For a variety of sizes, you can also make these tarts using 3.5-inch tart pans.
Crème Brûlée Tarts
Makes 9 (4-inch) Tarts
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped and reserved
- 4 egg yolks, room temperature
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- ½ cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar, divided
- ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
- Pâte Sablé (recipe follows)
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- ⅔ cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 large egg yolks
- 3 cups pastry flour
- In a medium saucepan, heat cream and vanilla bean and reserved seeds over medium heat just until bubbles form around edges of pan. (Do not boil.) Remove from heat; let steep for 30 minutes.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks, egg, ½ cup sugar, and salt. Whisk egg mixture into cream mixture until smooth. Strain mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a liquid-measuring cup.
- Preheat oven to 300°.
- Place baking sheet with cooled Pâte Sablée in oven; pour filling into prepared shells.
- Bake until filling is set around edges but still slightly jiggly in center and an instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 170° to 175°, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from baking sheet, and let cool completely on a wire rack.
- Sprinkle tarts with remaining 3 tablespoons sugar. Using a kitchen torch, caramelize sugar by slowly moving back and forth over top of tarts. Serve immediately.
- In a large bowl, beat butter with a mixer at medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Add confectioners’ sugar and salt, and beat until smooth, about 1 minute. Add egg yolks, and beat until combined, about 1 minute. Add flour in two additions, beating just until combined. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and gently knead 3 to 4 times. Shape dough into a disk, and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 325°.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to 3/16-inch thickness. Using a 5-inch round cutter, cut dough into 9 rounds, rerolling scraps as necessary. Transfer dough to 9 (4-inch) round tart pans, gently pressing into bottom and up sides. Trim excess dough, if necessary. Freeze until hardened, about 10 minutes.
- Prick bottom of tarts with a fork. Place on a rimmed baking sheet. Top tarts with pieces of parchment paper, letting excess extend over edges of pans. Add pie weights.
- Bake until edges look dry, about 15 minutes. Carefully remove paper and weights. Bake until crust is dry, about 10 minutes more. Let cool completely on baking sheet.
Note: If making ahead, cover and refrigerate after cooling to room temperature. Before topping with sugar to serve, remove any moisture that may have formed on top of custard.