These are a very delicate take on the biscuit classic, and quite fragile too, which is why you need the piping bag. But they are pure edible nostalgia, the custard creams of your childhood dreams.
TEA MATCH A blend of Ceylon and Assam is a perfect foil for creamy biscuits. Try Fortnum & Mason’s Queen Anne Blend.
FOR THE BISCUITS
120g plain flour
40g custard powder
35g icing sugar
1⁄4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
120g unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
FOR THE CREAM FILLING
120g unsalted butter, at room temperature
90g icing sugar
1⁄2 tsp vanilla bean paste
- Sift the flour, custard powder, icing sugar and bicarbonate of soda into the mixing bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Slowly add the butter, one cube at a time. Scrape down the sides of the bowl from time to time and continue to mix until a smooth dough is formed.
- Bring the dough together into a ball and flatten into a thick, round disc. Cover and transfer to the fridge to chill for at least an hour.
- Remove the dough from the fridge 15 minutes before rolling it out, and preheat the oven to 170C/150C fan/gas 3 1⁄2. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out to roughly 3mm thick. Use a 6cm pastry cutter to cut 20 rounds from the dough, and transfer the rounds to two baking sheets lined with baking parchment, leaving 1cm between the rounds. Bake the biscuits for 10 minutes. They will look slightly golden, but it’s important that they don’t take on much colour. Allow the biscuits to cool on the sheets for a couple of minutes, then carefully transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Meanwhile, put the butter and icing sugar for the filling into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat until smooth, then add the vanilla paste and beat again. Scrape down the sides and continue to mix until the vanilla is incorporated. Use a spatula to transfer the mixture to a disposable piping bag. Cut a 5mm hole in the pointed end of the piping bag and pipe spirals of the icing on ten of the biscuits, leaving 5mm between the filling and the outside edge of the biscuit.
- Carefully place an un-iced biscuit on top of an iced one and repeat with the remaining iced and un-iced biscuits – there will be ten filled custard creams in total. Store in an airtight container in a cool spot for up to five days.
Now buy the book
Our afternoon tea recipes are from Fortnum & Mason: Time for Tea by Tom Parker Bowles (Fourth Estate, £20). To order a copy for £17.60 until 2 May call 020 3308 9193 or go to mailshop.co.uk/books. Free p&p on orders over £20. All the teas listed here can be bought at fortnumandmason.com.
Afternoon tea recipes: Roger Pizey, Executive pastry chef at Fortnum & Mason. Photographs: David Loftus.