Crème Brûlée Tarts

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)
Pâte Sablé
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ⅔ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 3 cups pastry flour
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Preheat oven to 300°.
  4. Place baking sheet with cooled Pâte Sablée in oven; pour filling into prepared shells.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
Pâte Sablé
  1. 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.
  2. Preheat oven to 325°.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.