Crème Brulee Custard tarts with Lavender and Chai syrup
6 4-inch tarts
1 ½ cup flour
½ tsp vanilla
1/3 cup icing sugar
¾ cup + 2Tbsp butter
½ tsp salt
2 cups whole milk
1 tsp lavender buds
½ cup white sugar
¼ cup + 2 Tbsp Lavender and Chai Maple Syrup
3 Tbsp cornstarch
6 egg yolks
½ Tbsp vanilla bean paste
3 Tbsp unsalted butter, cubed
- To make the custard, start by heating up the whole milk and lavender buds to just a simmer in a medium sized pot. While the milk is heating up whisk together the white sugar, Lavender and Chai Maple Syrup, egg yolks, salt, vanilla, and cornstarch in a mixing bowl. Once milk is heated up, take a ½ cup measuring cup and fill it with some of the hot milk. Slowly pour the hot milk into the egg
mixture whisking constantly. This tempers your eggs, so they do not scramble when you add the rest of the hot milk mixture. Pour the rest of the milk into the eggs and whisk together. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer back into the pot. Place pot back on heat and cook until thickened, stirring constantly. You will know your custard is cooked when one big
bubble pops in the middle of your pan. Make sure you are scraping the bottom of the pan with a spatula while cooking to make sure you do not get any lumps.
- Remove pan from heat. Add in butter one cube at a time, stirring to melt completely.
- You can strain the mixture again through a mesh strainer if desired, but it is not necessary. Pour your custard into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. You want the plastic wrap to touch the top of the custard, to prevent a ‘skin’ of custard on the top. This custard can be made a day or two in advance as it does have to cool completely before adding it to your tart shells.
- If you want to cool down the custard fast, fill a larger bowl with ice and set your bowl with the custard in it on top of the ice. Stir every few minutes to cool evenly. You may have to replace the ice.
- To make the crust for the tarts: In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the butter and icing sugar until smooth, and stir in the vanilla. Add in flour and salt and stir until a dough forms. It may take a few minutes for it to all come together. You can also remove the bowl from the machine and mix it by hand If you find the dough too dry. The heat from your hand will help bring it together.
- Divide dough between 6 4-inch round tart pans. Press the dough into the edges of the pan with your fingers. You can use a ramekin or small glass cup to help get into the corners and smooth out the bottom. Poke holes in the bottom of the dough with a fork and chill the tart shells for 10 minutes in the fridge.
- Preheat oven to 375°.
- Bake the tart shells for 10-15 minutes, or until starting to brown on the edges. The dough will puff up a little bit while baking, so just poke the bottom of the dough to release the steam, and the bubble will go down. Do not over bake your tarts, as they will dry out and crumble when you try to remove the pan from the cooked tart shell. Remove the tart from the pans once they are almost completely cool. Be gentle doing this, so you do not crack the tart shell.
- Cool the tart shells completely before filling.
- Divide the cooled custard between the tart shells and smooth the tops. Place back in fridge, covered, until ready to serve.
- Once ready to serve, sprinkle a layer of sugar on the top of the custard. Using a kitchen torch, heat the sugar on the custard until it becomes golden brown. You can also stick the tarts under the broiler in your oven if you do not have a kitchen torch, just watch them carefully so they do not burn. Let the tarts cook for a few minutes so the caramelized sugar hardens on top. Enjoy!
- Tarts that are fully assembled (minus the caramelized sugar) will last 1-2 days in the fridge. If you want to make these in advance, you can keep the custard in the fridge for up to 3 days, and the cooked tart shells in a sealed container for 3 days as well. Assemble just before serving.
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