Crème Brûlée Ginger Tart

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Prep 25min (1hr cooling time)Bake 1hrMakes 8 serves

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!

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

Crème brûlée filling
250ml (1 cup) pouring cream
1 vanilla bean, split lengthways and seeds scraped
3 egg yolks
55g (¼ cup) caster sugar
  1. 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 3mm thick. Carefully drape the pastry loosely around the rolling pin. Place it over an ungreased 2.5cm deep, 34.5cm x 11.5cm  (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.
  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

  7. 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 Tips
  • 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.

This recipe is from Anneka's SBS Food online column, Bakeproof: Comforting Custard.

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Photography by Alan Benson.