Recipe | Cardamom Crème Anglaise Tart

Recipe | Cardamom Crème Anglaise Tart

creme 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.

Adapted from Food52 & Gather and Feast


Tart Crust

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp whole milk

Custard Filling

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp cardamom
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch

Topping Ideas

  • 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)

Game Plan

Tart Crust:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Mix dry ingredients (flour + salt) in a bowl. Whisk in olive oil and milk.
  3. 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).
  4. Bake for ~18 min or until lightly browned.

Custard Filling:

  1. Bring milk, maple syrup, vanilla, and cardamom to a boil. Remove from heat. 
  2. Beat eggs and 1 tbsp cornstarch in a bowl. Pour the hot milk into the mix and whisk well. 
  3. 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.
  4. Stir continuously with a wooden spoon as the mixture cooks and thickens (~15-20 min).
  5. 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.
  6. If (mad) chunky, strain through a sieve 1-2 times.


  1. 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.)
  2. Go crazy and get your Picasso/O'Keefe/Rivera on. The canvas is yours. 


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