Creme Brûlée Tart

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Taking the humble vanilla tart and giving it a fun, but oh-so fancy and delicious twist. Say, “hello!” to your new favorite dessert…Crème Brûlée Tart! It’s the ultimate dessert that is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Think, rich vanilla custard made with real vanilla beans to create a luscious and delicate flavor, incased in a buttery and sweet shortbread cookie-style crust. Though, the goodness doesn’t stop there! After refrigerating, this tart is dusted with sweet sugar and brûléed until golden. It’s seriously like a giant crème brûlée, but made even BETTER with the addition of the sweet crust! Crack the brûléed top, then serve with a dollop of Chantilly Cream and fresh berries to create a stunning dessert that is just as delicious as it looks! So. GOOD.

overhead shot of tart with two slices cut into it on white plate with another slice beside on smaller white plate with flowers around.

About The Recipe

Happy Friday, everyone! We are welcoming in this weekend with a recipe that I have been a little overly excited to share…I mean, just ask my mom! I think I have mentioned this recipe every day since we made it.

It really is THAT good! Sweet vanilla custard with a cookie like crust and brûléed sugar on top?! Does it get any better?

But, I get that this idea can seem a bit out of the blue based on our recent recipes. So, let me kinda back it up a bit.

Back during the holiday’s, specifically right before Thanksgiving, I made a joke that some of our newly bought tart pans look like giant ramekins (or, as I called them, creme brûlée pans).

We had just made our Pumpkin Crème Brûlée, so the thought of crème brûlée’s was still very much in the front of my mind.

Though, even though it was sort of a joke, the idea kinda stuck. What IF we made a giant crème brûlée?

The challenge sounded exciting!

But, since the holiday’s are our busiest time, we put the idea on the back-burner.

creme brulee tart on white dinner plate with flowers around on marble surface, with plates and empty glasses above tart, and two spoons beside.

Well, like all of those wonderful ideas, my mom and I…eventually forgot about it. It wasn’t until about a week ago when we found a scribbled note in one of our notebooks that we even remembered it!

All it said was “giant crème brûlée” in big, bold letters.

So, my mom and I put our heads together. An actual giant crème brûlée seemed tedious and like it would be difficult to bake, especially with a water-bath! So, we came up with a simple solution. A tart!

This meant no water-bath, no stress, and virtually no worries! A simple pate sucrée crust (aka, giant shortbread cookie!), filled with an even easier and never fail vanilla custard, and finished with brûlée-ing the sugar.

All together it creates a treat that is reminiscent of the classic french dessert, but made even BETTER by the additional textures and flavors.

Bonus? It’s so much easier to make than you might think!

cropped angled close up of tart on plate with slice cut into it.

What is a Crème Brûlée Tart?

Okay, I get that it can sound a little weird. So, let’s break it down. This recipe is essentially a classic vanilla custard tart. Sweet pate sucree crust (think, shortbread!), filled with homemade vanilla custard.

So, where did we get the “crème brûlée” part? Well, as you may or may not know, the word “brûlée” translated to…burnt. The full dessert actually translates to burnt cream.

So, to make this delicious tart into a crème brûlée-style, we dusted the top of the tart with granulated sugar and used a kitchen torch to brûlée the top! So, there you have it. A crème brûlée tart 😉

Reasons You Will Love This Crème Brûlée Tart

  • Made with real vanilla beans to give the custard the ultimate flavor.
  • Tastes just like the classic dessert, but if it were served with sweet shortbread cookies!
  • Super fun to crack the top!
  • A real crowd pleaser.
  • Perfect for any and EVERY occasion.
slice cut from tart on white plate with slice of tart on small white plate on top of white napkin with flowers around.

Equipment Needed

Ingredients

Full ingredient amounts and instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

For The Crust:

  • All-Purpose Flour – No need for fancy flours here! Using all-purpose gives the tart shell the perfect structure.
  • Powdered Sugar – This not only sweetens the crust, but also gives it that melt-in-your-mouth feel!
  • Baking Powder – Just a dash of leavening to ensure the perfect texture and structure.
  • Salted Butter – Butter is what makes a flakey crust! Be sure to use cold butter for this recipe.
  • Large Egg – The egg acts as a binder, creating a rich and delicious tart shell.
  • Vanilla Extract – Just a splash to give the crust some flavor.
vanilla, egg, flour, powdered sugar, sliced butter, and baking powder on marble surface.

