This Valentine’s Day surprise your honey with a beautiful dessert we are calling a Concha Tart. Please note this recipe blog post is for the Dulce de Leche Pastry Cream and the assembly of the concha tart. Our recipe for homemade conchas is here. But, you can easily make the Concha Tart with store-bought Mexican sweet bread.
What is dulce de leche?
Dulce de Leche is simply sweetened condensed milk that is slowly heated to “caramelize” it, changing it from pale off-white color to a deep, rich caramel color. In addition to a darker color, the condensed milk will thicken and the flavor becomes more like a complex caramel.
Try making your own. It’s worth it.
So how do you make dulce de leche for the Concha Tart?
Remove the label from a can of sweetened condensed milk and place it on its side in a large, deep pot. Cover it with water by at least 2 inches. Bring it to a boil over high heat, then reduce it to a simmer and cook uncovered for 2-3 hours.
Keep a kettle nearby, because you’ll need to top it off every 30 minutes or so, as long as the can of sweetened condensed milk remains submerged at all times. Two hours will make a nice light dulce de leche, but three hours make a confection that borders on sinful. With tongs, carefully remove the can and place it on a cooling rack to cool completely. The cooking process builds some pressure in the can so DO NOT drop, bang or open the can until 100% cool. Unopened, the can will be good for a couple of months in your pantry. Once you open it, store it in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
- 1 vanilla bean
- 2 cups whole milk
- 6 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 pinch salt
- 1/4 cup corn starch
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 6 tablespoons dulce de leche
- Cut a vanilla beans in half length-wise and scrape out the beans.
- Heat milk and scraped out vanilla beans (and pod) in a sauce pot over medium heat, stirring constantly just until before it boils. Turn off the heat.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, with the whisk attachment, mix the egg yolks, sugar and salt until light and creamy, about 2 minutes on medium speed. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl.
- Add corn starch and mix until fully incorporated, about 1-2 minutes starting on low speed and slowing increasing to medium. Make sure there are no lumps.
- Temper the yolk mixture by very slowly drizzling in 1 cup of hot milk, while whisking on medium speed. Continue adding the rest of the hot milk and mix to combine.
- Carefully pour the mixture back in to the sauce pot (remove vanilla bean pod) and whisk constantly over medium heat, until thick like pudding.
- Take the pot off the heat and stir in butter and dulce de leche until combined. Transfer to bowl and cover with plastic wrap touching the surface of the pastry cream. Refrigerate until completely cool.
- The pastry cream will have set, so mix it vigorously with a spoon to loosen it up before using.
To help loosen the dulce de leche pastry cream, fold in 1/4 - 1/2 cup whipped cream.
Now that you have your fabulous dulce de leche pastry cream, you can make your concha tart. Cut your concha in half horizontally. Carefully scoop or scrape out some of the bread. Generously spoon in the dulce de leche pastry cream on the bottom half of the concha. Arrange fresh raspberries on the pastry cream. Pipe on whipped cream and place the other half of the concha on top of the whipped cream.
Enjoy with a cafecito or glass of champagne.
Happy Valentine’s Day,
Love Art & Stephen
Pipe the dulce de leche pastry cream into tart shells, eclairs, cream puffs, donuts or spread between cake layers or crepes. Heck, spoon it over your pancakes and waffles, or just serve it as a pudding with fresh berries and whipped cream.