Baked custard tart

Baked custard tart

The Tivoli Road Baker
one 23 cm tart
Bonnie Savage and Alan Benson

This tart combines simple, quality ingredients to create something sublime. The flavours are classically English, and the freshly grated nutmeg gives the rich, silky custard an aromatic lift.


Quantity Ingredient
1/2 quantity see method for ingredients, chilled
585g double cream
75g full-cream milk
1/2 vanilla pod, seeds scraped
or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
180g egg yolk, approx. 9 yolks
65g caster sugar
1/2 nutmeg, for grating


  1. On a lightly floured bench, roll the pastry out into a large disc, 5 mm (¼ in) thick. Lightly grease a 23 cm (9 in) round tart tin with butter, then gently lay the pastry over it. Using your thumb, press the pastry firmly into the base, then trim the excess off with a knife. Place the tart shell in the fridge to rest for 1 hour. While the shell is resting, preheat the oven to 160°C (320°F).
  2. To blind bake the tart shell, line the rested pastry case with baking paper and fill with dried beans, rice or baking weights. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove the paper and beans and return the tart shell to the oven for a further 10 minutes, or until lightly golden. Set the shell aside to cool in the tin, and reduce the oven to 110°C (230°F).
  3. To make the filling, gently heat the cream, milk and vanilla in a medium saucepan over a low heat, stirring, until combined and just warm.
  4. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl gently whisk the eggs and sugar together until combined. Slowly pour the warmed cream and milk mixture over the eggs and sugar, whisking to emulsify. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a measuring jug.
  5. Line a tray with baking paper and place the tart shell on top. Place the tray in the oven on the lowest shelf, then gently pour in the custard. Bake for around 50 minutes. The centre of the custard should have a slight wobble, like a jelly, but no colour on top. The residual heat will finish setting the custard.
  6. Place the tart on a wire rack to cool, then remove the tart from the tin and transfer onto a serving dish. Grate the nutmeg over the top before serving.

Bakery notes

  • If there are any cracks in the pastry after blind baking, brush a little egg yolk over them before filling the tart to seal them up. For slightly larger holes or tears, use a little excess pastry to fill the gap, and return to the oven for a few minutes.

    Place the tart case on the oven rack and then pour the custard in, to avoid any spillage. Removing the upper shelves before preheating the oven can make this easier.

    You can also use this recipe to make small, individual tarts. You’ll just need to reduce the bake time to account for the lower volume of custard.
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