For The Filling:

  • Whole Milk – Heating the milk is how the eggs are tempered.
  • Heavy Cream – Using the combination of heavy cream and whole milk creates a richer, more decadent custard.
  • Vanilla Bean – This is the secret to the best flavor in this custard! Using vanilla bean adds a strong, but delicious flavor.
  • Cornstarch – Cornstarch thickens the custard to the perfect consistency.
  • Granulated Sugar – Adds just the right amount of sweetness! You will also need a little bit of extra sugar to brûlée on top the custard, after it’s made and set in the tart shell.
  • Egg Yolks – You will need 6 large egg yolks for this recipe, but no worries! You can use the excess egg whites to make breakfast the next morning or make our meringue cookies.
  • Salted Butter – Remember to set your butter out ahead of time to come to room temperature!
corn starch, milk, sugar, butter, vanilla bean, cream, and egg yolks on marble surface.

How To Make Crème Brûlée Tart

Step 1: Prepare tart dough

Combine flour, sugar, and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a dough blade. Pulse to combine.

Add butter, a little at a time, pulsing until combined.

Add egg and vanilla. Pulse until it forms a smooth dough.

Step 2: Roll and fit into tart pan

Turn dough out onto a sheet of parchment paper. Form into a ball and flatten slightly. Roll into a circle that it ¼-inch thick.

Carefully fit dough into 9-inch tart pan, making sure to press out air bubbles. Trim edges to remove the excess dough.

Step 3: Bake

Place a sheet of parchment paper in crust. Fill with pie weights, making sure they are spread evenly. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and carefully remove the pie weights.

Return to oven. Bake an additional 10-15 minutes, until crust is lightly browned. Set aside to cool.

baked tart pan on sheet pan.

Step 4: Make custard

In a medium bowl, stir together cornstarch and sugar.

Whisk in egg yolks.

In a medium saucepan, combine milk, cream, and vanilla bean. Heat over medium low heat just until mixture starts to bubble around the edges. Remove vanilla bean.

While whisking, add hot milk mixture to egg mixture a little at a time.

Return to saucepan. Cook over medium low heat, stirring continuously, until thickened and holding its shape.

Whisk in butter.

Step 5: Add to crust and refrigerate

Pour into cooled tart crust. Smooth out top of filling. Refrigerate until set, about 2-3 hours.

vanilla custard in baked tart shell.

Step 6: Brûlée

Sprinkle sugar evenly on top of set tart. Use a kitchen torch to brûlée sugar.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there raw eggs in this tart?

There are egg yolks in this recipe, but they are tempered with hot milk and then cooked again. The eggs in this recipe are 100% safe to eat!

Why is my crust tough?

If the pastry crust came out tough, that means the dough was overworked. This can happen sometimes, especially if you’re not used to using a food processor. The tart is still completely edible!

Why are there chunks of egg in my filling?

This can happen if the eggs were not tempered properly (I.E. the hot milk was added too fast). Though, good news, this can be fixed! Run the filling through a fine meshed sieve to get rid of the chunks of eggs. From there, mix in the butter, vanilla, and lemon zest as usual!

Can I skip refrigerating?

Refrigerating is absolutely essential in this recipe, as it’s what allows the tart to properly set.

Can I make this in-advance?

Absolutely! There are a couple different ways you can do this, too. First, you can go ahead and make the crust and the filling and refrigerate them both separately for up to 3 days. You can also go ahead and make the tart completely (except for brûléeing the sugar on top!) and refrigerate it for 1-2 days before you wish to serve it. Just be sure to freshly brûlée the sugar right before serving!

front shot of creme brulee tart on white plate with two slices cut into it, with another slice on small plate in front, with white flowers around, empty glasses, and stack of plates behind.

What To Serve With This Crème Brûlée Tart

While this tart is delicious on it’s own, there are a few things you can serve with it to really jazz up your slice! Here are a few of our favorite things to enjoy with this tart.

How To Store

Once this tart is set, but before you brûlée the sugar, you can easily keep this tart in the fridge for about 3-5 days. Though, once the sugar is brûléed on top, this tart will not keep, as after a few hours or so, the sugar softens and begins to melt.

Substitutions

  • If you don’t have vanilla beans, you can use about ½ teaspoon of high quality vanilla or vanilla bean paste!
  • Not a fan of cornstarch or want to freeze this tart? Use All-Purpose Flour instead! Just remember you will need ½ cup of flour to equal ¼ cup cornstarch.

Looking for more recipes like this? Here are a few you may like:

Coconut Crème Brûlée

Maple Crème Brûlée

Pumpkin Crème Brûlée

French Lemon Tart

creme brulee tart on white dinner plate with slice cut into it, with another slice on white plate beside on top of white napkin, with two spoons beside the tart, white flowers around, and empty glasses beside.

