A fun twist on the classic crème brûlée.
Recipe and styling by Nomvuselelo Mncube
Photograph by Dylan Swart
Crème brûlée tart
- softened salted butter, to grease
- 1 x 400g pack storebought
- shortcrust pastry, defrosted
- 500ml (2 cups) fresh cream
- 2 cinnamon quills + extra, to garnish
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 6 egg yolks
- 1 tbsp vanilla essence
- 120g castor sugar + extra, to sprinkle
- castor sugar mixed with ground cinnamon, to garnish (optional)
For the base, preheat the oven to 180˚C. Grease a 23cm round, fluted, loose-bottomed tart tin with the softened butter. Line the base and sides of the tin with the shortcrust pastry. Trim the edges and prick the base of the pastry with a fork. Line the pastry case with baking paper, fill with baking beans/dried pulses and blind-bake in the preheated oven until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven, take out the baking beans/ dried pulses and discard the baking paper used for the blind baking. Set aside. Do not switch off the oven.
For the filling, place the fresh cream, cinnamon quills and ground cinnamon in a medium saucepan over medium heat until just boiling. Remove from heat and set aside to infuse, about 5 minutes.
Place the egg yolks, vanilla essence and castor sugar in the bowl of a handheld/stand mixer. Beat until light and fluffy. Remove the cinnamon quills from the warm cream mixture and pour the liquid into the bowl of the hand-held/stand mixer in a long, steady stream while beating continuously. Spoon off any foam that forms on the surface.
Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into the pastry case. Transfer to a baking tray and bake in the oven until the filling has just set and has a slight wobble in the centre, about 30 – 40 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate to chill for 2 hours.
Before serving, remove the tart from the tin. Sprinkle a thin layer of castor sugar over the top of the tart. Use a blowtorch to melt the sugar until golden and bubbly. Set aside to rest until the caramelised sugar has hardened, about 10 minutes. Garnish with the cinnamon quills and a sprinkling of castor sugar mixed with ground cinnamon, if desired.