These raisin custard tarts speak pure love to me. My grandma only made this recipe twice a year: Easter and Mother’s Day. They were baked in little peach-colored Fire King custard cups. Because there was a limited quantity, you were usually only served one. I don’t have anything quite the right size or shape, so I make them in ramekins.
Even though my grandma is the one who taught me to bake, she never taught me how to make these. After my grandma died, I wanted to make some tarts for my own mom for Mother’s Day. She found Grandma’s handwritten recipe and read it to me over the phone. It didn’t seem to be in a standard recipe format. I just basically had a list of ingredients and a few steps. I’m assuming that she had most of it memorized and didn’t need it all written down. I’ve baked these same tarts for many years now from my own handwritten notes. I’ve tried to transcribe it here into a regular recipe format. There is a pdf file available at the end of this post.
My grandma was a phenomenal baker and made everything from scratch including her pie crust. I’m a cheater and use regular refrigerator pie crust dough. I rolled the pie crust out a bit, but it isn’t really necessary. It depends on the size of your baking dishes. As you can see, I used the tiniest bit of flour. You don’t need very much.
Put your baking dishes or ramekins with their widest part onto the dough. I used a regular butter knife to cut about a 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch outline around the dish. It’s not an exact science, so see the picture below and know that how you shape the dough is pretty forgiving. Place the pieces of dough into the ungreased ramekin. It will only go a little way up the side. Fold it down and make a nice frilly edge. (You will see how it should look in a minute.) Gather remaining pie dough and roll out again with rolling pin. Repeat until you’ve used all of the pie crust or all of your ramekins. Two pie crusts (the top and bottom for one pie) will make 10 tarts when using this size ramekin.
Rinse raisins well! My grandma said that what made her raisin custard tarts better than anyone else’s is that she washed her raisins. The raisins will absorb some of the water and plump a little. Pat the raisins dry. Remove any stems. Place raisins in the bottom of each prepared pie crust. I like the custard part of the tart, so I only put about five raisins in each. My mom always says that my grandma put more in, so put as many as you like 🙂 .
Whisk egg in medium bowl. Add water, sugar, flour, vanilla and whisk together. Using a small measuring cup, carefully fill prepared crust almost to the bottom of the rolled crust edge. You will be adding 1/2 TBS. of butter per ramekin, so you will want to leave a space for that. You may have a little custard filling left over.
Cut butter into 1 TBS. pats and then cut each pat diagonally into a triangle. Or, you can just eyeball it and add a nice chunk of butter to each ramekin. Add more custard if necessary.
My grandmas always said “Don’t be chintzy with the butter!”
See that nice big pat of butter?
I like to put all of the ramekins onto a baking sheet to make it easier to put them into and take out of the oven.
Bake about 30 minutes until center is set or a butter knife inserted into the center comes out clean. There will be melted butter on it. Filling will be gloriously golden and bubbly. Your kitchen will smell heavenly.
Cool ramekins on wire rack until completely cool. Do not try to remove tarts from ramekin while cooling because they will fall apart.
To remove from ramekin, gently run a butter knife around the outside edge of the completely cooled tart. It should pop out easily. Serve at room temperature. Prepare for your taste buds to be happier than they’ve ever been before. Refrigerate remaining tarts.
Grandma Florence Lassond’s Raisin Custard Tarts Recipe
makes approx. 10 tarts
Unbaked pie crust
50-100 raisins (50 raisins is a scant 1/4 cup)
3/4 cup sugar
1/8 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup water
5 Tablespoons butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Roll out pie crust.
Place widest part of ramekin or other small baking dish on pie crust. Using a butter knife, cut a circle about 1/4″-1/2″ larger than the dish around each.
Place pieces of crust into each ungreased ramekin and pat into place. Crust will not go all the way up the side of ramekin. Create a rolled edge.
In a medium bowl, whisk egg. Add water, sugar, flour, vanilla. Whisk to mix.
Rinse raisins with water. Remove stems. Pat dry. Divide raisins evenly amongst prepared crusts.
Using a small measuring cup, carefully fill prepared crust almost to the bottom of the rolled crust edge.
Add 1/2 TBS. of butter to each ramekin. Add additional custard if needed.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until butter knife inserted into center comes out clean. It may have melted butter on it. Filling will be bubbly and pie crust will look done.
Cool completely on wire rack before removing tarts from ramekins.
Serve at room temperature. Refrigerate remaining tarts.
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