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Tom's Tantalizing Madagascan Vanilla Egg Custard Tart

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Serves 6-12 | Prep Time 60 | Cook Time 60

Why I Love This Recipe

Did you know that the Madagascan vanilla bean is often referred to as the 'king of vanilla'? It's renowned for its rich, creamy, and complex flavor, making it a prized ingredient in the culinary world. The unique terroir of Madagascar's northeastern coast, combined with meticulous cultivation techniques, results in a vanilla bean that is simply unmatched in aroma and taste.

Ingredients You'll Need

3 Madagascan vanilla pods, seeds scraped out and reserved, pods reserved for oven perfuming
2 teaspoons Madagascan vanilla flavouring
2 tablespoons Madagascan vanilla bean paste
300 ml double cream
300 ml whole milk
6 large eggs
200 g caster sugar
3 cinnamon sticks for oven perfuming
200 g unsalted butter, softened
300 g all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
6-8 tablespoons cold water


To make the pastry, combine the flour, salt, and softened butter in a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add the water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and pulse until the dough just comes together. Do not overmix.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly to form a smooth ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Place the vanilla pods and cinnamon sticks on a baking tray and place in the oven for 10 minutes to infuse the oven with their aroma.

Roll out the chilled pastry dough on a lightly floured surface to a thickness of about 3-4 mm. Line a 23 cm tart tin with the pastry, trimming off any excess. Prick the base with a fork and chill for 30 minutes.

Line the chilled pastry case with parchment paper or foil and fill with baking beans or rice. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the baking beans/rice and parchment paper. Return to the oven for another 5-10 minutes until the pastry is lightly golden.

In a saucepan, combine the cream, milk, vanilla seeds, vanilla flavouring, and vanilla bean paste. Heat gently, stirring frequently, until steaming and just beginning to simmer. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until well combined. Gradually pour in the warm cream mixture, whisking constantly until fully incorporated.

Pour the custard mixture into the pre-baked pastry case. Bake for 30-60 minutes, or until the custard is set but still has a slight wobble in the center. Remove from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack.

Serve the tart at room temperature or chilled, garnished with a dusting of powdered sugar or a dollop of whipped cream, if desired. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Pairs Well With

A glass of chilled Madeira wine or a fragrant vanilla-infused Earl Grey tea.

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