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Alistair Wise's custard tart

Seek out some top-shelf cream – you'll taste the difference.

By Alistair Wise
  • 20 mins preparation
  • 25 mins cooking
  • Serves 8 - 10
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Alistair Wise's custard tart
"Like most good pastry cooking this tart is about juxtaposition: buttery crisp crust contrasted with a silky smooth centre," says Alistair Wise. "Use good cream - this is one of those times when you'll taste it."


  • 750 ml pouring cream (3 cups)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 12 egg yolks
  • 120 gm caster sugar
  • 1 nutmeg
Sweet shortcrust pastry
  • 200 gm plain flour, sifted (1⅓ cups)
  • 60 gm pure icing sugar, sifted
  • 120 gm butter, diced
  • 1 egg, plus extra lightly beaten for eggwash


  • 1
    For pastry, place flour, icing sugar, butter and a pinch of salt in a bowl and rub until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add egg and mix just to bring the mixture together. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate to chill (2-3 hours).
  • 2
    Roll out pastry on a lightly floured bench to 3mm thick and place it in a 4.5cm-deep, 20cm-diameter cake ring or springform tin on an oven tray lined with baking paper. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to rest. Trim edges and dock with a fork.
  • 3
    Preheat oven to 170°C, then blind-bake pastry case for 15 minutes (see cook's notes p182). Remove foil and weights, brush tart shell with lightly beaten egg and return to oven to just set (7 minutes).
  • 4
    Reduce oven to 130°C. Bring cream and vanilla to the boil in a saucepan. Lightly whisk eggs and sugar in a bowl, then, whisking continuously, pour hot cream into egg mixture. Transfer custard to a jug, then pour into tart shell and bake until set with a little wobble in the centre (20-25 minutes). Remove from oven, finely grate nutmeg over the top, leave to cool (about 1 hour), then serve. Custard tart is best served on the day it's made but will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for 3-4 days.