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Apple Custard Tart Recipe

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This Apple Custard Tart looks so elegant with its artfully arranged apple slices enveloped in a rich and creamy custard. The tart has a Sweet Pastry Crust which has a crisp cookie-like taste and texture. Once the tart is completely baked, the finishing touch is to brown the tips of the apple slices under the oven's broiler. Then brush the slices of apples, the custard, and the edges of the pastry with apricot preserves which keeps the apples from drying out plus it makes the whole tart shine.


The problem I have always had with Sweet Pastry is that it tends to tear when transferring the rolled out pastry to the tart pan. I found the solution to this problem on the Great British Baking Show. The pastry recipe and method is from Mary Berry and it is foolproof. Now, to ensure that the crust is fully baked it is pre baked before the apple slices and custard are added. After baking I brush it with a thin layer of apricot preserves which not only adds flavor but it also acts as a shield to prevent the custard from seeping into the crust.

As for the apples, you can use any firm textured apple that will not lose its shape, and become mushy, when baked. Fuji, Gala, Honey Crisp, Golden Delicious, Braeburn, and Granny Smith are some of my favorites.

With this pastry recipe you will have some left over. I often use the extra pastry to make either miniature tarts or about 4 - 3 1/2 inch (10 cm) individual tarts. You could fill the individual tarts with pastry cream and fresh fruit, lemon curd, or jam.

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Apple Custard Tart: Have ready a 9 inch (23 cm) tart pan with a removable bottom. Lightly butter, or spray the bottom of the tart pan with a non stick vegetable spray.

Sweet Pastry Crust: Place the flour, salt, and butter in your food processor and process until it looks like coarse crumbs. Add the sugar and process until combined. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg with the water. Add to the flour mixture and process until the pastry is moistened and starts to come together.

Take about 3/4 (about 300 grams) of the pastry and, on a lightly floured surface, roll into an 11 - 12 inch (28 - 30 cm) circle that is about 1/8 inch (3 mm) thick. To prevent the pastry from sticking to the counter and to ensure uniform thickness, keep lifting up and turning the pastry a quarter turn as you roll.

When the pastry is the desired size, slip the bottom plate of the tart pan under the pastry until it is in the center. Fold the over hanging edges of the pastry into the center and transfer (the pastry and bottom plate) into your tart pan. (See video for demonstration.) Then lightly press the pastry up the sides of pan. Roll your rolling pin over the top of the pan to get rid of excess pastry. Prick bottom of pastry with the tines of a fork (this will prevent the pastry from puffing up as it bakes). Cover and refrigerate for about 20 minutes (to help prevent the pastry from shrinking during baking).

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place the oven rack in the center of the oven. 

Line the unbaked pastry shell with parchment paper. Fill with pie weights or beans, making sure the weights are to the top of the pan and evenly distributed over the entire surface. Place tart pan on a larger baking sheet to make it easier to remove from oven. Bake crust for about 20 to 25 minutes until dry. Remove weights and bake for another 5 minutes or until crust is just tinged with brown. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack.

When cool, spread (I use a pastry brush) a thin layer of warm apricot glaze over the bottom and sides of the pastry to seal the crust and prevent it from getting soggy. Let the glaze dry (20 - 30 minutes).

Apricot Glaze: In a small saucepan, heat the apricot preserves until boiling (can heat in microwave). Remove from heat and strain to get rid of lumps. Add the water or alcohol.

Custard: In a large bowl, whisk the flour with the salt and sugar. Whisk in the eggs to make a smooth paste.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the cream until it just starts to boil. Remove from heat and gradually whisk into the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Whisk in the vanilla extract. Set this mixture aside while you prepare the apples.

Apples: Peel, core, cut the apples into thin 1/8 inch slices.

Assemble Tart: Arrange the apple slices in a concentric circle on top of the cooled and glazed tart shell. Carefully pour the custard over the apples to just below the top of the tart pan (do not overfill or the custard will drip between the crust and the pan). Bake for about 30 to 40 minutes or until the custard has set and the apples are tender when pierced with a knife.

Let the tart cool about five minutes on a wire rack. Next, dust the top of the tart lightly with powdered sugar. Then, using a hand held butane kitchen torch or under the oven's broiler, brown the tips of the apple slices. Watch carefully. Finally, using a pastry brush, lightly brush the top of the tart, the apples, custard, and edges of pastry with the apricot glaze. If desired, sprinkle the edges of the tart with pearl sugar or sliced almonds.

The tart can be covered and stored in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.

Makes 1 - 9 inch (23 cm) tart.

View comments on this recipe on YouTube

Sweet Pastry Crust:

1 3/4 cups (225 grams) all purpose flour

1/8 teaspoon salt

7 tablespoons (100 grams) room temperature unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar

1 large egg (50 grams out of shell), at room temperature

1 tablespoon (10 grams) water

Apricot Glaze:

1/4 cup (80 grams) apricot preserves

1/2 tablespoon Water, Grand Marnier, Calvados, or Rum


2 tablespoons (20 grams) all-purpose flour or cornstarch

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup (65 grams) granulated white sugar

2 large eggs (100 grams out of shell), at room temperature

3/4 cup (180 ml/grams) half and half cream or light cream

1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste


1 pound (450 grams) firm textured apples (can use Gala, Fuji, Honey crisp, Granny Smith, Braeburn, Golden Delicious, etc.)

Garnish: (Optional)

Powdered Sugar

Pearl Sugar or Slice or Shaved Almonds

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