Oh-la-la! French Apple Custard Tart
After two consecutive savory recipes, I know you were eagerly awaiting my return to the world of sweets. If you read to the very end of my previous post, then you knew what was coming: the apple tart my dad requested.
Like all things French, this tart looks elegant, stylish, dazzling, and…high maintenance. All those perfectly-placed apple slices, that beautifully golden, flaky crust, surely it must take hours to complete such a feat. I assure you, this apple tart will garner many oohs and aahs without a lot of stress on your part.
There are several components to this dessert, but each one is very simple to execute. Just take the extra time to cut your apples carefully and arrange them evenly because it will definitely pay off in praise, and I’m pretty sure it makes it taste better, too!
The tart above was an extra, so I didn’t take as much time to arrange the slices, but the picture was prettier. Click through to the end of the post to see the one I gave to my dad. Oh-la-la!
French Apple Custard Tart
From Joy of Baking
Tart Dough: (feel free to use the recipe in the link above, but this is the crust I used)
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
- 3 Tbsp vegetable shortening, cubed and chilled
- 5-6 Tbsp cold water
- 1/4 cup apricot preserves
- 1/2 Tbsp water
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup half and half
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1 1/2 lbs (3 large) Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored cut into 1/8-inch slices
- 3 Tbsp sugar
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- To prepare the tart dough, combine the dry ingredients in a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the cubed butter and shortening and pulse to form pea-sized pieces. Add 5 Tbsp cold water and pulse until the dough starts to come together, adding more water as needed. Shape the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/8-inch thick. Gently place into a 10-inch tart pan. Lift and place the dough into the edges of the pan, careful not to stretch the dough. Use your fingers to press firmly against the edge of the pan, then roll your rolling pin over the edges to remove the excess dough. Prick the bottom with a fork, then return to the fridge for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Line the chilled tart shell with aluminum foil and fill with pie weights. Bake about 20 minutes until the crust is pale golden brown and the surface looks dry. Remove the foil and pie weights and let cool while you prepare the glaze and filling. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
- To make the glaze, combine the apricot preserves and water in a saucepan and heat until melted. Strain through a sieve, then brush over the surface of the cooled tart shell.
- For the custard, heat the half and half in a small saucepan to a simmer. Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, sugar, eggs and vanilla in a large bowl until completely smooth. Once the milk is heated, slowly drizzle into the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Set aside.
- Prepare the apples. Melt the butter and sugar in a large, high sided saute pan over medium heat. Add the apple slices and cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples begin to soften, about 5-10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool (unless you have tough fingers like me and can handle the hot slices).
- To assemble the tart, arrange the apple slices over the prepared tart shell. I begin by placing a ring of slices around the outer edge of the shell, cut side facing into the center, then repeat with a second layer (this helps prop up the apples once you start arranging the slices, otherwise the inner circles ends up much higher than the outer circle). From there, arrange the slices in concentric circles, starting from the outside, overlapping the slices so the cut side of the previous slice is covered by the next slice. Save the smaller slices for the inner ring. You should be able to make three concentric circles of apples.
- Pour the custard over the apples, tilting the pan so it fills in all the gaps, filling to just below the edge of the tart shell. Sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar. Bake 25-30 minutes, until the custard is set. Let cool before removing from the tart shell. Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. Enjoy!