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A slice of vanilla bean custard tart topped with blueberries.

Vanilla Bean Custard Tart

Heather Smoke
Creamy vanilla bean custard in a flaky, all-butter pastry crust, topped with berries.

All recipes on Curly Girl Kitchen are developed for high altitude at 5,280 feet.

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 40 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Chill Time 2 hrs
Total Time 3 hrs 20 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, British


  • 14-inch Long Tart Pan with Removable Bottom



  • ½ recipe All-Butter Perfect Pie Dough
  • 1 egg white


  • cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tbsp corn starch
  • ¼ tsp coarse Kosher salt (if using table salt, use half the amount)
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • cup heavy whipping cream
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped, or 2 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter



  • Prepare 1/2 recipe All-Butter Perfect Pie Dough. This recipe will make a thin, flaky pastry crust.
    Alternatively, for a thicker, buttery, cookie-like shortbread crust, prepare and pre-bake the shortbread crust as instructed in this Maple Tart recipe.
  • Once your pie dough is ready to roll out, line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper. Set your tart pan with removable bottom on the baking sheet.
  • On a floured surface, roll out the dough thinly, to almost 1/8 inch thick.
  • Transfer the dough to the tart pan, and fit it against the bottom and up the sides of the pan, pressing gently against the sides. You don't want to stretch or pull the dough, but allow enough slack in the dough so you can fit it snugly down into the edge of the pan.
  • Use a sharp knife or scissors to trim the edge of the dough, allowing about 1/2 inch overhang. Keeping this overhang will allow for shrinkage as it bakes, and then you'll finish trimming the dough even with the top of the pan after baking the crust.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 F, and freeze the crust in the pan for 20 minutes while the oven is pre-heating.
  • Spray a piece of aluminum foil lightly with non-stick spray, and fit the foil, greased side down, against the frozen crust. Fill the foil with dried beans or pie weights.
  • Bake the crust, covered with the foil and dried beans, for 15 minutes.
  • Remove the pan from the oven, scoop the beans out of the foil, then gently peel the foil off the crust.
  • Brush the egg white over the bottom and sides of the crust. Return the pan to the oven, and bake, uncovered, for an additional 12-15 minutes, just until the crust is baked through and starting to turn a pale golden brown.
  • Remove from the oven. Immediately use a sharp knife to trim the edge of the crust so it's perfectly even with the top of the pan. Let cool while you make the custard.


  • In a saucepan, whisk together the sugar, corn starch and salt.
  • Slowly whisk in about a cup of the milk, whisking smooth any lumps of corn starch, then whisk in the rest of the milk, cream, egg yolks and vanilla bean seeds/paste.
  • Over medium heat, cook the custard while whisking constantly, until the custard starts to bubble and thicken; this should take about 8-10 minutes. Once it begins to thicken, continue to cook and whisk for 1 1/2 minutes.
  • Remove the custard from the heat and stir in the butter. Pour the custard through a mesh strainer to strain out any bits of cooked egg, until a bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap resting right against the surface of the custard, and refrigerate for 1 hour until no longer hot.
  • Loosen up the cooled custard with a spatula, then spread into the cooled crust. Refrigerate the tart for about 2 hours, or until the filling is well chilled and set.
  • Remove the sides of the tart pan, and decorate the pie with fresh berries before serving.


If you don't have a 14-inch long tart pan, you can also make this tart in a 9-inch round tart pan with a removable bottom, or even in a 9-inch deep-dish pie pan, served as pieces of pie.
Cover the tart loosely, and refrigerate leftovers for up to 3 days.
Keyword Custard, Pie, Tart
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