (14 oz) can condensed milk
300 ml (1/2 pint) hot miik
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
3 eggs, well-beaten
1/4 whole fresh nutmeg

method

1. Line a deep 23cm (9 in) tart tin with the pastry and pre-bake or bake blind. Pre-heat the oven to 200°C (400°F) Gas 6.

2. Put the condensed milk, hot milk, salt and vanilla essence in a large bowl and stir to mix. The condensed milk will melt into the hot milk.

3. Add the eggs and mix well. Pour the mixture into the pre-baked pastry case and grate the piece of nutmeg over the top of the custard mixture.

4. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 170°C (325°F) Gas 3 and bake the tart for a further 30-35 minutes or until the filling begins to firm up. Test with a knife to see if it is sufficiently cooked before removing the tart from the oven.

Serve warm or cold, especially late at night.

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