This is a wonderful tart filled with vanilla custard. You’ll find custard tart in every patisserie in Paris, but have likely never come across one here in the states. Its rustic simplicity is exactly the kind of pastry I love. It’s really quite easy to create; a tart dough (this recipe uses a bit of potato starch, which makes it even more tender, because there is less gluten to get excited and tough) that goes up the sides of a ring mold baked with a pastry cream. I added raspberries to give it a bit more character, some tartness and they’re just pretty.
This recipe was inspired by one I found in Baklava to Taste Tatin by Bernard Laurence.
Here is the recipe on his blog, but it is in French and I’ve made a few minor changes in the one below.
For the pastry crust
- 225 g butter chilled and diced
- 250 g all-purpose flour
- 50 g potato starch
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 30 g sugar
- 15 g egg yolk
- 55 ml milk
For the custard
- 315 g sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean scraped
- 110 g cornstarch*
- 3 whole eggs
- 3 egg yolks
- 5 1/4 cups 1.3 liters whole milk
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 6 ounces fresh or frozen raspberries for the middle of the tart
- 12 ounces fresh berries for the top of the tart
- Place dry ingredients in a stand mixer. Mix with the paddle attachment. Once the mixture looks like sand, add in the yolks and milk. Mix until it comes together.
- Press dough into a disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for an hour+. Let it warm up slightly, so it doesn’t crack too much. Then, roll the dough.
- As you roll the dough, pause to rotate and massage the edges of it cracking. Roll it to about 1/12” (quite thin!) Make sure it will fit your cake mold (you can also use a springform pan). Set the mold up on a baking sheet with parchment. Drape the dough over your rolling pin to move it.
- Work the dough into the mold. But if it all falls to pieces, don’t worry, it just gets pressed in place! Press on the sides of the pan so it’s nice and smooth and even. Trim off the excess with a bench scraper or knife. Refrigerate while you make the filling.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Whisk together the sugar and cornstarch in a bowl. Add the eggs, yolks and vanilla and whisk until smooth.
- In a large saucepan, bring the milk to a simmer over low heat. Pour half the hot milk over the egg mixture and whisk. Return to the saucepan and continue cooking for 3 minutes, whisking the whole time, until thick. Pour half the pastry cream into the chilled tart dough and spread with a spatula.
- Top with 6 ounces of berries. Cover with remaining custard spread gently. Bake for about 50 minutes. It will be very dark on top and bubbling.
- Allow to cool to room temperature, then remove the ring mold and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, but overnight if possible. Top with fresh berries. Serve chilled or at room temperature.