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 it be at room temperature before I bake?

  • 5
    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
    Commented Dec 25, 2013 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
    Commented Dec 25, 2013 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
    Commented Jun 24, 2014 at 20:35
  • I don't think you could get quicker than this buying them pre-made! Jamie Oliver Video
    – Jolenealaska
    Commented Oct 13, 2014 at 1:32

3 Answers 3


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....

  • 1
    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
    Commented Jul 28, 2014 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).


Looking at this I would suggest that as opposed to a 'custard' that what would work, and taste better would be a store bought creme patisserie

In the uk where I am I would suggest either waitrose or marks and Spencer's

If you live abroad and can't get this then several uk food exporters sell around the world, including this one


(Other retailers also carry this)

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