Apple Custard Tart

PHOTO BY MICHAEL PIAZZA / STYLED BY CATRINE KELTY

For this recipe, an apple that is a bit less firm, like a McIntosh or Macoun, would do well, as you want the apples to be tender by the time the custard has set. It doesn’t take long, so make sure the crust is baked through before filling. I love the combination of the apples and custard with the pastry crust in this tart. It’s a more elegant presentation than apple pie, and perfect for a dinner party. A simple whipped cream or your favorite ice cream make great accompaniments to this tart.

Serves 8

Tart Dough:
1¾ cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup cake flour
8 ounces cold butter, cut into ½ inch cubes
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
6 tablespoons ice water

Custard Filling:
1 large egg
2 large yolks
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 cup heavy cream
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch salt
3 large, juicy, and not-too-firm apples, cut 1/8 inch thick

For the tart dough:

In a mixer fitted with a metal blade, mix flours, spices and salt. Cube butter and add to flour mixture. Pulse until butter is pea-size. Add ice water while pulsing until large moist crumbs start to form. Finish gathering dough by hand. Wrap in plastic and chill at least 30 minutes before rolling out.

Roll dough ¼-inch thick and fit to a 9-inch tart pan. Prick dough with a fork and freeze for 20 minutes. Cover dough with parchment paper and add pie weights, uncooked rice, or beans (this weighs the dough down so it will not bubble up while baking) and bake at 375° for 8-10 minutes, then remove the parchment and weights and bake an additional 10 minutes or until tart shell is golden brown in color. Set aside to cool for 20 minutes.

For the custard filling:

In a mixing bowl, whisk together all ingredients until well blended and set aside.

Assembly:

Arrange sliced apples in the tart shell in slightly overlapping concentric circles. Pour custard mixture over the apples and fill to the top. Bake the tart approximately 25 minutes or until the custard is set at the edges but is still slightly wobbly in the middle. Cool tart completely before serving.

Lisa Sewall graduated from Johnson and Wales in Providence. She then came to Boston and worked at Biba, before going to Nantucket to work at the White Elephant, Summer House, and Wauwinet. She returned to Boston and was the Pastry Chef at L’Espalier (where she met, Jeremy, her husband.) For five years, she lived in Northern California as the opening Pastry Chef at Ondine in Sausalito. In 2006, she and Jeremy opened Lineage in Brookline. Lisa and Jeremy have three kids which keeps her out of professional kitchens for the moment!