Apple custard and honey tart

Pack extra flavour into your apple tart with a variety of apples.


For the pastry
  • 225g/8oz plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 50g /2oz caster sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod, split, seeds scraped out
  • 125g/4oz unsalted butter, cut into cubes, plus extra for greasing
  • 1 free-range egg
  • 1 free-range egg yolk
For the filling
  • 1 large bramley apple
  • caster sugar, to taste
  • 4 golden noble apples
  • 3 free-range egg yolks
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 1 tbsp clear honey
  • 600ml/1 pint double cream
To serve
  • 25g/1oz butter
  • 1 small red apple, cored, thickly sliced
  • icing sugar, for dusting
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ½ tsp ground star anise
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • splash brandy
  • few tablespoons whipped cream

Preparation method

  1. For the pastry, rub the flour, sugar, vanilla seeds and butter together with your fingertips unltil the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Alternatively, pulse the ingredients in a food processor.

  2. Remove the tart case from the oven and carefully trim off the overhanging pastry, then brush the inside of the case with the egg yolk. Place back into the oven for 2-3 minutes, or until golden-brown.

  3. Reduce the oven temperature to 170C/325F/Gas 3.

  4. For the filling, peel, core and roughly slice the bramley apples. Place the slices in a pan with about 1 tablespoon of water. Cook over a medium heat for 5-10 minutes, or until the apples are soft. Sweeten with sugar to taste.

  5. Transfer the cooked apples to a food processor and blend to a smooth purée. Spoon the purée into the bottom of the pastry case, smoothing out the top.

  6. Peel, core and thinly slice the noble apples and arrange over the bramley apple purée in a concentric circle.

  7. In a bowl, beat together the egg yolks, whole egg and honey.

  8. Place the double cream into a small heavy-based pan and bring to the boil. Whisk the warm cream into the egg mixture until smooth and well combined. Pour the custard mixture into the pastry case, over the apple slices, and bake for 20 minutes, until the mixture has set and is golden-brown.

  9. To serve, melt the butter in a non-stick pan until foaming and add the apple slices, spices and sugar. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the sugar begins to caramelised, then add a splash of brandy. Remove from the heat and serve along slices of the apple custard tart with a dollop of whipped cream.

Top recipe tip

It is best to use a cooking apple for the base of the tart and an eating apple as the cooked garnish. When cooking the tart in the oven with the custard inside it is best to cook it at a low temperature as otherwise the mixture will soufflé and curdle.

Required techniques

James Martin recipes from Great British Food Revival

30 mins to 1 hour preparation time

30 mins to 1 hour cooking time

Serves 4-6

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