French Apple Custard Tart – An Easy Yolk Recipe you HAVE to try!

This is for fans of both the apple tart and the custard tart. Put them both together and what do you get? A French Apple Custard Tart from Alsace, sheer bliss with a touch of grated nutmeg or cinnamon.  It’s so easy to make – especially if you cheat – oh-là-là! – and buy ready-made pastry.

Jump to Recipe

french apple custard small tart

This post was originally published on 25 October 2015 and is now updated with new photos and more explanatory text.

An Egg Yolk Recipe for Saving Egg Whites!

Ever since I became literally ‘Mad About Macarons’, and was making these confections like some kind of mad woman for friends, dinner parties, our greedy selves and for the books, I found myself hunting down egg yolk recipes.

If you’re a home baker and love making Parisian macarons, financier teacakes, tuiles, and lemon meringue tarts, you’ll know the eggs-act ‘problem’.  What do these recipes have in common? They all need egg whites, not whole eggs.

So, I need recipes that use up just the egg yolks. This one is perfect for my growing egg yolk recipe collection: it uses 4 yolks! It’s a never-ending delicious cycle.

Scouring through my all-time favourite coffee-table book, France the Beautiful Cookbook (1989) by the Scotto Sisters (which is now well and truly covered in splatters and its tattered cover is ripped, bless it), I first made the ‘Tarte aux Pommes à l’Alsacienne’ and loved its scrumptious simplicity.

Over time, I adapted this French Apple Custard Tart by reducing the sugar and alternating between the cinnamon with nutmeg, just like I remember the custard egg tarts I had when I grew up in Scotland.  It’s a real family pleaser for dessert and great at any time of year – I discovered recently that many of you love making this for Thanksgiving too!

Alsacian French Apple Custard Tart Recipe

Tart Pastry Base

This recipe is made easier if you buy ready-prepared sweet pastry dough.

However, I do urge you to make your own sweet classic tart pastry if you have time (I have a quick recipe here). Adding that extra touch of vanilla, nutmeg or cinnamon in the pastry base had even my cinnamon-avoiding husband ask for a THIRD slice – and, as a Frenchman, he’s careful about his dessert intake!

For details on how to make your own homemade tarts and tartlets, I have a whole chapter devoted to making them, with down-to-earth, step-by-step instructions in my French home-baking book, Teatime in Paris.

How To Make Apple Custard Tart

No Need to Blind Bake the Tart’s Pastry

Another reason I love this recipe? Techniques such as blind-baking the pastry beforehand is cleverly replaced by simply laying out the apples and baking them before adding the filling.

The filling couldn’t be simpler: just whisk the whole lot together, pour on top of the apples then bake further until the topping looks beautifully brown and custardy.

I also love adding a good pinch of ground nutmeg either in the pastry base or in the filling – or both! Nutmeg is delicious with our best loved custard tarts I grew up with in Scotland. Personally, nutmeg does the toe-curling for me, giving it that je ne sais quoi to a custard tart with apples. If you prefer cinnamon, then use that (have you tried the Portuguese Pasteis de Nata Custard Tarts, sprinkled with cinnamon on top?).

portuguese custard tart

Easy best recipe for French apple custard tart

Papa Tart, Maman Tarts and Baby Tartlets

The recipe below makes one large tart using a deep 28cm (11 inches) tart tin. It also makes 2x16cm (6.5 inches) tarts with one extra tartlet – handy if you’re giving away one – or even 2 – as a present. Otherwise it makes enough for 8 tartlets.

I use non-stick tart tins and tart rings but if you have regular tins, then grease first with a little butter.

3 french apple custard tarts

French Apple Custard Tart

Adapted from ‘France the Beautiful Cookbook’ by the Scotto Sisters – with added nutmeg and reduced sugar in the filling.
PRINTABLE RECIPE BELOW.

