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The perfect winter Creme Brulee Tart
A modern and creative reinterpretation of the classic French creme brulee loved by all. Made with gingerbread cookie crust, silky smooth mulled wine creamy filling and boozy fruit. Decorated in a festive fashion with snowflake royal icing cookies.
Winter is the perfect season to indulge in delicious treats that make us feel all warm and fuzzy inside. From mulled wine hints, to fruit packed with alcohol, this creme brulee tart will hit all the sweet spots! The gingerbread cookie crust works gorgeously with the filling, giving it a much needed crunch.
How to make the gingerbread cookie crust
Nothing says ‘winter’ like a decadent gingerbread cookie. The deep molasses make a beautifully sharp and crispy cookie, beloved all over the world.
The gingerbread crust is the same as any gingerbread cookie recipe, minus the baking soda. We want the crust to have a good crunchy snap to it, so baking soda or powder must be left out.
Silky smooth mulled wine creme brulee filling
Creme brulee is a deceptively easy recipe to follow. The ingredients are mixed together, then they are cooked until slightly thickened. Following this, the blind baked tart is filled with the cream, and everything is baked until set.
What gives the creme brulee its signature crunchy crust is the caramelised layer of sugar on top. The only way to achieve this look is by using a kitchen blowtorch (carefully!) and melting the sugar. Multiple layers of sugar will be needed to achieve a better coverage. It is best to do this before serving the tart, as the sugar will start dissolving if left for too long.
Snowflake gingerbread cookies
I have used the same dough to make the snowflake cookies on top. This gives a crunchy cookie with a good snap. If you prefer a slightly softer cookie, make an additional 1/2 of the recipe provided below and add 1 tsp baking powder.
The silkiest creme brulee tart EVER!
Let’s be honest here, creme brulee is amazing. And this mulled wine flavour elevates it even more by adding subtle hints of spice. The alcohol will evaporate through cooking and baking, but the flavour of the deep red wine will remain.
The filling, if baked as indicated, will be smooth, creamy and absolutely delicious. I hope you enjoy this tart with a healthy sized mug of mulled wine!
½ cup (120g) unsalted butter (softened)
¼ cup (60g) dark brown sugar
6 tbsp (100g) unsulphured molasses
3 ¼ cups (400g) plain flour
2 tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp allspice
1 tsp mixed spice (cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves)
Zest 1 orange
1 cup (150g) dried fruit (raisins, sour cherries etc)
2 tbsp (30ml) red wine
2 ½ tbsp (30g) sugar
Zest 1 orange
Mulled wine crème brûlée
4 egg yolks
1 whole large egg
¼ cup (60g) light brown sugar
A pinch of salt
½ tsp Vanilla bean paste
1 ¼ cup (300ml) double cream
7 tbsp (100ml) milk
4 tbsp (60ml) red wine
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp orange extract
Extra: sugar for topping
Gingerbread tart crust
- Combine the softened butter with molasses and sugar. Beat with a mixer until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and mix in properly. Scrape down the sides to get everything evenly incorporated.
- In a separate bowl add the flour, spices and orange zest. Mix all the ingredients until thoroughly combined. Finally, add the dry ingredients into the wet. Mix well to combine, until you get a slightly sticky dough.
- Place the dough into cling film and press with palms to flatten. Chill dough in the fridge for a minimum of 1 hour (or overnight).
- Preheat oven to 190C (or 170C with fan). Take the dough out from the fridge and divide into two pieces: one 2/3 and the smaller 1/3. Place the smaller piece back into the fridge (this will be used for the snowflake cookies).
- Sprinkle a generous helping of flour onto the work surface. Roll out the larger piece of dough up to 3-4mm thickness. Cut out a circle larger than your tart shell, roughly 5-6cm bigger than needed. Carefully lift the cookie dough and place it into the shell. Gently press with your fingers to mould into shape and ensure a snug fit. Trim off any excess with a sharp knife. Pierce the bottom of the tart with a fork a few times.
- Place baking paper inside the tart and fill crust with baking beads or rice. Bake sure they are spread evenly across the surface, to prevent the crust from lifting. Bake at 170C for 10 minutes. Afterwards, reduce the heat of the oven to 150C (130C with fan). Remove the baking beads and brush the inside with egg wash to create a seal. Bake for a further 5 minutes.
Mulled wine crème brûlée
- Pre-heat oven to 140C (or 120C with fan). Place all the ingredients for the mulled fruit into a saucepan over medium-low heat. Toss a few times to evenly coat all the fruit in the liquid. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the liquid gets soaked up by the fruit.
- In a separate bowl whisk the egg yolks, whole egg, sugar and red wine until combined.
- Mix the cream, milk, and spices in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat up to 60C or until steaming (but do not allow it to boil). Gradually add the milky mixture over the eggs, constantly stirring. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened slightly. Remove from heat and add in the mulled fruit.
- Pour the crème brûlée over the tart shell halfway through. To avoid spillage, pour the rest of the crème in the oven, up to the brim of the tart. If there are any air bubbles on the surface, remove them by using a blowtorch. Bake the tart for 25-30 minutes or until the tart has a slight jiggle in the middle.
- Allow tart to cool, then place in the fridge to set for a minimum of 3 hours.
- To create the caramelised sugar topping, dust the surface of the tart (including crust edge) with icing sugar. Gently use a blowtorch over the sugar, going over the entire surface. Do not dwell on one surface for too long, to avoid burning. Repeat the process two or three more times until you get a nicely caramelised top. It’s best to do this before serving the tart, as the layer of sugar can dissolve and lose its crunch.
- Decorate the tart with gingerbread cookies or other ornaments (rosemary sprigs, candied peels etc).
The mulled wine can be replaced with any other type of alcohol, such as rum or fruit liqueur. Molasses can be replaced with maple syrup or honey.