29 October 2015

Eggnog Tart - Classic Custard Tart with an Optional Splash of Brandy


Eggnog Tart - Classic Custard Tart / www.delightfulrepast.com

A classic custard tart is pure comfort food. A not-too-sweet, nutmeg-dusted custard baked in a slightly sweet shortcrust pastry shell, this was a family favorite when I was growing up. It pairs perfectly with a cup of tea. Though, of course, it's a dessert, I've always thought it makes a splendid breakfast.

When I add a bit of brandy, I call it Eggnog Tart. Come winter, I do love a good Eggnog! But you can leave out the brandy and have a perfectly lovely Classic Custard Tart. 

Sometimes I think how nice it would be to be one of those people who aren't really into food but just see it as fuel for the most part. That would make it easier to eat for health and to maintain ideal weight. But I can't imagine my life without my love of food and my treasured memories of cooking with my mother and grandmothers. 

When I was a child, unless my grandmothers were around, custard tarts and pies would be replaced on the menu with simple, crustless individual baked custards. I remember being home from school with a cold or flu and living on those custards for days at a time when nothing else suited. 

If you prefer to skip the crust, be sure to bake it in a water bath and in a different pan -- a loose-bottomed tart tin will not hold liquid! Which reminds me of a good question: What is your worst kitchen disaster? Tell me yours, and maybe I'll tell you mine!

Eggnog Tart - Classic Custard Tart / www.delightfulrepast.com

Eggnog Tart - Classic Custard Tart

(Makes one 9-inch/23cm tart, 8 servings)

The Pastry - Pâte Sucrée (a sweet shortcrust pastry) 

1 1/4 dip-and-sweep cup (6.25 ounces/177 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour 
1/4 packed cup (1 ounce/28 grams) unsifted powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (4 ounces/113 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon water, milk or cream

The Filling

1 1/4 cup (10 fluid ounces/296 ml) milk (I use 2%)
1/2 cup (4 fluid ounces/118 ml) heavy cream
3 large eggs
1/4 cup (1.75 ounces/50 grams) sugar
2 tablespoons brandy, optional*
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon salt

* Note: When using the 2 tablespoons of brandy, I use 2 tablespoons less of the milk. That way I have the exact amount of filling needed.

1 Add flour, powdered sugar and salt to work bowl of food processor; turn on for about 3 or 4 seconds to combine. Add chunks of butter; pulse to a crumb texture. Add egg yolk and cream; pulse until the dough starts clumping together. This is to be a crisp, more cookie-like crust, rather than a flaky pastry; so there's not quite the concern about over-processing. Flatten slightly into a 4- to 6-inch round disc, wrap and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes. 

2 Lightly butter a 9-inch/23cm tart tin and set it on a baking sheet. On lightly floured 12-inch square of aluminum foil, roll out the pastry to a 12-inch circle. Transfer dough to tart tin, pressing dough (but not stretching it) to fit the tin. Save the foil; you're not done with it. With scissors or knife, trim the overhang to 1/2 inch all around. Fold it in and press it to the sides to form a thicker side crust. Trim the edges by rolling the rolling pin over the top. Press the pastry into the flutes so that it rises a bit above the edge (in case of shrinkage). Pop it in the freezer for 15 minutes while you preheat the oven to 375F/190C/Gas5. 

3 Cover chilled pastry with reserved piece of foil, clean side up, pressing it to fit well. Spread 2 cups of ceramic pie weights (that's two packages of Mrs. Anderson's ceramic pie weights) over the foil. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil and pie weights (called baking beans in the UK); continue baking for 10 minutes, until lightly browned to a pale golden. Let stand to cool. 

4 While pastry is cooling, make the filling. In 1-quart saucepan, heat milk and cream to a simmer. In 1-quart glass measure, whisk together eggs, sugar, brandy, vanilla extract, nutmeg and salt until well combined. Gradually whisk in hot milk and cream. Strain back into pan and then, because it has a pouring spout, back into the glass measure. Let stand until pastry is ready. 

5 Turn oven temperature down to 325F/165C/Gas3. Pour filling into prebaked pastry shell. Bake (with tart tin on baking sheet) for about 25 minutes, until just set and still with a bit of a wobble in the center. Cool to room temperature, about 1 hour. Remove from tin. Serve at room temperature or chilled. With (below) or without (above) a dollop of brandy and vanilla whipped cream.


Eggnog Tart - Classic Custard Tart / www.delightfulrepast.com

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44 comments:

Angie Schneider said...

I bet that splash of Brandy makes the big difference. The tart looks utterly delicious!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Angie! I do love it with the brandy! Rum would be good, too.

Bernideen said...

Jean:
This would be wonderful on a Christmas Buffet and a cherry in the middle! I know this would make for a festive dessert during the season. Thanks for sharing!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank *you*, Bernideen! It will look good on your buffet next to a trifle in your new compote!

Thomas "Sully" Sullivan said...

