Make this vanilla custard tart, then check out our classic custard tart, Manchester tart, Bakewell tart and more traditional British desserts.

For even more custard-based desserts, try our Portuguese custard tarts, rhubarb and custard tart, nutmeg custard tart and baked egg custard.



  • 200g plain flour
  • 35g buckwheat flour
  • 100g unsalted butter, very cold and cut into small cubes
  • 65g icing sugar
  • 85g (4-5 yolks) egg yolks, whisked, plus extra to glaze


  • 500ml double cream
  • 1 vanilla pods, sliced in half, seeds scraped
  • 160g (8-10 yolks) egg yolks
  • 75g maple syrup


  • 100g caster sugar
  • 50g double cream
  • 50g smoked or regular butter, diced
  • 10g dark chocolate, chopped
  • if using smoked butter smoked sea salt flakes or sea salt flakes


  • STEP 1

    Heat the oven to 240C/fan 220C/gas 9 and put the flours onto a baking tray. Cook the flours (without the fan setting, if possible) for 10-15 minutes, stirring halfway, or until dark brown. Leave to cool.

  • STEP 2

    Put the cooled flour into a food processor with the butter, icing sugar and 1/2 tsp salt, and pulse until the mixture resembles sand. Drizzle in the egg yolks while pulsing, until all of the yolks are incorporated. Bring together into a dough, wrap and chill for at least an hour.

  • STEP 3

    Roll the dough out to a 5mm-thick, 30cm-diameter circle. Use this to line an approximately 15cm diameter, 6cm-deep tart tin or loose-bottomed cake tin, cutting away any excess pastry. The pastry may be very short but will patch back together easily when excess is pushed into any cracks. Chill for 20 minutes. Line the tart with a layer of baking paper, then fill with baking beans.

  • STEP 4

    Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4 and blind bake the pastry shell for 20 minutes. Remove the baking paper and beans, turn up the oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5 and bake the tart for a further 10-15 minutes or until golden. Brush the bottom and sides with egg yolk to seal, then cool.

  • STEP 5

    Pour the double cream into a pan with the vanilla seeds and slowly bring to the boil, then strain. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and maple syrup until smooth. Gradually pour over the hot cream, while whisking, then strain again into a jug and skim off any bubbles from the surface.

  • STEP 6

    Heat the oven to 140C/fan 120C/gas 1. Put the tart onto a baking tray and into the oven, then pour in as much custard as possible. Turn the oven down to 120C/fan 100C/gas ½ and bake for 2 hours, until it has a firm wobble in the middle. Remove from the oven, cool, then chill in the fridge for 2 hours.

  • STEP 7

    For the butter caramel, put the sugar into a pan and heat gently, swirling until the sugar is fully dissolved. Turn the heat up and cook until dark golden brown, then carefully pour in the double cream to stop the cooking. Stir well, then allow to cool until warm. Add the butter and chocolate, and continue to stir until fully emulsified. Keep warm.

  • STEP 8

    To serve, blowtorch the top of the tart, if you like, then remove from the tin. Cut the tart into 6 and plate, then serve with a spoonful of the caramel and a sprinkle of sea salt flakes or smoked sea salt.


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