Portuguese Style Vanilla Tartlets
Thaw the shortcrust pastry. Brush a muffin tin with butter. Cut out 12 circles from the pastry dough each about 10 cm (4 inches) in diameter and press into the muffin tins. Prick the dough in several place with a fork. Refrigerate while making the filling.
For the filling, split the vanilla pod lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Mix the cream and milk. Add about 10 tablespoons of cream-milk mixture to the sugar and vanilla pudding mix and stir until smooth.
Bring the remaining milk mixture to a boil with vanilla seeds and the pod, then remove the pod. Stir the blended pudding mix into the boiling cream mixture and return to a boil. Add the egg yolks and then stir over a cold water bath until cooled.
Pour the filling into the pastry-lined muffin tins and bake in an oven preheated to 200°C (approximately 400°F) for 10 minutes. Turn the heat down to 180°C (approximately 350°F) and bake another 10 to 15 minutes.
To serve, let the tartlets cool for 10 minutes in the muffin tins, then unmold and cool completely before serving..