Make sure the pastry ingredients are well chilled and the custard ingredients are at room temperature. The pastry is partially baked before filling to ensure a crisp crust.
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
1 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. granulated sugar
10 tbsp. chilled unsalted butter, cut into ¼ inch cubes
5-7 tbsp. ice water
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1 ½ cups heavy cream
1 cup granulated sugar
6 egg yolks
To make the pastry:
1. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, pulse the flour, salt and sugar to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the flour resembles coarse, uneven cornmeal, about 10 1-second pulses.
2. Drizzle 5 tablespoons of the ice water over the mixture. Pulse several times to work the water into the flour. Add the remaining water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and continue pulsing until the mixture develops small curds. Turn the dough out onto a work surface, shape it into a disc and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
3. On a lightly floured surface, roll half the dough to 1/16-inch thickness. Cut out 6 (4 ½-inch) circles. (If you don’t have a cookie cutter, a wide-mouth jar works well.) Ease the dough circles into a 12-cup (4-ounce capacity) nonstick muffin tin, pressing out any overlapping folds. Repeat with the remaining dough. Place the tin in the freezer for 5 minutes. Remove and trim any overhang with the back of a knife so that the pastry cups are flush with the top of the tins. Line dough cups with cupcake papers and fill with dried beans or pastry weights. Bake at 350˚F for 8 to 10 minutes to set.
To make the custard:
1. Dissolve the cornstarch in ¼ cup of the cream in a medium bowl. Add the remaining cream and sugar, and stir until the mixture is smooth and the sugar dissolves. Check for sugar granules with a spoon; none should remain.
2. In a small bowl, blend the egg yolks with a fork until smooth. Add the yolks to the cream mixture, stirring gently to combine.
3. Ladle the egg mixture into the partially baked pastry cups, filling to 2/3 capacity. Bake in a 350˚F oven until the edges of the custard are puffed and the middle is still jiggly, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven. (The custard will continue to cook). Cook completely in the tin. The pasties are best when eaten the same day.