Eggnog Creme-Brulee Tartlets

creme brulee
Photo: Will Anderson
Prep Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
4 hrs

Here we combined some of the holiday season's best flavors and textures in one delicious tartlet. A tender, flaky shell holds a creamy creme brulee that's spiked with brandy to evoke eggnog, and a light coating of sugar on top is melted with a torch to create a glasslike coating that will shatter with the first forkful.


  • 1 recipe Pate Brisee

  • All-purpose flour, for dusting

  • 1 ½ cups heavy cream

  • ¼ cup granulated sugar

  • 3 large egg yolks

  • 2 teaspoons brandy

  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

  • cup superfine sugar


  1. Roll out both disks of dough on a lightly floured surface to a scant 1/8-inch thickness. Using a round cookie cutter or an inverted bowl and a paring knife, cut out eight 4 1/2-inch disks. Fit into eight 3 1/4-inch ring tart molds, pressing into corners and up sides (do not trim edges). Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet; freeze until firm, at least 20 minutes and up to 1 day.

  2. Meanwhile, bring cream and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar just to a boil in a small saucepan. Whisk together yolks and remaining 2 tablespoons granulated sugar in a heatproof bowl. Whisking constantly, ladle about one-half of hot cream mixture into yolk mixture. Pour egg mixture into pan and cook over medium-low, stirring constantly, until thick enough for spoon drawn through it to leave a trail, 3 to 5 minutes (do not let boil). Strain mixture into a heatproof measuring cup; stir in brandy and nutmeg.

  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Trim dough shells flush with rims of tart molds. Line each shell with parchment and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake 20 minutes. Remove parchment and weights; bake until golden and dry, about 1 minute more. Let cool slightly, about 10 minutes.

  4. Reduce temperature to 300 degrees. Divide custard evenly among shells, filling each almost to top. Bake until custard is just set around edges, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool in molds on a wire rack 30 minutes. Remove rings and refrigerate until chilled and set, at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.

  5. Sprinkle each tart with about 2 teaspoons superfine sugar. Hold a handheld kitchen torch 3 to 4 inches above surface and move flame in a circular motion until sugar is deep golden brown. Serve immediately.

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