Apple Custard Tart
Crostata di Mele alla Crema

serves: 1, 10-inch tarts


For the Tart Shell
4½ cups flour
1½ cups sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 pinch salt
3 eggs, beaten
¾ pound unsalted butter, softened
¼ teaspoon almond extract

For the Filling (one tart only)
2 medium Granny Smith apples
2 eggs
¼ cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup smooth apricot jam
3 tablespoons water, hot


In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the eggs and stir with a wooden spoon or mix with your hands until the mixture looks crumbly. Work in the softened butter and almond extract until no traces of butter are visible. Divide the dough into three equal portions, roll each into a ball, and flatten to form thick disks. Wrap separately in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, or freeze for later use.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. On a floured surface, roll out the dough to a thickness of 1/8 inch. Transfer the rolled dough to a 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Prick the bottom of the tart freely with a fork. Trim off any excess or overhang, crimp the border with the tines of a fork, and put shell in the freezer for 10 minutes. Bake shell for 30 minutes and cool before filling.

Meanwhile, peel and core the apples and slice each into sixteen thin wedges. Beat the eggs and sugar together. Add the cream and vanilla extract, and mix well until the sugar is completely dissolved. Spread 2 tablespoons of the apricot jam inside the tart shell and arrange the apple slices over it in two concentric, overlapping circles. Transfer the tart to a baking sheet and pour the custard mixture over the apples. Return the tart to the oven and bake until the apples are tender and the custard is set, about 40 minutes. Allow the tart to cool on a rack while melting the remaining apricot jam in 3 tablespoons of hot water. Brush the jam mixture over the surface of the tart, and serve either at room temperature or slightly chilled.