Apple Custard Tart: You will need an 8 or 9 inch (20 - 23 cm) tart pan with a removable
Shortbread Crust: In your food processor,
place the flour, sugar, and salt and process to combine. Add the butter and
pulse until the pastry starts to come together and form clumps (not a solid ball
of dough). (See video for
demonstration.) Place the pastry in the tart pan and, using your fingertips,
evenly press the pastry onto the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Pierce
the bottom of the crust with the tines of a fork. Cover and place in the freezer
for about 15 minutes to chill. (This will prevent the pastry from puffing up and
shrinking while it bakes.)
your oven to 425 degrees F (220
degrees C) and place the oven rack in the center of the oven.
place the tart pan on a larger baking sheet, and bake until the crust is golden brown, about 13 - 15 minutes. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
spread a thin layer of warm apricot glaze over the bottom and
sides of the shortbread to seal the crust and prevent it from getting soggy. Let
the glaze dry (about 15 - 20 minutes.)
In a small saucepan heat the apricot preserves until boiling. Remove from heat
and strain to get rid of lumps. Add the Cognac or water.
Custard: In a
large bowl whisk the flour and sugar together. Add the eggs and stir, with a
wooden spoon, 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, whisking constantly, gradually whisk into the egg mixture. Whisk in the vanilla extract and Apple Brandy, if
using. Set this mixture aside while you prepare the
Peel, core, and slice the apples into 1/4 inch (.5 cm) thick slices. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat and stir in the
granulated white sugar. Add the apples and sauté until they begin to soften,
approximately 5 - 10 minutes. Set the cooked apples aside to cool.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place the oven rack in the middle
of the oven.
Arrange the apple slices in concentric circles 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 fill all the way or the custard will drip between the crust and the
pan). Sprinkle lightly with the
In a small bowl combine the sugar and ground cinnamon.
Place tart pan on a larger baking sheet to make it easier to remove from oven
and bake for about 25-30 minutes or until the custard has set.
tart cool a few minutes and then place the tart under the oven broiler
just long enough to caramelize the tips of the apple slices (can
also use a hand held butane kitchen torch).
Let cool and then
serve with softly whipped cream or vanilla ice
Makes 1 - 8 or 9
inch (20 or 23 cm) tart.