Custard Apple Crumble Tart

I love pies, particularly ones that have lots of delicious layers and textures to enjoy. My Custard Apple Crumble Tart combines a creamy, vegan custard, crisp apples, a crumbly tart base and a crunchy crumble, to create a lovely dessert that's freezer-friendly.

My crumble recipe uses Nutri Grain, a popular, malted cereal that many of you grew up eating. If you can't find it, you can replace it with any kind of crumbly biscuit or cereal. Just make sure the flavours match the pie.

These instructions will outline how to make two 10 inch pies, but you can easily make one larger pie by simply making one large dough and ignoring the instructions to divide the ingredients.

Ingredients for the dough

  • 350g plain flour
  • 2 tbs caster sugar
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 180g vegan butter
  • 50g vegetable shortening
  • 80ml cold water
  • 30ml vodka
  • 5ml apple cider vinegar

Ingredients for the filling

  • 400g apples of choice, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • 2 vegan eggs (I use Bob's Red Mill which calls for 1 tbs powder and 2 tbs water per egg)
  • 250ml vegan soy or oat cream
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 2 tsp malt extract
  • 50g plain flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

Ingredients for the crumble

  • 100g Nutri Grain
  • 50g plain flour
  • 35g raw sugar
  • 80g vegan butter, melted
  • Icing sugar, to finish

Instructions for the dough

  • Combine flour, sugar and salt in a bowl and set aside a 2 x 10inch pie tins, or 1 x large pie tin.
  • Add butter and shortening and rub with your fingertips to create thick crumbs (different sizes are okay!).
  • Slowly add water, vodka and vinegar and mix until dough comes together. Try not to overmix.
  • Place dough in baking paper, wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes. If you leave it overnight longer, you'll need to let it rest on the bench until it's warm enough to handle. It should be cold but not hard.
  • Preheat oven to approximately 185 degrees Celsius.
  • Divide dough into two equal parts (or leave as is if you're making a large tart), and place onto a well-floured surface.
  • Roll out to required size, ensuring the dough is large enough to fit into tart cases with some dough hanging over.
  • Carefully place and gently fit the dough into prepared cases. I like to use my rolling pin to help transfer the dough.
  • Trim the edge of the dough so it's neat and fits well into the cases.
  • Prick the base a few times with a fork, then place a large piece of baking paper onto the dough.
  • Pour in pie weights or dry beans/rice, and place into the oven for 10 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and remove the baking paper and weights, then place back in the oven for 5 minutes.

Ingredients for the filling

  • Combine apples and juice in a large bowl and set aside.
  • Place eggs, cream, sugar and extract into a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a handheld mixer at the ready.
  • Beat on a low/medium speed until smooth.
  • Add flour, cinnamon and nutmeg and beat at the same speed until mixture just comes together.
  • Drain the apples and divide them between the cases, spreading them out evenly.
  • Divide the custard and pour onto apple pieces (half in each case).
  • Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.

Ingredients for the crumble

  • Place Nutri Grain, flour and sugar into a food processor and blitz until you have messy crumbs. Ideally, you'll have big and small chunks.
  • Transfer into a bowl, then add butter and mix well.
  • Remove the cake from the oven and sprinkle over the crumble mixture.
  • Bake for a final 25 minutes, or until the custard is cooked through and the crumble is brown and crunchy.
  • Sprinkle with icing sugar.
  • I like to put this pie into the freezer to set for at least 2 hours, and heat it just before serving.

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