I had some Granny Smith apples that needed to be used, so I decided to make Julia Child’s Tarte Normande aux Pommes, a.k.a. Custard Apple Tart from Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Unlike many desserts, this tart is not overly sweet. It is, however, quite delicious!
The ingredients include a baked tart shell, Granny Smith apples, sugar, cinnamon, egg, flour, whipping cream, and Calvados (apple brandy).
Then, I peeled and cored two Granny Smith apples, and sliced them into thin slices. I tossed the apples with sugar and cinnamon, and let the mixture sit for about 10 minutes.
As it turned out, my beautiful design stayed on the bottom after the custard was added, so I really didn’t need to worry about how the apples looked. Anyway, the tart shell with the apples baked for 20 minutes at 375° F until the apples were tender.
While the apples were cooling, I made the custard. The first step was beating the egg with the sugar until the mixture had thickened and was a pale yellow. This took about five minutes with my electric mixer on high. Then I added the flour and beat the mixture until the flour was well incorporated.
This was followed by the addition of the whipping cream and the Calvados. If I hadn’t had the Calvados, I could have used a good brandy or cognac in its place. Once the custard was ready, I slowly poured it over the apples.
This was returned to the 375° F oven for 10 minutes, at which time, it had begun to puff up a little bit. I sprinkled a Tablespoon of confectioners’ sugar over the top of the custard, and baked it for an additional 20 minutes.
While this creamy tart may be eaten cold, it is at its best when hot or warm. It can be reheated.
An 8-inch partially baked pastry shell placed on a baking sheet*
2 Granny Smith apples
⅓ cup sugar**
½ teaspoon cinnamon
⅓ cup sugar**
¼ cup all purpose flour
½ cup whipping cream
3 Tablespoons Calvados or cognac
1 Tablespoon confectioners sugar
Preheat oven to 375° F.
Peel, quarter and core the apples. Cut in to ⅛-inch lengthwise slices. Toss the apples in a bowl with the sugar and cinnamon. Set sit for 10 minutes. Arrange apples in the pastry shell. Bake in the upper third of a preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until they start to color and are almost tender. Remove from oven and let cool while preparing the custard.
Beat the egg and sugar together in a mixing bowl until mixture is thick, pale yellow and falls back on itself forming a slowly dissolving ribbon. Beat in the flour, then the cream, and finally the Calvados or cognac. Pour the mixture over the apples. It should come almost to the top of the pastry shell.
Return to the oven for 10 minutes, or until the custard begins to puff. Sprinkle heavily with confectioners sugar. Return to the oven for 15 to 20 minutes more. The tart is done when the top has browned and a toothpick plunged into the custard comes out clean.
Slide tart onto a rack or serving dish. Yield: 6 servings.
*Note: If the partially baked pastry shell has cracks in it, go ahead and prepare the custard. Brush the inside of the pastry shell with the custard. Add the apples and proceed as above.
**For almost sugar free, substitute 2 Tablespoons Domino Light Sugar and Stevia blend for ⅓ cup of sugar that is mixed with the apples, and ⅓ cup Splenda Granulated for the ⅓ cup of sugar used in the custard.