How To, Tarts

Vanilla Custard Tart

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.

Ingredients For Tart Base
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 with rolling pin and transferring to the tart tins.

Chill in the fridge 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 at 190oC for 10 minutes. Reduce to 180oC and bake for 5 minutes more. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack.

Are you sleepy yet? 😛

Now we’re ready to make the custard filling.

Ingredients For Custard
Ingredients for custard filling.

Custard Powder Mixture
In a bowl, mix custard powder, cornflour, sugar, 100ml milk and egg yolk. Whisk until combine. Set aside.

In a pot, bring remaining milk, cream and butter to boil. Then slowly add the custard powder mixture while stirring continuously over medium low heat until thickens. Cook it over low heat while stirring with a whisk for about 2 minutes.

My Vanilla Bean Paste
This is my favorite vanilla bean paste!

Remove from heat and add 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!

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, add plain flour, cornflour, custard powder, sugar and butter. Beat on low speed until crumbly. (I prefer using hand to mix.)

2. Add egg yolk mixture and mix until all the ingredients come together.

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

4. 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 at least 30 minutes. (For large tart, I prefer rolling the dough between 2 cling films – makes my life easy!)

Note: 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.

5. Blind bake pastry in preheat 190oC oven for 10 minutes. (For me, I freeze the dough for 15 minutes hence eliminate the use of beans. ~I’m lazy!)

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

6. Remove beans and reduce oven temperature to 180oC. Then bake for additional 5 minutes.

7. Remove pastry from oven and let it cool completely before filling.

To make custard:
1. Place custard powder, cornflour and sugar in a bowl. Add egg yolk and 100ml milk. Whisk until smooth.

2. Place the remaining milk, whipping cream and butter in a saucepan. Bring to the boil.

3. Very slowly add the custard powder mixture. Stirring continuously over medium low heat until custard thickens.

4. Cook an additional 2 minutes over low heat while stirring with a whisk.

5. Remove from heat and add vanilla paste or extract. Mix well.

Note: If you’re not using the custard immediately, make sure to dot some butter/dust some icing sugar on custard surface to prevent a layer of skin from forming. I usually cover the surface with cling film. Remember to stir mixture before using.

The finishing line:
1. Pour custard into the pastry shell and set aside to cool.

Have a lovely vanilla day!

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  • Reply gangy buffet October 10, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    Hey! I love your website! If you are interested in ideas, my website is vegan, and vegetarian gourmet food!
    I am a college student journaling my way through cooking.

    • Reply Che-Cheh October 11, 2011 at 8:15 pm

      Will be checking your site shortly. 🙂

  • Reply jennifer @poirier October 11, 2011 at 1:48 am

    amy, oh how i love a good vanilla custard. you’re tart looks delicious!
    greetings from germany!

    • Reply Che-Cheh October 11, 2011 at 8:17 pm

      Hi Jennifer, thanks!
      Love your site and photos.

  • Reply foongpc October 11, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    Wow! I like this vanilla custard tart. Yummy!!

    • Reply Che-Cheh October 11, 2011 at 8:18 pm

      Thanks and cheers! 🙂

  • Reply Lisa L. October 11, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    oh you can’t go wrong with vanilla custard using vanilla paste. the smell is just beautifully intoxicating.
    using flour to roll out the dough might cause a tough dough. i would have use parchment paper too as sometimes using cling film might leave a creases on the surface.
    oh where did you get that vanilla bean paste?
    plus the whisk in the pic, where can i buy that whisk?

    • Reply Che-Cheh October 11, 2011 at 8:24 pm

      Hi Lisa, oh yeah intoxicating!
      I agree using cling film will leave creases but as long as we make sure it’s line nicely it’s good to go. Also it won’t be visible once the filling is in there.
      I bought the vanilla bean paste from Australia. The whisk is from Ikea.

  • Reply Von October 15, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    I love the flavour of vanilla!! I’ve never really made anything only based on the flavour of vanilla though- vanilla is so expensive! haha…. If I were to make anything based on vanilla, it would definitely be something like this- this sounds amazing!! I usually roll my pastry straight onto the table- next time I’ll have to try rolling it between two layers of cling wrap like you- it sounds so much easier and cleaner (don’t know why I never thought of it!)

    • Reply Che-Cheh October 17, 2011 at 11:40 am

      Hi Von, yeah good quality vanilla paste/extract/beans are expensive. I still have no luck rolling pastry straight from table (always fail) hence I adopt this method. When I read about this cling wrap method I was like “Wohoo eureka!”. Haha

  • Reply becca May 6, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    this looks soo delicious! i am trying to find a perfect creamy custard tart, that doesnt taste “eggy”…if you know what i mean! 🙂 i wll try this tomorrow…i love custard tarts!

    • Reply Che-Cheh May 6, 2013 at 5:42 pm

      Hi Becca, let me know what you think later. 😉

  • Reply Daisy July 10, 2017 at 6:45 pm

    Do you prick the pastry case before or after freezing? Also, is the oven temperature given for a fan oven or a conventional oven?

    • Reply Che-Cheh July 10, 2017 at 8:29 pm

      Hi Daisy, I prick it before freezing. The oven temperature in the recipe is for conventional oven. I, myself uses convection oven and I usually dial it down by about 10 degree C (this was based on the temperature inside the oven).

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