As we’ve been in the new apartments for a few weeks now, we’ve had friends around a few times for drinks, cheese, and dinner.
When it comes to dessert, even though we have the best ice cream shop in town pretty much across the road from us, I still feel like the pressure is on me to bake something.
Maybe if I was just a pastry chef, and didn’t have the blog, maybe if people didn’t have to look at everything I bake on Instagram all the time, then maybe I wouldn’t put that pressure on myself, but nevertheless, I do, and dessert is on me.
And lately, this tart has been my favourite thing to bake for dessert.
It is the most beautiful custard tart I’ve ever eaten.
It’s creamy and smooth, and tastes just like creme brûlée in a buttery, short tart shell.
Sometimes, I brûlée it, and it looks like these gorgeous little tarts, with that crunchy burnt sugar top and creamy filling.
Sometimes, I grate fresh nutmeg over the top, and it tastes just like the best version of the best traditional custard tart you can buy.
Here, I’ve left it plain, and you can do with it whatever you like!
- FOR THE SWEET SHORTCRUST PASTRY:
- 125g unsalted butter, softened
- 100g caster (superfine) sugar
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 egg
- 250g plain flour
- FOR THE CUSTARD FILLING:
- 500g cream
- 7 egg yolks
- 65g caster (superfine) sugar
- ½ vanilla pod
- To make the tart pastry, cream the butter, sugar and salt in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment until well combined.
- Add the egg and mix until fully incorporated.
- Turn the mixer onto a low speed and mix in the flour until just combined.
- Remove the dough from the bowl and shape into a flat disc. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate until completely chilled, about an hour.
- Remove the pastry from the fridge about ten minutes before you're ready to roll it out.
- Grease a 9 inch tart shell with spray oil and lightly flour your bench.
- Roll out the tart pastry until it is ⅛ inch thick, and a little bigger than your tart pan.
- Lift the pastry off the bench and place it into the tart tin. Press it into the base and up the side, then trim off the excess around the edges.
- Place the tart in the fridge to allow the pastry to chill for half an hour, then preheat the oven to 170 C (340 F).
- Prick the tart shell all over with a fork, then bake, uncovered, for 20 - 30 minutes, until lightly golden.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 120 C (250 F). Meanwhile, prepare the custard filling.
- Pour the cream into a medium saucepan, and add the seeds scraped out from the vanilla pod.
- Place over a high heat and bring to the boil.
- Meanwhile, in a large heatproof bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until combined.
- Once the cream has boiled, pour it into the egg yolk mixture in a steady stream, while constantly whisking. Transfer the custard mixture to a jug.
- Place the tart shell onto a flat baking tray. Place this in the oven. With the door open, pull out the rack with the tart shell on it, and carefully pour in the custard mixture. Slowly push the rack back in, shut the oven door and bake the tart for 45 minutes to an hour, until set and no longer wobbly.
- Remove from the oven, allow to cool and garnish as desired. Serves 8 - 10.
- Happy baking!
Pastry recipe adapted from Tartine.
Filling adapted from Justin Piers Gellaty, via the Guardian.