David Lebovitz is my pastry hero. If you don't know David Lebovitz, run, don't walk, to his blog or to your local library to check out one of his cookbooks. He lives in Paris and writes lovely blog posts about life as an American living in France and more importantly, amazing cookbooks guiding his readers to effortlessly creating glorious desserts. This dessert is from his blog in which he went to lunch one day and had tarte à la biére- otherwise known as beer tart.
I know what you're thinking and trust me, this custard tart is out of this world. It's creamy and thick with complex notes of caramel and barley and malt. Comparable to a creme brûlée, it's so delicate and full of vanilla. I've topped my rendition with my maple sponge candy to add contrast in both flavor and texture. I've included the recipe for my pastry crust but feel free to substitute a store-bought pie crust. As I was eating this after taking pictures, I also noted to myself that this custard would also taste incredible if paired with a chocolate crust so feel free to get creative with this one. You won't be sorry.
About 1/4 cup of reduced beer [70 grams]
3/4 cup [195 grams] heavy cream
4 egg yolks [85 grams]
140 grams powdered sugar
On the sidelines:
Flaky Pie Crust, recipe as follows
Maple Sponge Candy, for topping
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare the pie crust and roll into individual pie tins. Line each tin with parchment paper or foil and fill with pie weights or dry beans. Bake the tart shells for fifteen minutes, carefully remove the pie weights or beans, and place back in the oven for 5 more minutes. Let cool.
Reduce the beer of your choice. For me, I used old-fashioned Budweiser. I bought a large, single bottle of Budweiser- 20 ounces. I poured it into a small saucepan and set it over medium heat. It simmered and reduce greatly until I ended up with 1/4 cup of reduced beer. This should take you 5-10 minutes.
Whisk together the ingredients in the first bowl. Divide the mixture evenly among the pie tins.
Bake until the pie fillings are set- roughly 35 minutes. Let cool. Top with sponge candy.
Flaky Pie Crust
Bowl of a food processor:
2 1/4 cup [355 grams] all-purpose flour
1 cup vegetable shortening, diced and very cold
1/3 cup very cold water
Splash of bourbon
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
Throw everything in a food processor and pulse until the dough comes together. Be careful not to overmix the dough as it will become tough.
Divide the dough in half and shape into a disc. Wrap each disc in plastic wrap and keep in the fridge.