Apple and custard tart with walnut crumble topping

Andrew Nutter gives the homely crumble a glamorous makeover with pastry cream, walnuts and sweet spices
By Andrew Nutter
Apple and custard tart with walnut crumble topping
  • Rating:
  • Serves: makes 8 tartlets
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes plus overnight soaking
  • Effort: easy


For the crumble

  • 50 g caster sugar
  • 50 g brown sugar
  • 25 g plain flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 40 g walnuts
  • 40 g chilled butter

For the apple mixture

  • 25 g butter
  • 4 Bramley apples, peeled, cored and diced
  • 50 g raisins, soaked overnight in 1 tbsp rum
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinches grated nutmeg

For the custard

  • 300 ml milk
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 50 g caster sugar
  • 25 g plain flour

To serve

  • 8 ready-made tartlet cases, about 4cm diameter
  • 4 scoops mascarpone
  • 100 g mixed berries
  • 4 sprigs mint


1. For the walnut topping: process the caster sugar, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and walnuts in a food processor until the nuts are finely ground. Add the butter and pulse to a crumble texture. Set aside.

2. For the fruit: heat the butter in a frying pan until nut brown, then add the apples and fry, tossing lightly, until softened. Add the rum-soaked raisins, cinnamon and nutmeg and mix well. Leave to cool.

3. For the custard filling: heat the milk and vanilla extract in a saucepan until just below boiling point. In a heatproof bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar, then stir in the flour. Pour half the hot milk onto the egg mixture, whisking constantly, then pour the custard back into the saucepan. Heat until thick, stirring constantly.

4. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4. Spoon the custard into the tartlet cases, top with the fruit mixture, then scatter some of the crumble over each tartlet. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the topping is golden. Serve warm with mascarpone cheese and berries and decorate with mint sprigs.

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