Serves 8

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes

Makes one 28cm (11 inch) tart; or 8 tartlets; or 2x 16cm tarts

275g/10oz sweet pastry (with a good pinch ground cinnamon)
2-3 apples (Golden Delicious)
4 organic egg yolks
75g/2.5oz sugar
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg or cinnamon
pinch vanilla powder or few drops of vanilla extract
200ml/7 floz double cream/crème fleurette (30% fat)

Egg Yolk Easy Custard Recipe

1. Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan/425°F (gas 7). Butter a 25cm tart tin (no need to butter if using non-stick moulds) or tart ring. Roll out the pastry dough larger than the tart tin (about 4cm larger) and press into the tin. Chill in the fridge.

2. Peel the apples, cut into quarters and remove the cores. Cut each quarter into 4 slices and arrange them evenly over the pastry. Start from the outside and arrange the slices in the form of a flower then make a smaller 2nd layer to fill in the gaps.  Bake for 15 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, using a hand whisk or fork, beat the egg yolks, sugar, nutmeg (or cinnamon), vanilla and cream.  Pour over the apples and bake for about a further 30 minutes (20-25 minutes for tartlets) or until the topping is deliciously custardy with typical brown patches.

 

French apple custard tart

Serving Suggestions

There’s no need for any ice cream or cream; enjoy on its own served warm for the perfect teatime treat, dessert or even breakfast. If you want to decorate, dust with a little icing/confectioner’s sugar, top with grapes or an edible flower.

french apple custard tart

French Apple Custard Tart Recipe

5 from 3 votes
french apple custard small tart recipe card
French Apple Custard Tart
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
1 hr
 

Adapted from 'France the Beautiful Cookbook' by the Scotto Sisters - with reduced sugar in the filling and addition of nutmeg. Makes one large tart, 2 medium tarts or 8 tartlets.

Course: Dessert, teatime
Cuisine: French
Keyword: apple tart, custard tart, egg yolk recipes, French apple tart
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 275 kcal
Author: Jill Colonna
Ingredients
  • 275 g (10oz) sweet pastry  with 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2-3 apples (Golden Delicious)
  • 4 medium egg yolks (organic)
  • 75 g (2.5oz) sugar (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg or cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla powder or few drops extract
  • 200 ml (7floz) double cream/crème fleurette (30% fat) (about 3/4 cup)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan/425°F (gas 7). Butter a 28cm/11" tart tin (no need to butter if using non-stick moulds) or tart ring. Roll out the pastry dough evenly, larger than the tart tin (about 4cm larger) and press well into the tin. Chill in the fridge.

  2. Peel the apples, cut into quarters and core them. Cut each quarter into 4 slices and arrange them evenly over the pastry, starting from the outside and arrange the slices in the form of a flower. Make a second smaller layer to fill in any gaps. Bake for 15 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, using a hand whisk or fork, beat the egg yolks, sugar, nutmeg (or cinnamon), vanilla and cream.  Pour over the apples and bake for about a further 30 minutes (20-25 minutes for tartlets) or until the top has delicious custardy brown patches.

Recipe Notes

There’s no need for any ice cream or cream; enjoy on its own served warm for the perfect teatime treat, dessert or even breakfast. If you want to decorate, dust with a little icing/confectioner’s sugar, top with grapes or an edible flower.

Jill Colonna

MadAboutMacarons.com

 

25 replies
    • Jill Colonna
      Jill Colonna says:

      Hi Jackie. I daresay you can, although I have never tried it and prefer using egg yolks. If you do use a packet mix, then please let me know how you got on.

      Reply
  1. Jenn
    Jenn says:

    5 stars
    I made this for Christmas Eve, a very special and collaborative meal with my ‘household’ family this year. It was easy enough to make while helping my teenagers cook their dishes. What a delicious and not too sweet way to end the meal. I added a sprinkle of nutmeg to give it a festive touch. My 92 year-old Mother-in-law, who spent time in France as a teenager, thought it was simply divine. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Jill Colonna
      Jill Colonna says:

      What a most lovely thing to say. Thank you, Jenn. I am thrilled you enjoyed this as a special family dessert over Christmas and thank you for the biggest compliment from your Mother-in-Law too! Wishing you all a deliciously healthy 2021 x

      Reply
  2. Susan
    Susan says:

    We made this tart in a ten inch pan. It came out great with sweet apples and plenty of cinnamon. Left the dough in the frig overnight and it rolled beautifully in the morning. I wondered what you sprinkled on top? What is your decoration?

