Apple Cider Custard Tart

I was able to give my dad his Father’s Day baked goods while I was in CT last week, since today I’m back up home in MA, and my dad is out and about visiting my grandma and other friends in the Mid-Atlantic.

My Dad and me at my graduation last year. Please disregard my wind-blown hair.

But it’s ok, really.  My dad is a very simple man.  Before my baking obsession struck, the usual question of “what do you want for Father’s Day/your birthday/Christmas?” was met with virtually the same list of items year in and year out.

Socks, tennis balls, and/or a new grill cover.  Simple, no?  I swear I’ve gotten him like three grill covers and they all seem to fall apart or disappear.

Now that I can’t get myself to stop baking, I try to make him special items when these times roll around.  They usually involve chocolate.  Lots of chocolate.  Nothing less for the man who I find myself resembling as I get older.  The man I’d call when my car wouldn’t start, when I got my heart broken or when I needed a another pair of eyes to edit an essay.  Thanks Dad, for all you’ve done, and all you do.

And to all the dads out there, I dedicate this tart.  I know apples aren’t “in season” (hey, apples are always in season somewhere in the country), but I’ve wanted to make this tart for a while, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with buying cider during springtime.

The dough of this tart is sweeter than traditional pie dough, and I almost ended up snacking on bits of it while making the lattice.  The cider is reduced and turned into a lovely layer of spiced custard, which pairs wonderfully with the sweet dough, creating a treat worthy of all Dads on their special day.  Happy Father’s Day!

Apple Cider Custard Tart

Adapted from Cherry Tea Cakes

Makes one 9” tart

For the dough:

¾ cup powdered sugar

1¾ cup all-purpose flour

pinch of salt

2 tsp grated lemon zest

½ cup (one stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1 large egg and 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten in a small bowl

For the apple cider custard filling:

2 cups apple cider

3 large eggs

¾ cup light brown sugar, packed

4 Tbsp (half a stick) unsalted butter

First make the dough.  In a large bowl, mix together sugar, flour, salt, and lemon zest Massage the butter into the mixture with your fingertips until it has the consistency of coarse meal.

Switch to a wooden spoon or spatula and stir in the egg.  Once it is semi-incorporated, switch back to your hands, and gather the dough together.  Add water 1 Tbsp at a time if the dough seems dry.  Shape the dough into a flat disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Place the dough in the refrigerator and chill for at least two hours or overnight.

While the dough is chilling make the apple cider custard.  In a medium saucepan, boil the apple cider until it has reduced to a half cup of liquid.

In a medium bowl, beat together eggs and brown sugar. While mixing constantly, very slowly pour in the reduced apple cider.  Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture becomes thick, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and immediately pour back into the medium bowl through a fine mesh strainer to remove lumps.

Cut the butter into small pieces and whisk into the mixture until the butter has melted. Cover immediately and refrigerate.

To assemble and bake, preheat oven to 350ºF.  Grease a 9” tart pan with removable bottom and set aside.  Let the dough sit for 5 minutes, then roll it out on a floured surface, reserving one fourth to make the lattice topping.  Fit the rolled out dough into the prepared tart pan.

Spread the apple cider custard into the tart shell.  Roll out the reserved dough and cut into long strips creating a design, or cut using cookie cutters into shapes.  Bake for 35 minutes or until crust is golden brown.  Cool on a wire rack for at least 20 minutes, and serve warm or at room temperature. Leftovers should be stored in the refrigerator.


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