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I always make my own custard when I bake Portuguese Tarts but want to take a shortcut. Can I use store bought custard to make Portuguese Tarts? What kind of custard do I need to buy? Should be at the room temperature before I bake?

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Are you asking about something similar to this: allrecipes.com/recipe/… If so, it appears to be a standard custard. While you could use a custard mix or buy a custard, since this is the star of the pastry, the quality of your outcome might suffer. Custard is fast and easy to make; if you want a short cut, I would buy puff pastry or pie dough for the shell. –  SAJ14SAJ Dec 25 '13 at 8:51
    
@SAJ14SAJ: Thanks, yes, that's a similar recipe to the one I use. I was just wondering if the store bought thick custard would do the trick –  Divi Dec 25 '13 at 11:30
    
Without knowing the ingredients and method used to make the custard, it's not possible to know how it will react to being reheated. –  DrRandy Jun 24 at 20:35

2 Answers 2

Short Answer: Probably, but it won't taste as good.

Longer Answer: Given that most packaged custards (if you mean the powdered sort such as Bird's or Jello) do not contain eggs, you might find that the custard does not behave quite the same and certainly will not taste as rich. They tend to use yellow food colouring to give the bright yellow colour that you would get from the egg yolks. It's a bit like asking if you can substitute Cool Whip for Whipped Cream. Yes, but....

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The best shortcut I can suggest without seriously impairing quality is to find a good Portugese bakery. Using store-bought pastry will be just as disappointing as using store-bought custard if you're used to making them from scratch. –  Allison Jul 28 at 20:07

If by store bought custard you mean something like Bird's custard powder, then no you cannot. Though I don't believe there is a hard distinction between them, generally what the English consider custard is more of a cream. I make the distinction, again this maybe somewhat arbitrary, in that a custard is intended to be cooked and set, which is what you're going for with the Portuguese tarts. A cream, on the other hand, is constantly stirred while heating to prevent setting, such as creme anglaise (which is what Bird's and other custard powders are intended to mimic).

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