Spiked with chunks of crystalised ginger this luscious crème brûlée custard makes a divine tart filling. I have to confess, that this is one of my all-time favourite desserts!






Skill level

Average: 2.7 (104 votes)


  • 1 x quantity sweet shortcrust pastry
  • 50 g crystalised ginger, cut into small pieces (about 8 mm)
  • 2 tbsp sugar, to sprinkle


Crème brûlée filling

  • 250 ml (1 cup) pouring cream
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthways and seeds scraped
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 55 g  (¼ cup) caster sugar

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Cooling time 1 hour 

Preheat oven to 200°C (180°C fan-forced). Use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll out the pastry on a lightly floured bench top to a rectangle about 3 mm thick. Carefully drape the pastry loosely around the rolling pin. Place it over an ungreased 2.5 cm deep, 34.5 cm x 11.5 cm  (base measurement) tart tin with a removable base and then unroll the pastry being careful not to stretch it. Gently lift the edge of the pastry and ease it into the tart tin to line the base and sides and settle it into the corners. Use your fingertips to press it gently into the corners without stretching it. Then, working around the tin, press the pastry into the side using your thumb or finger. Roll the rolling pin over the top of the tart tin to trim any overhanging pastry.  

Place the tart tin on an oven tray. Prick the pastry base with a fork about 12 times. Line the pastry case with baking paper or foil and fill with pastry weights, dried beans or raw rice, making sure they press into the corners. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes.

Remove the pastry case from oven and use the paper or foil to lift the weights out of the case. Return to the oven and bake for a further 20 minutes or until golden and cooked through.

Meanwhile, combine the cream and vanilla bean and seeds in a medium saucepan and bring almost to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat and set aside. Use a balloon whisk to whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until well combined. Gradually stir in the hot cream mixture (don’t over mix – you don’t want it to be frothy). Strain the custard into a heatproof jug.

Remove the tart case form the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 160°C (140C fan-forced). Sprinkle the base evenly with the ginger and then pour the warm custard immediately into the hot tart case. Carefully return to the oven and bake for a further 20-25 minutes or until the custard is just set and it still wobbles slightly in the centre when the tin is shaken gently.

Remove the tart from the oven and set aside on a wire rack for at least 1 hour or until cooled to room temperature.

To serve, sprinkle the top of the tart evenly with the sugar and use a blowtorch to caramelise the sugar until a deep golden. Stand for 5 minutes for the toffee to set before serving.


Baker’s tip

• This tart will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. Stand at room temperature for 30-60 minutes to bring back to room temperature before serving.


Photography by Alan Benson. Styling by Sarah O’Brien. Food preparation by Kerrie Ray. Creative concept by Lou Fay.


For more recipes, view our online column, Bakeproof: Comforting custard.