Silk road crustard tart recipe


This British-inspired custard tart sings with the nuances of the country’s imperial history: orange blossom and wild rose water pair with creamy custard bathed in nutmeg up against sticky sweet Medjool date puree, creating an international dance of flavor and texture. This is not crème brûlée and there is no vanilla bean to be found here. Vanilla, while a wonderful flavor, is not necessary for a good custard tart, whereas freshly grated nutmeg is essential.

  • Yield: 8 Servings


  • 2 cups (350 g) juicy Medjool dates, with pits
  • ¾ teaspoon orange blossom water
  • ½ teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 2½ cups + 2 tablespoons (660 ml/675 g) heavy cream
  • ½ cup (105 g) organic granulated cane sugar
  • 12 or 13 large pasture-raised egg yolks (240 g)
  • 1¼ teaspoons rose water (Mymouné preferred)
  • 1 batch Sweet Dough , blind-baked
  • 1 whole nutmeg
  • Rose petals, dried rosebuds, and dried rose petal powder, optional
How to Make It
  1. Place the dates in a heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water to loosen the skin. Let sit for 2 minutes, then drain the dates and peel away the hard outer skin. Discard the skin and remove the pits from the dates. Measure out 11/2 cups (325 g) pitted and skinned dates.
  2. Place the dates in a high-powered blender with 1¼ cups (300 ml) water and the orange blossom water and orange zest. Blend until smooth, then set aside to cool.
  3. Preheat the oven to 290°F (145°C) convection with a low fan.
  4. Combine the cream and sugar in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and heat over medium until just simmering or scalding.
  5. Place the egg yolks in a bowl and whisk to just break apart the yolk structure without aerating. Temper the yolks, preventing them from scrambling, by slowly whisking a cup of the hot cream mixture into the yolks. Then whisk in the remaining hot cream mixture and the rose water.
  6. Spread an even layer of the date puree on the bottom of the tart shell and allow to cool in the fridge slightly for 5 minutes.
  7. Place the tart shell on a half sheet pan near the oven (less room for spills). Then carefully pour the custard gently over the date puree so as to not disturb the bottom layer.
  8. Using a Microplane or nutmeg grater, grate a heavy coating of fresh nutmeg on top of the tart.
  9. Carefully place the custard tart in the oven to bake for 30 to 45 minutes, until the custard is set and no longer jiggles when the pan is nudged, but remains soft without any cracks from overcooking.
  10. Remove from the oven and allow the tart to cool for 40 minutes at room temperature, then transfer to the fridge to cool for 2 hours.
  11. Decorate the top of the tart with rose petals, dried rosebuds, and dried rose petal powder.
  12. Keep the tart stored in the fridge and serve the dessert at a moderate temperature (between cool and room temperature rather than cold or warm).

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