1/2 vanilla bean (split down the centre to expose the seeds)
1/4 – 1/2 tsp vanilla
Making the crust:
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
In a food processor, process the flour, sugar and salt for about 10 seconds.
Then add the chunks of butter and process until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs.
Add the egg yolk and process again until the egg is thoroughly combined.
If you are making mini tarts (tartlets), separate the mixture into 6 – 3 inch tart pans, and press the dough into the molds, making the sides slightly higher than the centre. Bake for 12-15 minutes, making sure to prick them with a fork several times, as the dough tends to puff up. Watch them carefully, as they go from not done to overcooked very quickly!
If you are making one large tart, press the mixture into a 10 inch tart pan (making the sides slightly higher than the centre) and bake for about 15-18 minutes. Again make sure to prick the tart with a fork several times while baking, and watch it carefully.
Making the vanilla cream:
Using a mixer, beat together the sugar, cornstarch and egg yolks until the mixture is thick and pale yellow.
In a small saucepan combine the milk and the vanilla bean, bring to a simmer. Then remove the vanilla bean.
Pour about half of the milk mixture into the egg mixture, and stir.
Then return this milk/egg mixture to the remaining milk mixture in the saucepan, and continue to cook, whisking constantly, until the custard is thick and slightly bubbly. Make sure to whisk constantly so that the mixture doesn’t burn to the bottom of the pan.
Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
Cover the custard with a sheet of parchment paper to prevent a skin from forming, then it set aside to cool.
Putting the Tarts Together
Once the tart shells and custard have cooled, add about a 1/4 cup of the custard to each shell.
Top with fresh raspberries, and a dusting of icing sugar.