Apple Brown Sugar Tart

I have to be honest... I've been holding out on you guys. I made this recipe weeks ago but I didn't have my cookbooks for a while (slow shipping...) so I couldn't type it up! So here it finally is, a delicious fall twist on a regular fruit tart.

What's funny is I actually set out to make a normal peach tart with plain pastry custard. Then I thought to myself "I wonder what would happen if I made custard with brown sugar instead of plain sugar..." and then I noticed "Those peaches are actually nectarines. And they're moldy. Gross." Luckily there were some lovely apples sitting at the bottom of our fridge, and voila, the apple brown sugar tart was born. Sometimes it's great when things don't quite go as planned. Like ending up at a dance party when you really should be studying ancient Greek palaces... but that's another story.

Apple Brown Sugar Tart (crust and custard recipes adapted from The Joy of Vegan Baking)

Brown Sugar Custard:

1/3 cup brown sugar

2 tbsp flour

4 tbsp cornstarch

1/4 cup water

1 1/3 cups soy milk

2 tsp vanilla

1. In a medium bowl, beat together sugar, flour, cornstarch and water quickly for about 2 minutes, or until it's creamy.

2. Bring the milk to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Pour 1/3 cup of the milk into the sugar mixture and combine. Add the sugar and milk back to the saucepan and heat over medium-low heat, whisking constantly. It starts to thicken right away.

3. Cook until it begins to bubble, whisk super hard for 30 seconds then remove from the heat. Add in vanilla.

4. Transfer to a bowl and let cool in the fridge while you prepare the crust and apples.

No-Bake Pecan Crust:

2 cups raw pecans

3/4 cup pitted dates

1/4 tsp salt

1. Grind nuts in a food processor until they make a course meal.

2. Add dates and salt and process until thoroughly combined. Press into a lightly oiled 9-inch pie pan.

Baked Apple Topping:

2 medium apples

1 tbsp maple syrup

1. Slice the apples and mix them with the maple syrup.

2. Place them on a baking sheet and bake in an oven or toaster oven for about 20 minutes, or until soft.


Pour custard into the pecan crust and spread evenly. Arrange baked apple slices on top and sprinkle with 1 tsp cinnamon and a little powdered sugar. Either place in the fridge to chill, or serve immediately.

It's amazing how well the flavors of this tart complement each other. At first I was a little weirded out by the brownish, wiggly custard, but once it all comes together- the crumbly crust, crunchy apples and creamy custard (yesss alliteration, my poetry professor would be proud)- it works perfectly. Eat this on a lovely fall day and enjoy!

Good to the last crumb...


  1. Perfect for fall! The apples are piling up in the grocery stores already. Thanks for the recipe!

  2. What a beauty. Love raw pie crusts especially.

  3. Thanks Emma! Me too, they're so easy

  4. This looks just great. Never had a raw pie crust, but I'm more than willing to try it after seeing this.

  5. Thanks! You definitely should, they're quick to whip up and taste great with the right flavors.

  6. matthew smith15.9.11

    I can personally attest to the success of this experiment---I saw it all happening, wondered, too, about that strange-colored custard---- but let me tell you, that weird-colored custard was so rich in flavor, so smooth in texture, I wondered why anyone would make custard any other way....

    I want more......

  7. hmm... brown sugar custard.. can't quite picture it.. would have to make this pie to know ;) or if fedex starts delivering food...

  8. Haha if only... until then you'll either have to take my word for it or try it out :)

  9. What a unique and im sure absolutely gorgeous recipe! Never seen a filling quite like this and it sounds wonnderfullll :)

  10. What a wonderfully done apple tart. I would love to have some of it for my kids.