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Caramelized-Apple Custard Tart with a Rye Crust
© John Kernick

Caramelized-Apple Custard Tart with a Rye Crust

  • ACTIVE: 40 MIN
  • TOTAL TIME: 5 HRS
  • SERVINGS: one 9-inch, deep-dish pie
  • MAKE-AHEAD
  • STAFF-FAVORITE

This tart features silky-smooth, rich custard and caramelized apples in a tender, earthy rye-flour pastry crust.

Slideshow: Apple Desserts

Custard

  1. 2 1/4 cups heavy cream
  2. 4 large egg yolks
  3. 2 large eggs
  4. 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  5. 1/2 cup sugar
  6. 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  7. 1/2 vanilla bean, chopped
  8. Pinch of kosher salt

Pastry

  1. 1 1/4 cups light rye flour, preferably Bob's Red Mill
  2. 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  3. 2 tablespoons sugar
  4. 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  5. 1 stick plus 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed
  6. 6 tablespoons ice water

Caramelized Apples

  1. 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  2. 1/3 cup sugar
  3. 1 Granny Smith apple—peeled, cored, quartered and sliced 1/8 inch thick
  4. 1/2 vanilla bean—split lengthwise and seeds scraped, pod reserved for another use
  5. 2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
  1. MAKE THE CUSTARD In a blender, puree all of the ingredients until smooth. Transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate for 3 hours.
  2. MEANWHILE, MAKE THE PASTRY In a food processor, pulse the light rye flour with the all-purpose flour, sugar and salt to blend. Add the butter and pulse until it is the size of small peas. Drizzle in the ice water and pulse until the pastry just starts to come together. Turn the pastry out onto a work surface and gather into a ball. Flatten to a 1-inch-thick disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  3. On a lightly floured work surface, using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out the pastry 1/8 inch thick. Place a 9-inch, deep-dish glass pie plate upside down on the pastry as a template and cut out a round that is 1 1/2 inches wider than the dish. Transfer to the pie plate; fold the edge under itself and crimp decoratively. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line the pastry with parchment paper and fill the pie dish with pie weights. Bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, until the shell is golden brown all over and cooked through. Cover the pie rim with foil if it gets too dark. Transfer the pie to a rack and let cool completely, about 1 hour.
  5. MEANWHILE, MAKE THE CARAMELIZED APPLES In a large skillet, cook the butter with the sugar over moderate heat until bubbling and caramelized, about 3 minutes. Add the apple and vanilla seeds and cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are very tender and caramelized, about 5 minutes. Carefully add the vinegar and simmer until the caramel is slightly thickened, about 3 minutes.
  6. Preheat the oven to 325°. Scatter half of the apples in the shell. Strain the custard into a bowl and pour it into the shell. Cover the crust with foil to prevent it from burning.
  7. Bake the tart for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, until the custard is golden and just set. Spoon the remaining caramelized apples on top. Transfer the tart to a rack and let cool to room temperature. The tart can be served at room temperature but is best chilled.
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