Recipe: Custard Tart with Fresh Berries

Margi Lenga Kahn’s Custard Tart with Fresh Berries. 

By Margi Lenga Kahn

You can substitute any fresh-cubed or sliced fruits for the berries. *The tart can also be made in individual 3-4” tart pans. 

Ingredients:

Pastry Dough:

  • 18 tbsp. (255 g.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1c. (200 g.) granulated sugar
  • ¼ tsp. fine sea salt
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1  tsp. finely grated lemon zest
  • 3½ c. (500 g.) unbleached all-purpose flour

Egg wash:

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  • 1 large egg
  • Pinch of fine sea salt

Custard:

  • 100 g (about ½ cup) granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 ½ cups whole milk
  • ½ vanilla bean, sliced open down the center or 1 tsp. vanilla bean paste
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 5 large egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 2 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into 3 pieces
  • 1-2 tbsp. whipping cream to lighten, if desired

Directions

Pastry Dough:

1. To the bowl of a stand mixer, paddle attachment in place, add butter, sugar, and salt. Mix on medium-low speed until ingredients are combined. With machine on, add 1 egg at a time, mixing until incorporated before adding the next. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

2. Pour the flour on top of mixture in bowl and turn mixer to low speed. Once flour has just been incorporated, stop machine and turn dough out onto a lightly floured countertop. 

3. Gently push dough together with your hands. Cut dough into 2 pieces. Wrap each piece in plastic, press down on dough, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight. *(You will only need one disk for a single 9” tart, and both discs for 10-12 individual tarts. Extra dough can be frozen for up to a month.)

4. On a lightly floured counter, roll dough into a circle 1-inch larger than your tart pan, occasionally lifting it and dusting counter with additional flour to prevent sticking.

5. Ease dough into a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom (or individual pans), pressing dough gently to fit; trim edges. Transfer pan to refrigerator for 1 hour. 

6. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

7. Using fork tines, poke tiny holes in base of dough. Transfer tart shell(s) to oven and bake for 4 minutes. 

8. In a small bowl, whisk together egg and salt for egg wash.

9. Transfer pan(s) to a cooling rack and lightly brush base of shell(s) with egg wash.

10. Return shell(s) to oven and bake for another 6-10 minutes, or until tart shell is golden brown.

11. Cool tart shell(s) completely in pan set on cooling rack. 

Custard:

1. Place a sieve over a medium bowl and set it next to your stovetop.

2. In a medium, heat-resistant bowl, whisk together sugar and cornstarch; set aside.

3. Place milk into a medium-sized saucepan set over medium heat. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean into milk, add bean and salt, and whisk together. Continue to whisk occasionally until milk just starts to boil.

4. Whisk eggs into reserved bowl of sugar and cornstarch until smooth.

5. Spoon 5-6 tablespoons of hot milk mixture in egg mixture, whisking all the while. Gradually whisk in remaining milk and then transfer the entire mixture back into the milk saucepan. 

6. Bring mixture to a simmer over medium heat, whisking. Then continue to whisk constantly for about 1 minute until mixture thickens and resembles texture of lightly whipped cream.

7. Immediately pour custard into sieve over bowl, pressing on any solids.  Let mixture cool for 5 minutes.  Whisk in one piece of butter at a time, waiting until each has been completely incorporated before adding the next one.

8. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, letting wrap sit directly on surface of custard. Refrigerate until needed.

9. Custard can remain refrigerated for up to 5 days.

To assemble tart(s):

1. Carefully spread custard evenly into tart shell(s). Arrange fresh berries over tart and serve. Makes 8-10 servings. 

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