Bummer. Somehow I got misdirected to your January 2014 column about scones, and so I wrote a reply. Then I saw that I had already replied two years ago. Not sure I like tarts. Would rather try a scone. Bah…gonna post about scones: I just wanna say “scones” over and over again. Scones…SCONES! I’d probably like them – in fact, I’ve probably eaten them. Don’t remember. They look like buttermilk biscuits after a rough day in the beater. Your husband is right. They need sugar. (Everything needs sugar!) I can tell just by seeing them – sugar. Got a feeling these would taste good with about five heaping tablespoons of blackberry jam slightly heated. SCONES! … OK. Tarts. Custard tarts. They almost sound edible, though I have never eaten one that didn’t disappoint. Always want to put something else on it. They look like cheesecake, but taste bland. More blackberry jam! Or maybe some whip cream on top. Also, they always remind me of some comedy fragment I can never quite fit back into the context of where I read it. I.e., “Custard, flustered and mustard, you big bustard…” Only they didn’t say “bustard.” And kitchen disasters? Bwahahahaha. Forbidden by court order to discuss pending litigation…

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Sully, you're right. Custard tarts/pies often disappoint. They are often watery or rubbery as well as bland. But my custard tart gets rave reviews from your friend with the "texture issues." No rubber. No water. Plenty of flavor. Even if you don't drink alcohol, you should get a bottle of brandy just for cooking. And scones. It's hard to buy a scone (in the US) that doesn't disappoint. You'd have to try a proper homemade scone. And I do love my blackberry jam slightly heated -- glad you're onto that!

Richard Sheppard said...

My mother-in-law is coming for Thanksgiving and I'll have to put this one on our list of possibilities of making. I love pumpkin pie, for sure, but it's also nice to have options. Looks tasty!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Richard. And don't feel you have to choose -- just make both!

Angie said...

I love custard, and this one looks delicious!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Angie, thanks! Wish I had another one today!

Tony Grant said...

Has Thomas short circuited? Scones, scones, scone to him too!!!
Oh what a ,"bummer," MUST try this. I was wondering where I went from Victoria Sponges?
Sounds good, Jean.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Yes, Tony, this would be a good one for you to try next! Do let me know how it turns out for you.

ramblingtart said...

I do like a good custard tart, and your addition of eggnog is marvelous. :-)

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, ramblingtart. The addition of brandy really makes it taste like eggnog!

April J Harris said...

There is nothing like a good custard tart - and I love it with a hint of brandy! Your custard tart looks amazing, Jean. As for my worst kitchen disaster - I think I may have blanked it out as I really can't remember. I did nearly set the kitchen on fire making coq au vin once - but after I extinguished the flames it actually tasted pretty good! Thank you so much for being a part of the Hearth and Soul hop.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

April, thank you! I've always been afraid to flambe in my kitchen. I have cabinetry too close to the stovetop for it to be a sensible thing to do. Would like to have a go at it in a professional kitchen with someone nearby holding a fire extinguisher!

Angie said...

I can SOOO relate with wishing to be one of those people who don't love food and only eat it because they need fuel!! My mother and grandmothers cooked southern style and loved to cook and bake - and I carry on the tradition. :) Loved reading your post.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you so much, Angie! I'm glad you enjoyed it! Keep carrying on the tradition.

Karen Kerr said...

Jean, wow, this looks so good and would be so perfect for the holidays!

Maureen | Orgasmic Chef said...

This is such a classic dessert and I don't know anyone who doesn't love it. You've done such a good job!

People who only eat for fuel would not be friends of mine. :)

Margaret-whiteangel said...

Custard Tart, one of my favourite.

Jayanthi Sindhiya said...

The tart looks stunning

Lavender and Lime (http://tandysinclair.com) said...

we have Christmas in summer so this will be a great recipe to do to get the eggnog in :)

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Karen! Hope you'll try it.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Maureen, thank you. And I think you're right about those "eat for fuel" types!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Margaret, it isn't very common over here. A lot of people I know seem to find it unusual.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Jayanthi!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Tandy, let me know how it turns out for you!

Ruth W said...

I grew u with these...and love eggnog! Your looks wonderful! Perfect for tea! Love your photo! Thanks so much for linking to Tuesday Cuppa Tea!
Ruth

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank *you*, Ruth! Always a pleasure to link up with my Tea Ladies and see what all they're up to!

Emily @ My Love for Words said...

Oh my goodness, this looks amazing! We have a cookie baking/decorating day every year, and eggnog is a must. I think I'm going to have to add this to this year's menu :)

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Emily, thanks so much! I hope you and your cookie bakers love it as much as we do!

Melissa AuClair said...

Wow, just in time for the holidays- this looks sooooo good. It always seems that a tart is an especially fancy, fun, dress-up-the-day dessert. I love them!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Melissa! Good to hear from you! Why is it that a tart seems so much fancier than a pie?

Lea Ann (Cooking On The Ranch) said...

Well! Now that I've purchased that cute little tart pan, you know I'll be making this one. Thanks for sharing a perfect holiday recipe. Pinned.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Lea Ann, thank you! *And* for the Pin. You're right -- once you purchase the cute little pan, you've gotta find ways to use it! :D

kitty@ Kitty's Kozy Kitchen said...

Oh my Jean, how'd you know that I'm an eggnog lover? Your tart looks fabulous and would be perfect for holiday entertaining.
Thank you for your visit to my blog. It is always appreciated!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Kitty, thank you! Always a pleasure to visit your lovely blog. I hope you'll try my Eggnog recipe, too -- made with a cooked custard base rather than risky raw eggs.

Miz Helen said...

I can't wait to have a slice of this delicious pie! Thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and hope you have a great week.
Come Back Soon!
Miz Helen

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Miz Helen, thank you so much! Dontcha just love pie?!

Swathi Iyer said...

You started making eggnog, yes it is delicious, thanks for sharing with Hearth and soul blog hop, pinning and tweeting and featuring on this week's hop.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Swathi, thanks so much! Your support is much appreciated!

Elsie said...

I love eggnog so much! I'm going to make this during the holiday season for sure!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Elsie, thanks! Do let me know how it turns out for you!

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