An elegant dessert that combines the best elements of a tart and crème brulee: a crisp pastry shell, creamy centre and brittle torched-sugar top layer.
- 25 g ground almonds
- 80 g butter
- 40 g icing sugar
- 160 g flour
- 1 lemon, zest only
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
- 1 tbsp cold water
- 1 egg yolk
- 550 ml whole milk
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- zest of one lemon
- 200 g caster sugar
- 12 large egg yolks
- 70 g plain flour
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.
Resting time: 15 minutes
Cooling time: 25 minutes
1. To make the pastry, preheat oven to 180°C fan-forced. Place ground almonds, butter, icing sugar and flour in a bowl and combine using your fingertips until the mixture is the texture of rough breadcrumbs. Add the lemon zest, vanilla bean paste, cold water and egg yolk and mix together into a smooth pastry dough. Bring the dough together to form a ball, wrap in cling film and place in the fridge to rest for 15 minutes.
2. When the dough has rested, flour a kitchen surface and roll out the dough into an even circle about 0.5cm thick. Lay the pastry into a buttered tart tin and arrange to cover the base and sides. Prick the base all over with a fork. Cover with baking parchment, top with baking beans and bake in the preheated oven for 12 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, to make the custard, put milk, cinnamon and lemon zest in a medium saucepan. Bring up to a gentle simmer on a low heat.
4. In a large bowl whisk together sugar and egg yolks until thick and creamy. Add sieved flour and beat. Remove the milk from the heat and slowly pour a small amount into the egg mixture and whisk. Keep adding the milk, a little at a time, until all the ingredients are combined. Tip the mixture back into the pan and place on a low heat. Whisk for 3-4 minutes or until the custard has thickened.
5. Remove the pastry from the oven and turn oven down to 160°C fan-forced. Remove the parchment and baking beans from the pastry case.
6. Fill pastry case with custard. Return to the oven on the middle shelf for 35 minutes. Remove and leave to cool for 25 minutes.
7. Sprinkle with sugar and caramelise with a blowtorch.
This recipe is from Donal's Asian Baking Adventure on SBS Food (Channel 33). Stream episodes via SBS On Demand.