Expert Tips

  • For the best results, use a tart pan with a removable bottom!
  • Be careful to not over-work the dough! Pulse until the mixture comes together. Nothing more! The less you work your dough, the more tender it will be.
  • Don’t skip lining your tart with parchment before adding the pie weights! This is essential, as you need to be able to remove the pie weights.
  • Make sure the pie weights are completely level and covering the bottom of the tart. This helps ensure nothing rises more than it needs to.
  • Remember to spoon out the vanilla bean before tempering the eggs with the hot milk mixture!
  • The crust doesn’t need to be overly browned. Just lightly browned. Keep an eye on it!
  • When making the filling and it begins to thicken, don’t panic! Let it keep cooking for 2 minutes afterwards. It should be very thick before stirring in the butter.
  • Cover the top of the tart with plastic wrap before refrigerating to help keep a skin from forming over the custard.
  • Don’t brûlée the sugar until right before serving!

When you make this Crème Brûlée Tart, leave a comment down below! We love hearing from you and answering any questions you might have! Also, be sure to tag us on social media and hashtag it #BakersTable.

overhead shot of tart with two slices cut into it on white plate with another slice beside on smaller white plate with flowers around.
5 from 1 vote

Crème Brûlée Tart

Author: Traci
Take your love of crème brûlée to the next level with this delicious Crème Brûlée Tart! Every bite is rich, creamy, decadent, with just the right amount of crunch from the brûlée'd sugar and buttery crust. It is SO. GOOD.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Refrigeration Time 3 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 25 minutes
Servings: 10

Ingredients
 

Crust

  • cups all purpose flour
  • cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • Tablespoons salted butter, cold, sliced
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • teaspoons vanilla extract

Filling

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 2-inch piece vanilla bean, split
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 6 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • ¼ cup salted butter, sliced

To Finish

  • ¼ cup granulated sugar

Instructions

Crust

  • Heat oven to 350 °F.
  • Combine flour, sugar, and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a dough blade.
  • Pulse to combine.
  • Add butter, a little at a time, pulsing until combined.
  • Add egg and vanilla.
  • Pulse until it forms a smooth dough.
  • Turn dough out onto a sheet of parchment paper.
  • Form into a ball.
  • Flatten slightly.
  • Cover with another sheet of parchment paper.
  • Roll into a circle that it ¼-inch thick.
  • Carefully fit dough into 9-inch tart pan, making sure to press out air bubbles.
  • Trim edges.
  • Place a piece of parchment paper on top of the tart dough.
  • Fill with pie weights.
  • Bake for 20 minutes.
  • Remove from oven.
  • Carefully remove pie weights.
  • Cover edges of dough.
  • Return to oven.
  • Bake for 15 minutes, or until crust is light golden brown.

Filling

  • In a medium bowl, stir together cornstarch and sugar.
  • Whisk in egg yolks.
  • In a medium saucepan, combine milk, cream, and vanilla bean.
  • Heat over medium low heat just until mixture starts to bubble around the edges.
  • Remove vanilla bean.
  • While whisking, add hot milk mixture to egg mixture a little at a time.
  • Return to saucepan.
  • Cook over medium low heat, stirring continuously, until thickened and holding its shape.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Whisk in butter.
  • Spoon into cooled tart crust.
  • Smooth out top of filling.
  • Refrigerate until set, about 2-3 hours.

To Finish

  • Sprinkle sugar evenly on top of set tart.
  • Use a kitchen torch to brûlée sugar.

Notes

Substitutions:
  • If you don’t have vanilla beans, you can use about ½ teaspoon of high quality vanilla or vanilla bean paste!
  • Not a fan of cornstarch or want to freeze this tart? Use All-Purpose Flour instead! Just remember you will need ½ cup of flour to equal ¼ cup cornstarch.
 
Expert Tips:
  • For the best results, use a tart pan with a removable bottom!
  • Be careful to not over-work the dough! Pulse until the mixture comes together. Nothing more! The less you work your dough, the more tender it will be.
  • Don’t skip lining your tart with parchment before adding the pie weights! This is essential, as you need to be able to remove the pie weights.
  • Make sure the pie weights are completely level and covering the bottom of the tart. This helps ensure nothing rises more than it needs to.
  • Remember to spoon out the vanilla bean before tempering the eggs with the hot milk mixture!
  • The crust doesn’t need to be overly browned. Just lightly browned. Keep an eye on it!
  • When making the filling and it begins to thicken, don’t panic! Let it keep cooking for 2 minutes afterwards. It should be very thick before stirring in the butter.
  • Cover the top of the tart with plastic wrap before refrigerating to help keep a skin from forming over the custard.
  • Don’t brûlée the sugar until right before serving!

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 423kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 193mg | Sodium: 143mg | Potassium: 103mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 25g | Vitamin A: 968IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 75mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

When you make this recipe, remember to tag @bakerstble or hashtag it #BakersTable!

– Still Hungry? –

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