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Vanilla Custard Tart

by Che-Cheh on October 9, 2011 27,545 views

in Dessert, How To

Like the delicious butter cake recipe, this beautiful vanilla custard tart is another fine way to enjoy the very best flavour of vanilla. This flexible recipe lets you make either a 9″ tart or several tartlets. The secret to making a yummylicious vanilla custard tart lies in the use of good quality butter and vanilla. Also I’m sharing some tips and tricks (how to/method) which I’ve learned during the making of the tart crust.

Vanilla Custard Tart

Vanilla custard tart… yum!
Flower from my mini garden. :)

Let’s start!

To make pastry, you can use either a mixer/food processor or hand. I personally prefer using hand.


Mix flour, custard powder, sugar and butter until crumbly. Remember to use chilled butter. Next add egg (mixed with either cold milk or ice water) and mix until ingredients come together. Make into a ball, cling wrap and flatten it. Chill for 30 minutes.

Place Dough Between Cling Films

Roll dough to fit a 23cm (9″) flan tin.

The first time I make this, I had a tough time rolling out the pastry even with floured surface and rolling pin. It was a hot day actually. In the end I shape the pastry right from the flan tin using my hand… spreading out the pastry little by little. Haha It was not bad but wrong method.

The next time I make this, I learned an easy way which involve using cling films. Thanks to the tip from Mr. Alex Goh of Irresistible Pastry.

Roll Dough Between Cling Films

For making large tart, rolling pastry between 2 cling films is as easy as reading ABC. Really I think this is the best and simplest method. It’s not sticky and you can view the pastry condition because it’s transparent.

Always remember to roll pastry from center outward, turning the pastry as necessary and continue rolling.

In Pioneer Woman’s Pam’s Pie Tutorial, Pam uses parchment paper. I haven’t tried this method but I believe I would prefer using the cling films method as I can see the pastry easily.

Roll Dough To Fit Flan Tin

To line the pastry into the flan tin, you can then either transfer the pastry with a rolling pin (remove cling films first) ~ I actually haven’t tried this method OR you can remove just 1 cling film and carry the pastry on the other cling film to the pan and flip it slowly while taking care of the center.

Then gently press the side and bottom so that the pastry won’t shrink during baking (make sure no air pocket).

Roll Dough To Fit Tartlet Tins

For tartlets, it’s as simple as rolling on a floured surface and rolling pin and transferring to the tart tins.

Chill for 30 minutes.

Now here’s another good tip which I got from Joy of Baking. If you want to eliminate the use of baking beans altogether, freezing pastry (for 15 minutes) instead of chilling will prevent it from puffing up during baking. Since I’m a lazy lazy girl (me think using beans is tedious), I’ve tried this method for the tart and tartlets and it works!

Ready For Baking

Ohh also remember to prick pastry bottom with a fork to prevent it from puffing up.

Ready For Baking

Same goes with the tartlets.

Now bake in 190oC for 10 minutes. Reduce to 180oC and bake for 5 minutes more. Remove from oven and let it cool on wire rack.

Are you sleepy yet? :P

Now we’re ready to make the custard filling.

Ingredients For Custard

Ingredients for custard filling.

Custard Powder Mixture

In a bowl, mix in custard powder, cornflour, sugar, 100ml milk and egg yolk. Whisk until smooth. Set aside.

Add Butter To Milk & Cream

In a pot, bring milk, cream and butter to boil. Then slowly add the custard powder mixture, stirring continuously over medium heat until thickens.

Next cook in low heat stirring with a whisk for 2 minutes.

My Vanilla Bean Paste

This is my favorite vanilla bean paste!

Add Vanilla Extract

Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla paste/extract.

Lastly pour custard into pastry shell immediately. You need to act fast here because once the custard form a layer of skin, you won’t get a smooth/pretty vanilla custard tart.

That’s it.

Vanilla Custard Tart

Love the smooth, moist and perfume-y custard. Perfect match with the pie crust.
Can’t wait to dig in!

Print This Recipe Print This Recipe
Vanilla Custard Tart
Recipe from Flavours magazine (March-April 2009)
Makes one 9″ tart or 8 tartlets

150g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon cornflour
1/2 tablespoon custard powder
30g caster sugar
90g butter, diced and chilled
1 egg yolk mixed with 2 tablespoons cold milk or ice water

10g custard powder
10g cornflour
35g caster sugar
1 egg yolk
350ml milk
100ml whipping cream
10g butter
1 tablespoon vanilla paste or extract
Note: If you’re using vanilla paste, 1/2 tablespoon is more like it. I personally think 1 tbs vanilla paste is too much (overpowering).

To make pastry:
1. In a mixing bowl, beat the flours, custard powder, sugar and butter on low speed ~ until crumbly. (I prefer using hand to mix.)

2. Add egg yolk mixture; mix until all the ingredients cling together.

3. Remove dough and pat until smooth.

4. Cling wrap and chill dough for 30 minutes. (I usually shape it into a ball and flatten it before wrapping.)

5. Roll dough to fit a 23cm (9″) flan tin or if you’re making tartlet, shape dough to fit 7.5cm tartlet tins. Chill for 30 minutes. (For large tart, I prefer rolling the dough between 2 cling films – makes my life easy!)

Remember to roll pastry from center outward, turning the pastry as necessary and continue rolling for even thickness. Gently press the side and bottom so that the pastry won’t shrink during baking.

6. Preheat oven to 190oC. Bake pastry blind with beans on greaseproof paper for 10 minutes. (For me, I freeze the dough for 15 minutes hence eliminate the use of beans. ~I’m lazy!)

Freezing dough and pricking the bottom crust with fork will prevent shell from puffing up during baking.

7. Remove beans and reduce oven temperature to 180oC, bake for 5 minutes more.

8. Remove from oven and cool completely on wire rack before filling.

To make custard:
1. Combined custard powder, cornflour and sugar in a bowl. Add egg yolk and 100ml milk; stir with a whisk until smooth.

2. Place remaining milk, cream and butter in a heavy-based pot and bring to the boil.

3. Slowly add the custard powder mixture; stirring continuously over medium heat until it thickens.

4. Cook over low heat, stirring with a whisk for about 2 minutes.

5. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla paste or extract.

If not using immediately, dot some butter or dust some icing sugar on custard surface to prevent a layer of skin forming. Stir mixture until smooth before using.

To assemble:
1. Immediately pour custard into the pastry shell and set aside to cool.

You can also pour the custard straight into cups and decorate with fresh fruits such as berries.

Have a lovely vanilla day!

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