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close up of creme brulee tart placed on top of unbleached parchment paper.

Crème Brulee Tart

Take crème brûlée to another level. The addition of the crunchy butter crust makes crème brûlée tart one show-stopping dessert!
Yield: 6-mini tarts (4.75inch diameter) or one 9.5-inch tart
Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Chill Time: 3 hrs 30 mins
Total Time: 4 hrs 20 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, French
Keyword: creme brulee, creme brulee tart, mini creme brulee tarts, creme brulee tartlets
Servings: 12
Author: Maryanne Cabrera

Ingredients

Crust (Tart Shell):

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened (113 g)
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar (50 g)
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 ½ cup all purpose flour (195 g)

Creme Filling:

  • 1 ¾ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup whole milk or 2% milk
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • cup granulated sugar (68 g)
  • 1 Tablespoon corn starch
  • 1 ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Sugar Topping:

  • 6 Tbsp superfine sugar* (70 g) or granulated sugar

Instructions

Crust:

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together butter, sugar, and salt until smooth. Scrape down sides of the bowl as needed to ensure even creaming.
  • Add vanilla and egg yolk. Mix on medium speed until thoroughly incorporated.
  • Add all the flour. Mix on low speed until dough is crumbly, about 30-45 seconds.
  • Dump crumbly mixture onto a clean work surface. Press crumbs together until it forms a cohesive dough. Press dough into a rectangle about 1/2-inch thick. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, or up to overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Place dough on a lightly floured work surface. Divide dough into 6 equal parts.
  • Working with once piece at a time, roll dough out into an even layer about 1/4-inch thick. Gently lift and place dough into the tart pan. Using your fingertips, press the dough against the sides and bottom of the pan. Use a knife or mini offset spatula to trim the overhang over the edge of the pan. Repeat with remaining dough pieces.
    *If dough is too cold, it will be difficult to roll out. Let rest at room temperature for 10-15 minutes to warm up.
    *If dough happens to tear while lining the tart pan, simply repair the tear by pressing additional dough into the hole.
  • Use the tines of a fork to dock holes on the bottom of the lined tart pans. Bake in preheated oven for 16-18 minutes until dough is golden brown throughout. Cool crust in pan. Set aside while you make filling.

Filling:

  • Pour cream and milk into a heavy bottomed sauce pot. Set over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Stir occasionally to make sure milk does not burn along the sides or bottom of pot.
  • Meanwhile, whisk together sugar and cornstarch. Add egg yolks. Whisk until well combined. Add a few tablespoons of warming cream-milk to loosen mixture and whisk until smooth.
  • Once the cream-milk is simmering, reduce heat to low. Slowly add about 1/4 cup of the hot liquid into the egg mixture. Whisk constantly to distribute heat. Continue to temper the egg mixture by continuing to add 1/4 cup of hot liquid at a time until only a few tablespoons of liquid remain in the pot.
  • Pour all the egg-milk mixture back into the sauce pot. Use a spatula to stir mixture together. Continue to heat over low heat until mixture has reached temperature of 170° to 180°F (77° to 82°C) and has thickened to nappe (meaning when a finger is run across the back of the spatula, it leaves a well-defined track).
  • Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Immediately pour mixture through a strainer. Let cool slightly, about 5 minutes. Then, pour into baked tart shells.
  • Place assembled tarts in the fridge uncovered for at least 3 hours until completely cooled and filling has set.

Topping:

  • When ready to serve, remove chilled tarts from the fridge. Sprinkle about 2 tsp of superfine sugar over the top. Gently rotate tart around to ensure sugar is evenly distributed.
  • Using a kitchen torch, use circular sweeping motion to melt and caramelize the sugar. Continue to heat the sugar until a nice golden crust has formed. Let sugar cool slightly before serving.

Notes

Ingredient Notes:
  • Use heavy cream, heavy whipping cream, or whipping cream. 
  • Superfine sugar is often labeled as caster sugar, baker's sugar, or ultrafine sugar. Use a food processor with a metal blade to make homemade superfine sugar
  • Superfine sugar melts quicker than granulated sugar.