Crostata di mele (apple custard tart)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This is a tantalising tart made with caramelised apples melting into a creamy vanilla custard all cradled by crisp pastry. What I love about fruit tarts like this one is that you can change the fruit to whatever is at hand- pears, peaches or apples. I am going to try persimmons and a strawberry rhubarb combination next and will report back on the results.
The recipe is flexible in that the pastry can be made (or bought) up to a couple of days in advance. The custard can also be made in advance. When you want to make the tart, just roll the pastry out, fill it with custard, top with the cut fruit and brush on the apricot jam. Bake it to cook the fruit and its done.
Recipe type: Dessert (Dolci)
Cuisine: Inter-regional
Serves: 10
Short crust (pasta frolla) -use this method herewith these ingredients (baking powder and salt added to the flour)
Custard (crema pasticcera) - use this method here using these ingredients
  • 750 grams apples (choose ones that cook well and keep their form like renette, granny smith or cox), peeled and sliced 4 mm thick
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 4 spoons apricot jam
  1. Make the pastry by creaming together the butter and sugar until they lighten in colour.
  2. Add the yolks, one by one.
  3. Finally add the flour, baking powder and salt to combine.
  4. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate for an hour. For the illustrated step-by-step method, click here.
  1. Make the pastry cream by heating half the milk with the sugar and vanilla bean and seeds to 55C. Remove the vanilla bean and discard. Mix the rice flour, corn flour and egg yolks. Whisk in the remaining 250 mls cold milk to the yolks. Next add the hot milk to the yolks. In a double boiler, heat the mixture to 86C while stirring constantly until thick. Let it cool. For the illustrated step-by-step method, click here.
  2. Tart:
  3. Heat the oven to 180C. Toss the cut apples with the lemon juice.
  4. Rub a quarter sheet pan with oil or butter. On a floured board, roll out the pastry to 4 mm thick and large enough to cover the bottom and sides of the pan. If you are making a lattice top, roll out the second half of the pastry and cut into 1 cm strips.
  5. Roll the pastry around the rolling pin and unroll it into the pan. Prick the pastry all over with a fork.
  6. Cut off the sides with a sharp paring knife.
  7. Spread the custard evenly into the pan. Add the apples, overlapping them to cover the custard.
  8. Heat the apricot jam a bit and brush it onto the apples.
  9. If you are doing the lattice top, start weaving the reserved strips. (See a guide here.) Bake the apple tart for 30 minutes. Remove when the apples are caramelised on the ends and the pastry is golden. Enjoy!
Recipe by Living a Life in Colour at