Introduction: There are a number of possible reasons why Swansea are known as the Jacks. First, there was a famous dog, a Labrador retriever or newfoundland, owned by William Thomas. The dog would always respond to cries for help, diving into the water and rescuing whoever was in difficulty. He rescued 27 people from the docks and River Tawe in and around Swansea; his name was Swansea Jack. Second, the derivation may come from the nickname given to Swansea’s skilled and dependable mariners. And third, a theory exists that the coal miners from there abouts were called Swansea “Jacks” because of their lunch-boxes that were uniquely made of Swansea tin and called Jacks. Who knows? I like the shaggy dog story myself.
Here are William Thomas and Swansea Jack.
Preparation time: 10mins
Cooking time: 10 mins
Home kit: 12-hole muffin tray, large mixing bowl, large frying pan
Away kit: 1 serving plate
Serves: might be 12 but it’s unlikely, they are exceedingly good.
- butter, for greasing
- 3 egg yolks
- 125g/4½ oz. caster sugar
- 30g/1oz cornflour
- 1 vanilla pod, split, seeds scraped out
- 175ml/6fl oz. whole milk
- 225ml/8fl oz. double cream
- 300g/10½ oz. puff pastry
- plain flour, for dusting
- icing sugar, for dusting
Method: Preheat the oven to 180oC
Grease the wells of a 12-hole muffin tray with butter.
Heat the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour in the pan over a low heat, whisking continuously until thickened and smooth. Add the vanilla seeds, then add the milk and cream in a thin stream, whisking continuously, until the mixture is thick, smooth and well combined. Turn up the heat a little and continue to stir the custard mixture until it comes to the boil, then remove from the heat and cover the surface with cling film to prevent a skin forming and allow to cool.
Roll out the puff pastry onto a clean work surface lightly dusted with flour and icing sugar. Cut the pastry in half and place one sheet on top of the other. Roll the pastry sheets up like a Swiss roll and cut the roll into twelve slices. Lay each of the rolled pastry slices flat onto the work surface and roll out into 10cm/4in discs using a rolling pin.
Press a pastry disc into each of the wells of the prepared muffin tray. Divide the cooled custard equally among the pastry cases.
Into the oven to bake the tarts for 18-20 minutes, or until the custard has set and is pale golden-brown and the pastry is crisp and golden-brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin.
Full time results
Serve on the plate with a nice cup of tea at half time in front of the tele.