Crème Brulée Chocolate Tart

Jeez. What can I really say besides Yum?  The part of this post where I playfully banter and censor myself from swearing like a sailor is, of course, fantastic, but the real gift is in the recipe below. I give you permission to skip my “fluff” and jump ahead to the wickedly good stuff! (Would this blog be better if I only spoke in rhyme?) (Also, do you read things in parenthesis? Because I don’t.)

Maury Rubin is the founder of City Bakery in NYC. I interviewed the man a few years ago and, in exchange for a jar of homemade pesto that I had brought, I was sent home packin’ 5 lbs of treats. Fair deal? You tell me.

Years later, I stumbled across his book of tarts, and ever since, I had been dying to use his recipe for Creme Brulee in a Tart. I constantly complain about desserts that are just cream based. My argument is that they have no place on a menu and should only be served when inside a donut or a crust. 

Solution attained.

The interesting thing about this recipe is that the creme is cooked in a double boiler on the stove top. There is no baking after the initial pie crust is done. Feel free to play with the flavors. I used a chocolate crust and vanilla creme because I’m classy (unoriginal?). But there are a bajillion combinations to try. Literally, a bajillion.

Moral of the Story: Always bring pesto to your interviews. 

 Crème Brulée Chocolate Tart 



QUITE GOOD. Much prefer creme brulee in a tart.

Adapted from Book of Tarts by Maury Rubin

Chocolate Tart Dough (makes 6 4.75 inch fluted tart shells)

8 Tbsps butter cut into 8 pieces, at room temperature

1 cup minus 2 Tbsps unbleached all-purpose flour

2 Tbsps plus 2 tsps unsweetened Dutch cocoa

1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsps confectioners’ sugar

1 large egg yolk

Creme Brulee

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1 vanilla bean split

4 large egg yolks

3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsps sugar

The Tart Crust

1) Sift together flour and cocoa.

2) Place confectioners’ sugar into bowl of stand mixer. Add butter and using paddle arrangement, cream at medium speed. Add egg yolk and beaten until well blended. Add half flour mixture and beat until dough is crumbly. Add the rest and beat until dough is a sticky mass.


Shape into a disk, wrap in plastic, and let rest in fridge, approx 2 hours.


3) Dust work surface with cocoa and flour. Divide dough into 6 equal parts. Flatten each into 2-3 inch rounds. Roll each dough into 6 inch rounds, about 1/8 inch thick. Poke holes in dough.

4) Place into tart pan, being careful about the edges. Cut off excess dough from the top by rolling a pin over it. Place shells in freezer for 30 minutes.

5) Preheat oven to 375. Fully bake the shells 10-12 minutes or until interiors are dry. Let cool completely before unmolding.


1) Pour cream into medium saucepan and add vanilla bean. Simmer over low heat and then remove from heat.

2) Fill a large saucepan with 2-3 inches of water and bring to a boil. Combine egg yolks and 2 Tbsps of sugar in a medium heatproof bowl; whisk to combine. Set over boiling water pot but don’t let the bottom of the bowl touch the water. Whisk yolks and sugar until thick and pale.


3) Pour the hot cream into egg yolk mixture, very very slowly, whisking constantly. Let custard thicken, approx 5 minutes, so that it coats the back of a spoon. Strain through a fine sieve into a bowl.


4) Fill tart shells with custard. Refrigerate for at least an hour.


5) Sprinkle 1 Tbsp of sugar over each tart; keep propane torch 4 inches form top of the tart and burn the sugar. Sprinkle another tablespoon over each and repeat so that the sugar bubbles and caramelizes. Refrigerate 10 minutes before serving.