    Reply
    • Jill Colonna
      Jill Colonna says:

      Hi Susan,
      so happy you like the recipe. The decor is so simple – it’s just grape halves and a dusting of icing/confectioner’s sugar! Enjoy it x

      Reply
  3. Keith
    Keith says:

    So mine came out with a scrambled eggs texture. I would recommend cooking the mixture in a bath for the second part, and taking the temp down to 300.

    By a “bath” I mean fill a larger, flat dish like a lasagna pan full of boiling water, then place the filled pie in that before baking the custard. This keeps the custard from getting hot spots that’ll cook the egg too much.

    Reply
    • Jill Colonna
      Jill Colonna says:

      That’s bad luck, Keith. Sorry to hear that. I wouldn’t bother giving the tart a bath: all ovens are different and think you just need to adjust to a lower temperature that suits yours. Oven temperatures in recipes are always just a guide. It’s an easy recipe that doesn’t need complex techniques.

      Reply
  4. Tonessa West Crowe
    Tonessa West Crowe says:

    This is fabulous! I will definitely be baking this for our annual formal Christmas Dinner party. I usually bake about 8 different desserts. One of them is a Normandy tart, but I think this will be a welcomed change. And since I am a fan, I can’t wait to get your new book. Thanks for this wonderful addition!

    Reply
    • Jill Colonna
      Jill Colonna says:

      You bake 8 desserts? They must LOVE you Tonessa. I’m delighted to hear that you’ll make this for the annual Christmas party dinner. I do hope you’ll share photos with us!

      Reply
  5. Cheryl Turner
    Cheryl Turner says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this Jill. I think even I can do this. I’m giving it a try for Thanksgiving.
    By the way, my books arrived and my customers are loving them. My baker grabbed one before I could even get them on the shelves.
    Thank you,
    Cheryl

    Reply
    • Jill Colonna
      Jill Colonna says:

      I’d be so thrilled if you made this for Thanksgiving Cheryl. What a lovely compliment, thank you also about the books. So pleased you like them! I just wish I could pop into your beautiful tea salon in California myself!

      Reply
  6. Christina @ Christina's Cucina
    Christina @ Christina's Cucina says:

    I’m salivating right now, but can’t do anything about it. Torture, you might call it. I would love to make this sans cinnamon (that’s the Scottish part of me-I’ve been so put off with all the cinnamon in apple pies here in the US)! Lovely tarts, Jill!!

    Reply
    • Jill Colonna
      Jill Colonna says:

      That is too funny you wanting them without cinnamon. Ever since we were married, Antoine refused cinnamon in any food and it’s only now I’m adding it in and the girls are loving it. I understand how we can get carried away using too much after a while… Crossing fingers you get that oven SOON!

      Reply
  7. David
    David says:

    Jill – this sounds fantastic and I am definitely in an autumnal, apple mood! Thanks for the yolk recipe – it never occurred to me that this was a genre, as I usually end up with egg whites! (Time to learn to make macaroons, me thinks!)

    Reply
    • Jill Colonna
      Jill Colonna says:

      I’ve made this into a genre David, since when you’re as mad about macarons as we are, then we need an excuse to have too many whites! It never ends. Thanks – hope you make this soon.

      Reply
  8. Lisa of Fresh Eggs Daily
    Lisa of Fresh Eggs Daily says:

    This looks delicious and since I always have a ton of fresh eggs from my chickens, I’m going to give it a try. I also shared the link on my Facebook page Fresh Eggs Daily.

    Huge fan of yours, I love your macaron cookbook, I think I need to buy your second book!

    Reply
    • Jill Colonna
      Jill Colonna says:

      Lisa, what a lovely surprise to read your lovely comment and to see you sharing this on FB. What a turnout! And with all these beautiful fresh eggs, this will be just amazing! Thanks again x

      Reply

Reply

Thank you for taking the time to comment. Your email address will not be published.
I love hearing from you about the recipes, the articles and your ideas for future posts.
Required fields are marked *

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating