Saturday, March 26, 2011

Burnt Caramel Custard Tartlets

Like a Créme brulée in pastry, these tartlets crackle with temptation. Burning the sugar into caramel is made easy with a chef’s blowtorch but since I do not have one , I just throw the brown sugar on the surface of the half baked tarts and let the oven heat caramel the sugar. The effect is almost the same as using a blowtorch :p  

I took this recipe from my 500 pies and tarts book. It taste almost like the Portugese tart but the custard filling texture is slightly different. I love it and I am sure Claire and her gal love them too :) I love the richness and the golden color of the caramel....every bite is sheer estacy....mmmmm I shall make this again for my Piggies , for they love custard tarts.  The crust is crispy and flaky too. I used the citrus crust instead of the basic crust. The recipe is below.

This is indeed a yummilicious piece of burnt caramel custard tart and the rest are for drooling.  Yea, I admit I am  the wicked Momsie...always teasing my Piggies with the mouth-watering near and yet so far.  The screen is near but the tart is far :p

Burnt Caramel Custard Tartlets
(Printable Recipe)

Ingredients :-

1 recipe basic crust  ( refer to recipe below )
55 gm ( 2oz) granulated sugar
5 large egg yolks
285 ml (10 floz ) whipping cream
120 ml ( 4 floz ) whole milk
2 tsp vanilla essence
40 gm  (1 1/2 oz ) light brown sugar

Method to make the tartlet

Preheat the oven to 190º C . On a lightly floured surface, roll out half the quantity ( one disc) of pastry dough. Using a 7.5 cm round cutter , cut out circles of pastry. Gently push the circles into the cups of a 12 cup muffin tin. Collect the scraps, roll out and repeat. roll out the second disc of pastry dough. Each disc should yield 9 tartlets shells, but if you prefer a thick crust, make fewer ( 6 per disc ) Beat the granulated sugar and egg yolks until well combined. Set aside. In a heavy-based saucepan, scald the cream and milk ( heat over low heat until almost boiling ) slowly strain the cream mixture through a fine sieve over the egg and sugar mixture, whisking constantly. Stir in the vanilla and pour the filling into the tartlet shells so each one is 2/3 full. Bake for 20 minutes, until the custard is set and the crusts are golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Then refrigerate for 1 hour.

Sprinkle the surface of each tartlet with brown sugar. Using a chef's blowtorch, heat the sugar until it caramelises and becomes blackened in spots ( For me I just sprinkle the brown sugar when the custard are half cooked and let the oven heat caramelize the sugar ) Take care not to burn the crusts. Return the tartlets to the refrigerator for 15 minutes to allow the topping to harden. To remove the tartlets from the tin, slide down the side of each tartlet and ease out.

Basic crust

This is the perfect crust for fruit-based pies as well as for savoury tarts.

* For citrus crust  - prepare the basic crust, adding zest of 1 lemon ( 1-2 tsps ) to the flour mixture, and using 2 tsps of lemon juice in place of the white vinegar .


280 g ( 10 oz ) plain flour
1/8 tsp salt
115g ( 4 oz) vegetable shortening
115g ( 4 oz) cold unsalted butter
1 large egg
2 tsp white vinegar
2 tbsp ice-cold water


Combine the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Cut the vegetable shortening and butter into small chunks and add to the flour mixture. Using a pastry blender or two knives in a criss-crossing motion, blend the butter and shortening into the flour mixture until it has the consistency of damp sand, with a few pea-sized pieces of butter and shortening remaining. Using a fork or wire whisk, beat the egg with the vinegar and water.

Slowly pour the egg mixture over the flour, stirring only until the mixture is moist. The dough should stick together and be able to hold the form of a ball. Divide the dough into two balls and wrap each one in plastic wrap. Smooth each ball of dough with a rolling pin so it forms a flat disc that fills the corners of the plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for a minimum of half an hour. ( if it has been chilled for a long time, it may need to soften slightly before us ) To roll out the crust, unwrap one disc and place on a lightly floured surface.  

Roll the dough from the centre of the disc to the edge, until the crust is the desired thickness ( usually 3mm/ 1/8 in thick ) and at least 2.5 cm (1 in) wider than the pie dish. If the dough is sticking to the rolling pin, try placing  a sheet of plastic wrap over it and then rolling it out. Remove the plastic wrap and transfer the crust into the pie dish by rolling it onto the rolling pin and then positioning it over the pie dish. If the crust is sticking to the rolling surface, carefully separate it by sliding a sharp knife or metal spatula between the crust and the rolling surface. 

Carefully press the dough into the pie dish. If any cracks appear during th transfer use lightly floured fingers to push the seams back together. For a single-crust pies, crimp the edge decoratively, using your fingers or fork tines. Dough can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. If you wish to freeze the crust, first roll out the dough and line your pie dish. Once the crust is frozen, remove it from the pie dish and freeze in a large freezer bag for up to  3 months. Makes enough for two 20- or 23 cm ( 8-9 in) pie crusts.

Have a great weekend :)


  1. These look great! You had me at creme brulee!

  2. look so delicious :) can i have one? ahaha

  3. this sounds like the western type of egg tarts, i'm also thinking of making some egg tarts one of these days..

  4. Butr Cream Blondi...thanks for dropping by :) and glad I had you cream brulee :p yourself :) Virtual feasting is much healthier :)

    Jasmine...thanks, it sure taste good :)

    Lizzy...sure and easy to make too :)

    Lena...yup like egg tarts but english version :)