Saturday, November 19, 2011

French Apple-Custard Tart

Today is my last post for my Thanksgiving Series.  When I mentioned my series back in late September I posted a photo for an Apple-Riesling Tart.  I did not post the recipe because I felt that it was too complicated.  And so I simplified the recipe by using a store-bought apricot jam and left out the Riesling reduction altogether.  The added cost for the Riesling really didn't provide much to the recipe--even though it sounded good.   I also experimented with a gluten-free version of the crust, but it was just too crumbly to hold up against the weight of the apples.  But I will continue experiment with a gluten-free crust for future posts, so stay tuned.

I still haven't decided what I'm going to serve on Thanksgiving, but I'll post my final menu next week.  Until then, thanks for following along with me and I wish you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday!

Flaky Pastry Crust Ingredients:
(Makes enough for 2 9" Tart Pans)

1 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/4 cup unbleached white flour
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp unfiltered sugar
12 tbsp or 1-1/2 sticks Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks, cut into small cubes, frozen
4 tbsp or 1/2 stick Earth Balance Natural Shortening, cut into small cubes, frozen
1/4-1/2 cup cold filtered water


  • Add flour, salt, sugar to a food processor and pulse to combine.
  • Using the pulse mode add butter and shortening and pulse until the texture is crumbly and the fat resembles small peas.
  • While still in pulse mode, drizzle in water slowly until dough sticks together when pressed in your hand.
  • Remove dough from bowl and place on a cutting board.  Divide dough into two 1" high flat disk/circles.
  • Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for about an hour before rolling out.  If only making one tart, wrap the second disk in plastic wrap and aluminum foil and store in the freezer for up to three months.
Cashew Cream:
1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight in filtered water
2 cups filtered water
  • Drain cashews and place in a blender and cover with 2 cups filtered water.
  • Blend on high for about 4 minutes until creamy.  You'll need to strain the cream if you don't have a high speed blender.
  • Measure out 1 cup for the custard and reserve the other cream for other uses.
Tart Filling:

3-4 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, sliced in half and then thinly sliced
1 cup cashew cream
1/3 maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp cornstarch
1/4 cup apricot glaze (I used 100% pure fruit apricot jam, heated it and then strained it removing any solids) 
  • Peel, core and slice apples and decorate top of tart shell.
  • In a blender mix together 1 cup cashew cream, maple syrup, vanilla extract and cornstarch.
  • Pour over top of tart/apples (see assembly instructions below).

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees and position oven rack in the middle of the oven.
  • On a lightly floured cutting board, roll out the dough to 3/8" thick and line a 9" tart pan, pressing along the sides and removing excess from the edges.
  • With the prongs of a fork, prick the bottom of the dough several times and place in the freezer for 30 minutes to chill.
  • Remove tart from the freezer and place on a sheet tray.
  • Brush the bottom of the tart pan with a little apricot jam and then start overlapping apple slices starting at the top edge and working around to complete the circle.  You want the apple slices to cover the edge of the tart.  Follow the same pattern for the second and third layers, using any small apple slices to fill in the holes.  
  • You want the entire surface of the tart covered with apples.
  • Move the tart/sheet pan to the oven rack and then slowly pour in custard in a circular motion.
  • Carefully slide in oven rack and bake tart for about 1 hour and 15 minutes until golden brown and custard is set.  If apples start to brown too much you can drape tart with foil or turn oven down to 350 degrees, but you may need to adjust your cooking time with a lower temperature.
  • Remove tart from oven and let cool on rack for about 15 minutes before removing tart ring.
  • While tart is cooling, brush with warm apricot glaze.
  • Let tart cool for about 30 minutes before cutting and serve with your favorite vegan ice cream or sweetened cashew cream (see below).
Sweetened Cashew Cream:
1/2 cup cashew cream
1/4 cup apricot glaze
  • Mix ingredients together in a bowl and chill until ready to use.


  1. Beautiful..I bet it tasted great!

  2. Thanks Isobelle & Kirsten. The tart definitely tasted great, but I need to give up on the sweets for awhile. Ate too many in November!