The theme for the Cookbook challenge this fortnight has been “Citrus”. Whilst I love citrus flavours I had a lot of trouble choosing just one recipe to cook because there were so many citrus recipes I wanted to try! This recipe by Callum from Masterchef, season 2 won me over. The thought of creme brulee in a tart was too good to resist. I am a pushover for creme brulee and the lemon and ginger infused custard filling seemed irresistible. This recipe also looked fairly easy to make which is always a bonus. The only problem now is I have lots more tarts in my fridge which I have to get through. Creme brulee tarts can be part of a healthy balanced diet, can’t they?
If you would like to check out some of the “Citrus” posts by other participants in the Cookbook challenge you can find the links to the posts here.
Lemon and Ginger Creme Brulee Tarts
Adapted from Masterchef Vol 2 Cookbook, p236.
makes 8 x 8cm diameter tarts
- 260g ( 1 3/4 cups) plain flour
- 40g (1/4 cup) icing sugar
- 150g cold unsalted butter, chopped
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 300ml pouring cream
- 200ml milk
- 2 lemons, zested
- 6 cm piece ginger, thinly sliced
- 5 egg yolks
- 75g (1/3 cup) caster sugar
- 1 tbsp cornflour
- 75g (1/3 cup) caster sugar
Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease 8 x 8cm tart tins.
Place flour, icing sugar and butter in food processor and pulse in short bursts, until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add eggs and pulse until it comes together. Alternatively you can use your fingertips to rub butter into the flour and icing sugar in a large bowl until it resembles breadcrumbs and then add egg and mix to bring together. Wrap pastry in clingwrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Divide the dough into 8 portions and roll out on a lightly floured surface till 3mm thick. Line each tin and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Prick the pastry and line with baking paper. Fill with uncooked rice or dried beans and bake for 15 minutes. Remove rice/beans and baking paper and bake for a further 10 minutes or until lightly golden. Cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, make filling. Mix cream, milk, lemon zest and ginger in a saucepan. Heat over medium high heat to bring almost to the boil. Set aside and allow to infuse for 5 minutes.
Whisk the egg yolks, caster sugar and cornflour until pale and thick. Pour the milk mixture slowly into the eggs while whisking continuously. Strain into a clean saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring, until it thickens and begins to simmer.
Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Spoon into the tart cases and smooth surface.
Refrigerate for 1 hour or more. Before serving sprinkle the surface of each tart with 2 tsp caster sugar. Use a kitchen blowtorch to caramelise the sugar. Leave to harden for 5 minutes before serving.
There is nothing like cracking through the hard caramelised sugar on top a creme brulee to dip into the luscious creamy filling. I loved the mild lemon and ginger flavour of these tarts although I thought they would be even nicer with the zest of a third lemon to ensure the lemon flavour is not overpowered by the ginger.
I didn’t have any 8cm tart tins at home so I used a couple of different sizes to make my tarts. I had a bit of trouble rolling the pastry out thinly in 35°C weather so I experimented with rolling the pastry out to varying thickness (It was quite thick in the photos above). I liked it more when it was rolled out quite thinly but this would be much easier on a cooler day.
I found these tarts to be quite easy to make and not terribly time consuming. They would be lovely with afternoon tea or as a dessert that you can prepare ahead and leave in the fridge until ready to serve. Just sprinkle with sugar and caramelise quickly before serving. Yum!
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