Coffee Custard Tart

By • April 17, 2011 • 17 Comments

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Author Notes: I made a thin, crisp shortbread crust flavored with concentrated coffee, whole wheat pastry flour, and turbinado sugar and filled it with a barely sweet, egg-rich, coffee scented custard. Since there are only two tablespoons of sugar in the custard, I think it might be equally nice for dessert or as part of a brunch. - ALittleZaftigALittleZaftig

Food52 Review: Back in the days before I could afford an apartment with air conditioning and the summer temperatures in Boston sweltered for days on end, I had to take my morning coffee iced, with lots of cream, just to make it through getting dressed for work without wilting. This tart brings me back, sans the sweat dripping down my back, thank God. The concentrated coffee holds its own well against the barely sweet creamy custard. The brown-sugared shortbread is a great textural counterpart. My only complaint is that while the edges of the custard set well, the center stayed quite squidgy. No worries, I have plenty of spoons. - cheese1227cheese1227

Makes one 9" tart

Coffee Custard

  • 1 1/2 cups very strong coffee
  • 7 egg yolks
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  1. Start with very strong coffee. I use 3/4 c. ground dark roast coffee to 4 c. water and use a French press. Any method will work, but the stronger the coffee the better, I think. Take 1 1/2 c. coffee and simmer it in a small saucepan over medium heat until it is reduced to about 1/2 c.
  2. In a medium saucepan, whisk the egg yolks. Whisk in the cream, sugar, and 1/2 c. concentrated coffee, reserving 1 T. of the coffee for the crust. Bring to a simmer over low heat and cook, stirring constantly, until it is beginning to thicken and coats a wooden spoon. Whisk in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened. The custard will thicken slightly as it cools, too. Sieve the custard if you fear you have lumps. Set it aside until it is time to fill the tart crust.

Coffee Shortbread Crust

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tablespoon concentrated coffee
  • 1 pinch sugar
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar. Add the flours and mix only until incorporated. Stir in the coffee concentrate.
  2. Transfer the shortbread dough to a 9" tart pan, and pat it out. Sprinkle it with a pinch or two of sugar to make the job a bit easier. Using your fingertips, press the crust evenly into the tart pan and up its sides. Place a sheet of parchment paper into the tart shell and fill it with pie weights or dried beans. Bake the crust for 15 minutes. Remove it from the oven and gently remove the parchment and pie weights or beans. Bake the crust for an additional 10 minutes. Cool the crust slightly and then pour in the coffee custard. Spread it with a spatula. Chill in the refrigerator to set and until serving time.
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Comments (17) Questions (1)

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Ding_dong_the_witch_is_dead

6 months ago Mother Daniel

Hmmmm... From what I have read, coffee flavor profile is changed considerably for the worse when reheated. That being the case, I can only imagine that a cup and a half of strong coffee reduced to a third of its volume is going to change to something not to the better. Why not just brew cold brew 2 1/3 Tbsp. course ground coffee with a 9 T water and skip the boil and bitterness?

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6 months ago ALittleZaftig

Thank you for the suggestion. The flavor profile of the finished tart is softened by all of the cream, and I have not found the flavor bitter. I haven't used leftover coffee, and have always reduced fresh coffee. When I first developed the recipe I suspected that I needed a lot of oomph and very little liquid to convey the flavor across all of that egg and cream. I will try your suggestion. I suspect it will be lovely, though perhaps softer in coffee flavor. We are made better cooks through sharing. Thanks again! And let me know if you have good results, too.

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almost 3 years ago Elaura

Made this just last weekend, added a bit of dark rum to the filling and added a meringue on top with muscovado sugar to use up some of the egg whites...it was delicious, thank you for the lovely recipe!

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almost 3 years ago ALittleZaftig

That sounds wonderful!

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over 3 years ago Peter

While Peter no longer works for Food52 he still thinks up ways to make the website better.

I can't say I'm a fan of coffee, but my wife loved this. Thanks for the great recipe!

Dsc_0205

over 3 years ago Daphne

As soon as I get my kitchen back I'm making this and all of your tarts look fantastic!

Lake___nicky-1061

over 3 years ago FrancesRenHuang

thank you for this recipe. I love it. what a great substitute for morning coffee. :)

Me

over 3 years ago wssmom

I love the coffee in the crust!

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over 3 years ago ALittleZaftig

Thank you! So kind of all of you.

Mrs._larkin_370

over 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

this sounds delicious!

Newliztoqueicon-2

over 3 years ago Lizthechef

Love your recipe -

100_0039

over 3 years ago VanessaS

Yum, looks great!

Summer_2010_1048

over 3 years ago Midge

This sounds great!

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over 3 years ago ALittleZaftig

Thank you both!

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over 3 years ago ALittleZaftig

I simmered down strong coffee until it was reduced by 2/3.

Winnie100

over 3 years ago WinnieAb

ok thanks for clarifying :)

Winnie100

over 3 years ago WinnieAb

Sounds postively heavenly. When you say concentrated coffee, do you mean freeze-dried coffee powder? Or something else?