Put into a tea-cup a large table-spoonful of arrow-root flour. Pour on it a very little cold milk, and mix it very smooth with a spoon; seeing that it is entirely free from lumps. Boil, in a sauce-pan, a quart of cream or rich unskimmed milk, with the yellow rind of a large lemon or orange, pared thin, or cut into slips; or use for flavouring a handful of bitter almonds or peach kernels, blanched and broken up; or, what is still better, a vanilla bean. The milk must boil slowly (keeping it closely covered) till it is highly flavoured. Then strain out the lemon-peel or other flavouring, and set away the milk to cool. Beat the yolks of eight eggs till very thick and smooth, and stir them gradually into the milk, alternately with four heaped table-spoonfuls of powdered loaf-sugar. Add some grated nutmeg. Put the whole into a sauce-pan, and place it on hot coals or on the stove, and continue to stir it till it begins to boil. Then remove it immediately, lest it should curdle, and keep stirring it till it begins to cool. Afterwards set it in a cold place.
Sift into a pan a pound and a half of flour; mix in a quarter of a pound of white sugar; cut up in it half a pound of fresh butter, and rub it well into the flour and sugar. Beat two eggs very light, and with them wet the flour, etc, to a dough, adding a very small level tea-spoonful of soda, dissolved in a very little cold water. Mix the paste well till it becomes a lump of dough. Then beat it on all sides with the rolling-pin. Transfer it to the paste-board, and roll it out thin. Divide it equally into square pieces. Put thickly on each piece a portion of the cream or custard mixture, and fold over it the four corners of the paste, so that they approach each other in the centre. Dredge each tart with powdered loaf-sugar. Set them into the oven, and let them bake of a light brown. They are best when fresh, but not warm; and will be found delicious.
The custard may be coloured green by boiling pistachio nuts in the milk, with the flavouring.