Brown Sugar Custard Tart

, from Issue #56. May, 2016
Photography by Manja Wachsmuth .
Brown Sugar Custard Tart

If rich, silky custard encased in crisp pastry is your idea of heaven, then this is the tart for you!


1⅔ cups plain flour
¼ cup icing sugar
pinch salt
125 grams chilled butter, diced
1 egg
2 tablespoons cold water
1 egg yolk (for brushing pastry)

¾ cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons water
2 cups cream
2 eggs
4 egg yolks
pinch sea salt
2 tablespoons dark rum or brandy 

26cm loose-based tart tin


Pastry: Put the flour, icing sugar, salt and butter in a food processor and process to coarse crumbs. Combine the egg and water and add, pulsing again until the dough starts to come together. Tip onto a large piece of plastic wrap and bring the dough together. Form into a flat disc. Wrap and chill until firm. 

Custard: Put the sugar and water in a medium saucepan over a medium heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 4 minutes. 

Remove from the heat and carefully whisk in the cream as it will bubble up furiously and immediately seize into a solid lump of caramel. Put back over the heat and stir until the caramel has dissolved and the mixture is smooth. 

Whisk the eggs, egg yolks, salt and rum or brandy in a large heatproof bowl. Gradually whisk in the hot cream, pouring in a slow stream, then strain the mixture into a jug. Don’t add all the hot cream at once or you’ll end up with scrambled eggs. Set aside to cool. 

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured bench and line the tin. Refrigerate or freeze until firm. Bake blind* for 20 minutes. 

Reduce the oven temperature to 150°C.

Remove the paper and beans and brush the base and sides of the tart with egg yolk. Return to the oven for 5 minutes to set.  

Gently pour the cooled custard into the tart case and bake for about 30 minutes or until just set in the centre. Cool completely before removing from the tin. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream if desired. Serves 8–10

Cook’s Tip:The tart is decorated with shapes made from the leftover pastry. Bake them separately.