It is weird that I’m feeling a little post-holiday funky? Too soon? I mean, we are still very much mid-holiday season. I blame the weather- it’s pretty cruddy out there. And my upcoming Disney trip later this week means Monday-Wednesday will inevitably move like molasses. Work is so just acting like work.
To help my mood, I’ve employed a little Julie Andrews, a little egg nog and a little Baileys and the memory of all the delicious and pretty food from this weekend past. If you think I’m crazy, you try sitting on your couch with a grimace on your face while “I have confidence!” is playing on the TV. I dare you!
My leftovers were all gone as of yesterday and as for the pretty food, well, that I’m sharing with you today.
This recipe for an Apple Walnut Tart with Maple Custard comes, un-adapted, believe it or not, from Hip Foodie Mama and Baking a Moment and was expertly crafted by Tomato. She definitely is not one who cooks, and thus was not comfortable or as prone to improvising a new recipe as mom or I would have, but she is one who crafts, and those skills came in handy for these beautiful apple roses.
The one technique adaptation comes from Mom, who taught us both how to make that amazingly thick and creamy custard using a blender and a microwave. No double boilers here. It reminded me of my blender hollandaise, and a method I’ll be using next time I’m feeling custardy.
Yes, custardy is a feeling. A good feeling.
One other idea we had was to blow torch the roses at the end, theorizing that the apricot glaze would caramelize ever so slightly, and happen quickly enough as to not melt the custard. Plus, crunchy apples! Alas, I left my torch in Chicago, so this theory remains a theory until next time. Still, pretty food was definitely tasting pretty good, just as it was.
While the look of this tart makes this recipe look intimidating…you can do it. Remember, Tomato does not cook.
Have confidence in confidence alone!
- 2½ cups walnut pieces
- 4 TB unsalted butter, melted
- 2 TB granulated sugar
- 1 egg white
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1½ cups milk (I used 4%)
- 6 egg yolks
- ½ cup pure maple syrup
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 apples (I used Pink Ladies), quartered, cored, and thinly sliced with a mandolin (keep in lemon water until ready to use)
- juice of a lemon
- ¼ cup apricot jam, warmed
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- In a food processor or chopper, pulse the walnuts until the are finely chopped, and the pieces are about the size of breadcrumbs.
- Place the chopped nuts in a large bowl and add the remaining ingredients, tossing together with a fork.
- Press the mixture evenly over the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom.
- Bake for 15-17 minutes until golden brown. Let cool completely.
- Pour the milk into a microwave-safe glass measuring cup and microwave on high heat until small bubbles form around the edges, around 2-3 minutes.
- Into the canister of a blender, add the egg yolks with the maple syrup, cornstarch, and salt. Hit blend.
- While the eggs are blending into a froth, slowly pour the hot milk over the egg mixture. Continue blending about 30 seconds.
- Place the mixture back into the microwaveable safe bowl and heat in 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until the mixture comes to a bubble and becomes very thick.
- Stir in the vanilla and transfer to a heat safe container. Lay plastic wrap over the surface. Chill for 2 hours.
- Spread the maple custard in the walnut tart shell.
- Warm the apple slices in the microwave until pliable.
- Roll a slice of apple into a tight spiral and stand it up vertically in the custard. Continue to arrange apple slices in a concentric pattern, around the first one, building a rose pattern.
- Warm the apricot jam, and thin it with lemon juice. Brush this glaze over the apples, for shine and to prevent browning.
Written during The Sound of Music. The hills are alive!
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