‘The pastry cream can be made the night before, the sable breton needs no resting so it can be whipped up quite quickly, then the figs can be brûléed and the tart can be arranged in minutes. Easy!’ says Chef Natasha Ignatiadis.
2 hours + cooling time
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
Pastry 1¼ cups milk (310ml, 11 oz) | 1 vanilla bean | ¼ cup sugar | ¼ cup cornstarch | ¼ tsp salt | 4 egg yolks Sable Breton 80g egg yolks (approx. 4) | 175g caster sugar | 160g unsalted butter, softened | 220g plain flour | 7g baking powder | Pinch of salt Topping 6 figs | Raw sugar, for the brûlée | Icing sugar, for dusting
WHAT TO DO
- Mix together the sugar, cornstarch and salt in a small bowl. This will prevent the cornstarch from going lumpy later.
- In a large heatproof bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Whisk the flour mixture to the egg yolks slowly, one tablespoon at a time. It will be thick and pasty. Set aside.
- Pour the milk into a medium saucepan. Split the vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds, putting them into the milk. Throw in the vanilla pod, too.
- Place the pan over a high heat and scald the milk – heat it until bubbles appear around the edges, but it is not boiling.
- Once the milk is scalded, remove from the heat and slowly pour it into the egg mixture, whisking continuously.
- When all the milk incorporated, pour the custard back into the saucepan and cook over a medium heat. Whisk continuously and vigorously until the mixture begins to thicken and comes to a boil.
- Once the mixture thickens and is just beginning to bubble, whisk vigorously (to prevent lumps from forming) for 10 seconds and then turn off the heat.
- Strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a heatproof bowl (discarding the vanilla bean). Cover with plastic wrap, putting the plastic right onto the surface of the pastry cream. This will prevent a skin from forming.
- Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or until cold
- Preheat the oven to 165 C (320 F).
- Butter and flour 6 individual tart tins (I used bottomless rings).
- Beat the butter with a wooden spoon until creamy. Set aside.
- Using a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat the egg yolks on a high speed.
- Add the sugar all at once and beat until pale and creamy.
- Turn the mixer to a low speed and add a quarter of the butter at a time, beating until incorporated after each addition.
- Turn off the mixer. Sift the flour and baking powder over the butter mixture and fold in slowly with a spatula, until just incorporated.
- Bring the dough together with your hands, gently, and divide among the tart cases.
- Press the pastry into the bases and up the sides of the tart cases.
- Bake for 15 – 20 minutes, until puffed and golden.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
- Use a piping bag fitted with a round nozzle to dot the pastry cream over the sable breton bases.
- Quarter the figs, sprinkle with raw sugar and use a blowtorch or grill (broiler) to brûlée them. Arrange them over the tart.
Dust with icing sugar to serve. Makes 6 tarts. Happy baking!