I love creme brulee. The rich vanilla custard paired with the crackly sugar top is absolutely divine! So why am I reinventing this into a tart? Personally, I like my dessert with a more complex texture. Every time I eat a bowl of creme brulee, I just wish that there is more of a crunch to balance out the custardy texture. If you are like me, this creme brulee tart is for you!
Creme Brulee Tart
This recipe makes a 6" tart. You can double the ingredients to make a bigger tart, but the baking time may vary. This is a relatively shallow tart, so it calls for a shorter bake time than regular creme brulees that are baked in ramekins. You definitely want to keep an eye on it and bake it until the center is barely set!
Make sure to thoroughly dock the bottom of the crust, or else the crust bottom will puff up, causing the filling to pool to one side, or even spill out.
Creme Brulee Tart
- 110g All purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp Icing sugar
- 75g Unsalted butter, cold
- 1-3 Tbsp ice water
- Pinch of salt
- 1 Egg, beaten (egg wash)
Creme brulee filling
- 1 cup Heavy cream
- 1/2 Tsp Vanilla extract
- Small pinch of salt
- 3 egg yolks
- 1/4 cup Sugar
- Whisk together the dry ingredients
- Using a rolling pin, pound or roll the butter out until it becomes a sheet
- Using your hands, rip the sheet of butter into the flour mixture. Toss with your hands to coat the butter with flour, then rub the butter with flour between your thumb and finger to break the butter into smaller pieces, until the mixture becomes bread crumb consistency
- Sprinkle ice water into the butter-flour mixture. Make sure not to use too much water, or else the tart crust will be chewy and tough. Using a butter knife in a cutting motion, mix the water with the butter until incorporated. To see whether the mixture is ready, take a bit of the dough and squeeze it. If it comes together, it is ready to be kneaded.
- Using your hand, bring the dough together. Take the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead it until the dough surface is smooth.
- Wrap the dough in cling wrap and let rest in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, ideally overnight, to relax the gluten.
- To roll the dough out, first lightly flour the work surface and your rolling pin. Roll out the dough into a circle that is bigger than the 6" tart tin. The dough should be ⅛” thick.
- Place the tart dough into the tin and remove excess dough. Dock the bottom with a fork. Return the dough into the freezer to chill for 20 minutes. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 356°F.
- Fully blind bake the tarts with pie weights on for 20-25 minutes. Remove the pie weights, brush on egg wash, and bake for another 15-20 minutes until the crust is solid. Let the tart crust cool in the tin. In the meantime, prepare the filling.
Creme brulee filling
- Heat the oven to 300°F.
- In a mixing bowl, beat together the yolks, vanilla extract and sugar until light.
- In a saucepan over low heat, whisk together cream and salt. When the mixture starts to smoke, pull it off heat.
- To temper the egg yolk mixture, slowly pour the hot cream into the egg yolk mixture while whisking continuously.
- Once all the cream is mixed into the egg mixture, strain the mixture to catch any potential solids in it.
- Place the tart crust in a baking tray (in case there is any filling spillover). Pour the filling into the tart crust until it is 3/4 full. Bake for 20-22 minutes until the sides are just set and the center is still wobbly.
- Let cool slightly and remove the tart tin. Allow to cool in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours for the custard to fully set.
- When it is ready to serve, sprinkle granulated sugar on top and torch the surface with a culinary torch.
- While blind baking, the crust may shrink a bit. To combat shrinkage, make the wall of the tart 1/4" taller than the tart tin wall, so that the excess dough can account for any shrinkage.
- Some ovens may run hot while others may be cooler. It's best to keep an eye on the tart while it is in the oven to make sure that it is not over-baked.