Dad’s often draw the short straw. Particularly when it comes to Father’s day.
The default gifts of socks and jocks isn’t particularly exciting, yet it’s what many Dad’s receive on the day on which we are supposed to celebrate and acknowledge fathers for all that they do.
It’s certainly easier selecting a gift for mothers. There’s perfume, body products, day spa vouchers and cookbooks to choose from. Flowers are always a welcome option too. But Dad’s, well, they are infinitely more difficult to buy for.
I can’t remember ever giving socks and underwear to my Dad for Father’s day. Thankfully my Dad loves to read, so there were always plenty of books from his favourite authors, Bryce Courtney and Wilbur Smith, to choose from. In recent years he’s taken up cycling, cycling around 50 kilometers a day, sometimes much more. Dad is so passionate about cycling that when he’s not on it he can be found on his iPad scouring eBay for cycling gear or parts for his bike, or reading books on the best ways to train.
Being a passionate cyclist Dad eats very healthily, however he does have a sweet tooth too. Just like me! And one of his favourite sweet treats is a custard tart from the local bakery, which Mum buys for him now and again.
So for Father’s day I thought I’d share Dad’s favourite treat – individual custard tarts. While I can’t share one with Dad in person, given the thousands of kilometers between us, I know he’s a reader, and will more than likely ask Mum to make them for him. Sorry Mum!
Here I’ve gone for a vanilla bean infused custard, topped with the obligatory nutmeg. It’s nothing fancy, but it’s a delicious classic, and one I’ve just discovered is a favourite of my husband too as he devoured one, still warm, just out of the oven, and admitted, between mouthfuls, he’d happily eat all 6!
Happy Father’s day Dad, and to all the Dad’s out there!
- 150 g plain flour (1 1/4 cups)
- 100 g unsalted butter cold and cut into cubes (3 1/2 oz)
- 30 g brown sugar (2 tbs)
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tbs ice cold water
- 250 mls cream (1 cup)
- 1 vanilla bean split and seeds scraped
- 3 egg yolks
- 30 g caster sugar (2 tbs)
- To make the pastry place the flour, sugar and butter in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the egg yolk and pulse to combine. With the food processor running drizzle in the cold water. Pulse until the mixture comes together. Wrap the pastry in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured bench until 3mm thick and line 6 10cm loose bottomed tart tins and trim the excess. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 180 celsius (350 Fahrenheit) and line each tart with foil and fill with baking weights or beans and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and weights and bake for a further 5 minutes, or until golden. Cool completely.
- Place the cream in a saucepan and bring to a boil and remove from the heat. Add the vanilla seeds and bean and leave to infuse for at least 1 hour (or even overnight in the refrigerator).
- Heat the oven to 120 celsius (250 Fahrenheit) and remove the vanilla pod and add the egg yolks and sugar and whisk to combine. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve and fill each tart base. Bake for 20 minutes or until just cooked. Dust with nutmeg and set aside to cool.