Brûléed Cranberry Custard Tartlets

Brûléed Cranberry Custard Tartlets

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This festive, fall-ready recipe has a wonderful sweet-tart flavor, crispy caramelized sugar top, with a creamy cranberry custard piled into a nutty, buttery pastry crust.

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Cook Time


for tartlet shells:

  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 cup whole hazelnuts
  • 1 1/2 cups AP flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup cane sugar
  • finely grated zest of one lemon
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 11 tablespoons cold butter, cubed
  • 3 tbsp La Tourangelle Pecan Oil, plus extra for greasing tartlet pans
  • 2 pasture-raised egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

for the cranberry custard:

  • 1 lb fresh or thawed frozen cranberries
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • Juice and finely grated zest of 1 orange
  • 1 stick butter, softened and cut into chunks
  • 2 pasture-raised eggs plus 2 egg yolks
  • cane sugar, to brûlée surface


Lightly grease tartlet pans with removable bottoms with pecan oil.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place hazelnuts on a rimmed baking sheet and toast 5 minutes or until golden and fragrant and the outer skins become papery and begin to flake off. Remove them from oven and transfer to a dish to cool. Use a tea towel or your fingers to rub skins off, then transfer nuts to a food processor.

Toast almond flour in a dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring at intervals once the pan is hot. When the almond meal becomes fragrant and turns more toasty golden, about 5-7 minutes, transfer to a dish and set aside.

Blitz hazelnuts, along with 1/2 cup flour until finely ground. Add the remaining flour, sugar, lemon zest, cinnamon, cloves, salt, and baking powder and process until uniform. Add cubed butter and pulse until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Add oil, the egg yolks, and vanilla extract, and pulse until dough begins to come together.

Gather dough into a ball on a work surface, then divide it into 5 equal pieces. Press first dough mound into mini tart pan, pressing evenly to the base and up the sides.  Repeat with remaining tart shells, then refrigerate for 10 minutes. Bake pastries for 25 minutes or until they are fragrant, golden brown, and set. Cool the tartlets on a wire rack.

Make the cranberry custard: Put cranberries, sugar, orange juice and peel in a saucepan over medium heat. Simmer until cranberries have popped and softened, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a food mill and express cooking liquid into a bowl. Whisk butter into the warm liquid.

Place eggs and egg yolks into a bowl and beat lightly. Slowly whisk a cup of warm cranberry liquid into the eggs to temper, then combine both and whisk together. Return to pot and cook over low heat until thickened and almost bubbling, about 10 minutes. If using immediately, allow to cool to room temperature. Otherwise, cool to room temperature and cover with cellophane (press it flush against curd to prevent a skin from forming) and refrigerate. (custard base may be prepped 1 day ahead.)

Spoon custard into cooled tart shells set on a rimmed baking sheet, then smooth tops using a spatula. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, until set. Cool on a wire rack.

When you are ready to serve them, sprinkle a tablespoon of cane sugar over the surface of 1 tart, then use a kitchen torch to caramelize the sugar until it bubbles and forms a “glass.” Repeat with remaining 4 tartlets, free them from their tins, and serve at once.

Recipe courtesy of @melinahammer