Linser

Linser (lint-zer) are Norwegian custard tartlets. Serve them for tea or with coffee.

8 oz. flour

½ teaspoon salt

5 oz. plus

1 tablespoon butter

2 tablespoons castor sugar

1 egg yolk, lightly beaten

1 to

2 tablespoons iced water

1 egg white, lightly beaten

10 fl. oz. double cream grated rind of

1 lemon

2 egg yolks

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon grated nutmeg

To make the pastry, sift the flour and salt into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Add 5 ounces of the butter and cut it into small pieces with a knife. With your fingertips, rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles fine bread- crumbs. Mix in the sugar.

Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and add the beaten egg yolk mixed with 1 tablespoon of the iced water. With the knife, mix it into the flour mixture. Add more water if the dough is too dry.

With your hands, mix and knead the dough until it is smooth. Form the dough into a ball and wrap it in grease-proof or waxed paper. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

To make the filling, place the cream and lemon rind in a small saucepan and bring it to just under boiling point over low heat. Remove the pan from the heat, strain the cream into a small heatproof mixing bowl and set aside.

In another small mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugar with a wooden spoon until they are thick and pale in colour.

Stir a little of the hot cream into the egg mixture with a wooden spoon. Then pour the egg mixture into the bowl containing the cream and stir well.

Put the mixing bowl over a large saucepan half filled with hot water, place it over low heat and, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until the custard thickens and coats the back of the spoon.

Do not let the water in the pan boil or the custard will curdle. Remove the pan from the heat. Set the custard aside to cool.

Preheat the oven to fairly hot 400 °F (Gas Mark 6, 200°C). Using the table-spoon of butter, lightly grease a 20-cup patty tin.

On a lightly floured board, roll out the dough to ½ inch thick. Using a 3-inch round biscuit cutter, cut the dough into 20 circles. Line the patty tins with the dough circles, casing the dough in carefully.

Put the lined patty tins in the refriger-ator to chill for 10 minutes.

Remove the tins from the refrigerator. Using a pastry brush lightly brush the dough with the beaten egg white. Spoon the custard into the patty tins. Sprinkle the nutmeg on top. Place the tins in the centre of the oven and bake for 10 minutes.

Reduce the oven temperature to moderate 350°F (Gas Mark 4, 180C) and continue baking for 15 minutes or until the pastry is golden and the custard set.

Remove the tins from the oven. Leave the tartlets to cool before serving.

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