Gorgeous to look at and a true pleasure to eat, this simple French dessert has just two components: a buttery, flaky pastry crust and a dense, creamy custard filling that browns and puffs up during its time in the oven. And since it comes from the kitchen of Belinda Leong and Michel B. Suas, our 2018 Outstanding Baker winners, you know it has to be good.
one 8-inch tart
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for bench flour
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into cubes and chilled
Tart Flan Custard:
- 3 cups whole milk
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar, divided
- 4 whole eggs
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Make the pâte briseé: in a food processor, add the flour, sugar, and salt to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to combine, then add the cold butter. Pulse until the butter breaks down into small pebble-sized pieces. Slowly pour 1 cup cold water into the spout while pulsing. Use only enough water to bring the dough together. Remove dough carefully from the blade and bowl. Lightly dust your work surface with flour and turn dough a few times. Cut dough in half, shape it into flat rounds, and wrap with plastic wrap. Reserve half of the dough for future use. Let rest for 2 hours.
Lightly flour your work surface and roll the dough until it’s about 3/8-inch-thick. Gently place the dough over an 8-inch wide 1-inch high tart pan with removable bottom. Mold the dough to form to the tart pan and trim excess dough. Chill or freeze tart pan for 20 minutes.
Preheat oven 350° F. Cover dough with a large piece of parchment paper and fill with rice until it’s full, carefully pushing rice into each crevice. Blind bake until lightly golden, about 15 minutes. Remove rice and parchment paper (note: rice can be reused for future blind baking). Let cool.
Make the tart flan custard: preheat oven 385°F. In a large saucepan, bring the milk and half of the sugar to a boil. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, remaining sugar, cornstarch, and kosher salt. Place a clean kitchen towel under the mixing bowl to keep it in place. Slowly temper the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture while continuously whisking. Then pour all the contents back into the saucepan and bring to a boil, constantly whisking. Simmer on medium-high heat until thick, about 5 minutes. Carefully pour the custard mixture into the prepared shell until the shell is filled to the top. Bake until the top turns golden brown, 50 to 60 minutes.
Remove and let cool for 30 minutes. Transfer to the refrigerator to set, about 1 1/2 hours. When the tart has completely cooled, cut into slices and serve.
Recipe photo and food styling by Judy Kim.