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Salted Caramel-Vanilla Bean Custard Tart

By Deborah Harroun
Created January 10, 2017
Celebrate any occasion with a crowd-pleasing custard tart featuring a salted caramel layer!

To make the crust, put chocolate sandwich cookies in a food processor and pulse until you have fine crumbs. Pour the crumbs into a bowl and add melted butter. Press the crumbs into an 11-inch tart pan.


Bake the crust until set, 10 to 15 minutes.


To make the caramel, combine caramel candies and evaporated milk in a small saucepan; cook until the caramels are melted. Add salt, and then pour the mixture into the cooled crust. Let the caramel set up for at least 15 minutes.


Spread the chilled custard over the caramel layer. Serve immediately.




When I think dessert, I tend to gravitate towards something easy, like cookies or brownies. But every once in awhile, you have an occasion that calls for something a little more special. 

While this tart has several different components, it is actually pretty easy to make. But guests will be impressed by how complex it looks! 

You start with a simple cookie crumb crust, followed by a salted caramel layer. This layer is made even easier by using store-bought caramels. Homemade vanilla bean custard tops it off for a dessert that will stand out at your special occasion. 

You’ll want to make the custard a few hours in advance. It can even be made the day before to make assembling the tart even easier. 

You’ll start with a vanilla bean. Cut down the center of the bean with a sharp knife, and scrape out the seeds.


Add the bean pod and seeds to 2 cups of whole milk. Heat this slowly so the vanilla flavor infuses the milk.


While the milk is heating, combine sugar and cornstarch in a large bowl. Whisk until you don’t have any lumps from the cornstarch.


Add in egg yolks; whisk together.


Once the milk has come to a boil, pour about 1/2 cup of the hot milk into the egg mixture, whisking continuously to avoid cooking the eggs. Pour the whole mixture back into the pan. Cook over medium-low heat until it is thick.


Remove the custard from the heat. Press through a mesh strainer to remove any of the vanilla bean pod and to get rid of any clumps.


Whisk in butter, one cube at a time, until it has all been incorporated.


Press a piece of plastic wrap over the top of the custard to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until the custard has completely cooled. This will take a few hours. Or you can refrigerate it overnight.