Last week, I showed you a recipe for Crème Anglaise, and the recipe yields more than I needed to use with my pancakes. The logical thing was to use the leftovers for Crème Brûlée...obviously. The problem that arose, was that I also wanted some kind of tart and didn't think it was smart to make tarts and Crème Brûlée, so I combined the two and it turned out to be dessert heaven. It also gave me an excuse to finally use the kitchen torch my mom gave me for Christmas.
The flaky tart crust worked incredibly well with the creamy filling and crisp, sugary shell. The whole thing just melts in your mouth. It was the perfect compromise for my "tart or Crème Brûlée" dilemma. I wish all decisions were that easy.
Crème Brûlée Tarts
12 pre-made tart shells
For the Crème Anglaise
2 cups whole milk
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 large egg + 4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
In a saucepan over medium heat, combine milk and vanilla bean and bring mixture just to a simmer and remove pan from heat. Do not let it boil. Pull out vanilla bean and using the back of a small knife, scrape any remaining seeds into the milk.
In a large bowl, whisk together egg, egg yolks, sugar and salt until mixture lightens in color, about 1 minute.
Slowly whisk the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture, whisking constantly until well blended. Pour mixture back into saucepan.
Over low heat, whisk mixture constantly until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Do not let it bubble or the eggs will start to scramble.
Transfer to a blender, add the vanilla extract and blend until smooth.
Crème Anglaise can be made in advance and stored in an airtight container in the fridge for several days.
For the Tarts
Bake tart shells according the directions on the package.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Fill each tart shell with enough Crème Anglaise to fill the entire shell. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until the outer edges are set and the inside is a bit jiggly. The custard will firm up more once it cools.
Allow the Crème Brûlée tarts to completely cool to room temperature. Sprinkle approx 1 tsp of sugar on the tops of each tart and using a kitchen torch, caramelize the tops until all the sugar has melted and you are left with a crispy sugary layer.