In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or using a hand mixer), mix the flour and sugar. Add the butter and mix until coarse and sandy. In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks and cream together. Add to the flour mixture and mix at low speed just until combined. Turn out onto a work surface and form into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thick, this should be done in small batches as the dough gets soft fast. With a large round cutter cut out disks and keep them chilled while you roll and cut the rest of the dough. Line 3-inch diameter by 1 1/4-inches tall metal collars with the disks and chill. Bake the tart shells blind by lining them with plastic wrap (that's right!) and fill with raw rice then gather the plastic wrap up to contain the rice. Bake at 375 degrees F for 20 minutes then remove the rice packets and bake 2 more minutes to crisp them. Meanwhile, make the filling. Let crusts cool slightly.
To make the filling, in a saucepan, heat the half-and-half, cream, salt, and vanilla bean over medium heat, stirring occasionally to make sure the mixture doesn't burn or stick to the bottom of the pan. When the cream mixture reaches a fast simmer (do not let it boil), turn off the heat. Set aside to infuse 10 to 15 minutes.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar together. Whisking constantly, gradually add the hot cream mixture. Strain into a large bowl to smooth the mixture and remove the vanilla bean. Add the rice and raisins and toss well. Spoon filling into baked tart shells. Reset the oven temperature to 325 degrees F and bake the tart for 20 to 25 minutes till the custard is set. Let cool then sprinkle with confectioners' sugar.
Recipe courtesy of Gale Gand