A salted dulce de leche tart is an elegant, mouthwatering, and surprisingly simple dessert.
Do you know what happens when you buy mini tart pans to make a recipe? You need a larger tart pan to make another recipe because now you see everything in tart form. With tarts being so easy, elegant, and versatile, how could I resist? And look what I made! Guys. Girls. Youse. Let’s take a moment to please reflect on this recipe… salted dulce de leche tart. Do you know what dulce de leche is? It’s a thick caramel custard common in Central and South American desserts (and Spain), and it is glorious. I have no shame admitting that I will make it, and then serve myself a bit in a bowl and eat it with a spoon. By itself. Dulce de leche makes people happy.
One can’t exactly just bring a jar of dulce de leche to share at a party though because it’s messy and someone will double dip accidentally and ruin the fun for everyone else. So the only polite thing to do is use your dulce de leche in other recipes where it shines as a main ingredient and brings happiness to all. Dear Prudence would say as much, I’m sure. You could make my dulce de leche coconut brownies, but those take a bit of time, and sometimes we want simple. We want a recipe that can be served straight off a cutting board or on china and look equally at home. We want a tart.
You can make your tart dough as early as a day in advance and store in the refrigerator, or as late as a few minutes before baking and still end up with a fabulous result. The dulce de leche can be store bought. You find it in the baking/canned milk aisle near the condensed and evaporated milk, one can will fill a tart. If you can’t find it in your area though, it’s easy to make your own but takes a little time. Just empty a can of condensed milk into a pint size glass jar and set it in a sauce pan with water level to the line of the condensed milk. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and simmer for 1-2 hours, replenishing water as needed until you get a nice tan color. If you have a large crock pot, this is even easier as you can do this overnight using the “low” setting.
You can choose to make your salted dulce de leche tart in a standard 9″ round tart pan, but I opted for a 14″ rectangular tart pan instead because I could easily cut the tart into bars for serving. Dulce de leche is very rich, and even with the fleur du sel to cut the sweetness, it’s a treat I prefer to savor in smaller portion sizes. I was also taking it to a gathering to share where it was going to be one of several desserts. 😉
I hope you enjoy my salted dulce de leche tart recipe! It reminded us of a caramel stuffed churro, so definitely an elegant recipe for Cinco de Mayo, or just an extra special weekday night. Enjoy darlings!
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 tbsp cold water
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/3 cups all purpose flour 160 g
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar 50 g
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 g stick unsalted butter 113, cut into approximately tablespoon sized squares
- 1 13.4 oz can dulce de leche 380 g
- coarse sea salt for topping
In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Use a pastry blender or two knives to cut the butter into the flour mixture until the mixture resembles very coarse sand. Butter chunks should be no bigger than peas. You may also do this by pulsing the dough together in a food processor 4-5 times.
In a smaller bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the egg yolk, water, and vanilla extract, then stir that into the flour mixture until the dough just comes together. Transfer to a lightly floured surface and press together into a disc. Use immediately, or wrap and refrigerate until ready to use, up to 24 hours.
When you are ready to bake, take the dough out of the refrigerator and let sit while you preheat your oven to 400 F (204 C, gas mark 6).
On a lightly floured surface, roll out your dough into a shape 2" larger than your tart pan on all sides. To prevent the dough from sticking, be sure to pick it up and rotate it on the board every 3-4 passes of the rolling pin. Without stretching, gently press the tart dough into your pan, making sure to guide it into the corners. Trim the excess.
Cover the tart with parchment or aluminum foil and fill with dried rice, beans, or pie weights and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the weights and bake an additional 8-10 minutes until the crust is fully baked. Place the pan on a wire rack to cool completely before filling.
When your tart crust is completely cool, pour in the dulce de leche and spread evenly using the back of a spoon or an offset spatula. Top with a sprinkle of course sea salt and serve!