Recipe | Cardamom Crème Anglaise Tart
You know that subconscious itch to get wild...via tart decorating?? (No? Just me? Hands up high, y'all.)
Per my usual gleeful disobedience to lactose sensitivity, I needed a custard tart as my canvas. But because you can only rebel so far, I kept my boundaries: no butter, cream, or refined sugar. My original inspirations stemmed from pastéis de nata & crème brûlée, but further (read: practical ingredient substitute) needs brought me to the more genetically modifiable makeup of English custards. If only I had such a zeal for research when I was still in school, hah.
This is not your standard dreamy-creamy custard, nor is it a new age vegan unicorn. It's the bangin' best of more than two worlds, from classic-European to hip-Mediterranean-Californian. All from a few simple subs:
- Replacing butter with olive oil
- Replacing cream with whole milk (you could use nut milk to go dairy-free but it'd be another notch less creamy)
- Replacing sugar with vanilla & maple syrup
- Adding whole wheat flour into the crust
- V Mediterranean inspired toppings & flavorings
Also apt how accurately this tart reflects my current state of life. Albeit an imperfect canvas, it's blank and ready to be designed afresh c/o the beautiful madness of a cross-country move. New city, new people, new season...but same figs at Trader Joe's hollaaa.
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp whole milk
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 tsp cardamom
- 2 eggs
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- Seasonal fruit (berries, figs, & stone fruits👌🏼)
- Nuts & seeds (pistachios, almonds, walnuts)
- Dried fruits & sweeteners (dates, figs, honey)
- Herbs (mint)
- Florals (rose petals, hibiscus, flowers from the yard)
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Mix dry ingredients (flour + salt) in a bowl. Whisk in olive oil and milk.
- Use your fingers to shape the dough into your tart pan so the crust is about ~1/8 in thick. Food52 says these measurements will fit an 11 in pan, so I took 75% of the quantities for my 8 in pan. Should have used 80%, as evidenced by the leakage (oops).
- Bake for ~18 min or until lightly browned.
- Bring milk, maple syrup, vanilla, and cardamom to a boil. Remove from heat.
- Beat eggs and 1 tbsp cornstarch in a bowl. Pour the hot milk into the mix and whisk well.
- Pour the combined mixture back into your pot/saucepan and cook over low heat. Mix the other tbsp cornstarch with a bit of water and add into the saucepan.
- Stir continuously with a wooden spoon as the mixture cooks and thickens (~15-20 min).
- Once it sticks to the back of the spoon without sliding off, remove from heat. Keep stirring as it cools; you wanna make sure it stays smooooth.
- If (mad) chunky, strain through a sieve 1-2 times.
- Pour custard into tart and pray it don't break. (Shouldn't be a problem if you didn't eyeball measurements like I haphazardly did.)
- Go crazy and get your Picasso/O'Keefe/Rivera on. The canvas is yours.