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Apple Custard Tart Recipe

Sweet Pastry Crust:  Place the butter in your mixer and beat until softened. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Gradually add the egg, beating just until incorporated. Add flour and salt and mix just until it forms a ball. Flatten dough into disk, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate about one hour or until firm.

Have ready an 8 - 9 inch (20 - 23 cm) tart pan with removable bottom. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry into an 11 - 12 inch (28 - 30 cm) circle . 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, lightly roll pastry around your rolling pin, dusting off any excess flour as you roll. Unroll onto top of tart pan. Gently lay in pan and lightly press pastry into bottom and up sides of pan. Roll your rolling pin over top of pan to get rid of excess pastry. Prick bottom of dough. Cover and refrigerate for about 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Line the unbaked pastry shell with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Fill tart pan with pie weights or beans, making sure the weights are to the top of the pan and evenly distributed.  Bake crust for 20 to 25 minutes until crust is dry and lightly browned. Remove weights and cool crust on wire rack. When cool, spread a thin layer of warm apricot glaze over the bottom and sides of the tart  Let the glaze dry between 20 - 30 minutes.

Apricot Glaze: 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.  Mix in the eggs and stir with a wooden spoon to make a smooth paste. Do not let this mixture sit too long as it will form a crust. 

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the half-and-half until it just starts to boil and the cream foams up. Remove from heat and gradually whisk into the egg mixture, stirring constantly. Whisk in the vanilla extract and Apple Brandy, if using. Set this mixture aside while you prepare the apples.

Apples: Peel, core, and slice the apples into 1/4 inch thick slices. Melt the 2 tablespoons (26 grams) butter in a large skillet over medium heat and stir in the 2 - 4 tablespoons (25 - 50 grams) sugar. Add the apples and saute until they begin to soften, approximately 5 - 10 minutes. Set the cooked apples aside.

Assemble Tart: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place rack in the middle of the oven. Arrange the apple wedges 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 Cinnamon Sugar. 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. Let the tart cool on wire rack, then lightly sift powdered sugar over the top. Place the tart under the broiler in the oven just long enough to caramelize the sugar on the apples.  To prevent the edges of the tart shell from over-browning, you can cover them with a thin piece of aluminum foil or pie shields. Be careful not to over brown. Serve with softly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Serves 6 to 8.

Sweet Pastry Crust:

1 1/2 cups (195 grams) all purpose flour

1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (113 grams) room temperature unsalted butter

1 large egg

Apricot Glaze:

1/4 cup apricot preserves

1/2 tablespoon Cognac, Calvados, Rum or Water

Custard:

1/4 cup (35 grams) all-purpose flour

1/3 cup (65 grams) granulated white sugar

2 large eggs

3/4 cup (190 ml) half and half cream  (contains 10-14% fat and sometimes called light cream)

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or paste

1 tablespoon Apple Brandy (Calvados or Applejack) (optional)

Apples:

1 1/2 pounds (675 grams) Granny Smith Apples (3 large apples) (can use any firm textured apple)

2 - 4 tablespoons (25 - 50 grams) granulated white sugar

2 tablespoon (26 grams) unsalted butter 

Cinnamon Sugar:

1 tablespoon (15 grams) granulated white sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon