This tart will be the centerpiece of your dessert table: a crunchy, gluten-free walnut crust with a creamy maple-custard filling, topped with a bouquet of apple roses.
FOR THE CRUST
- 2 1/2 cups walnut pieces
- 4 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
- 2 Tbs. granulated sugar
- 1 egg white
- 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
FOR THE CUSTARD
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 6 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
FOR THE TOPPING
- 2-4 fresh apples, quartered, cored and sliced very thin (keep in lemon water until ready to use)
- Juice of 1 fresh lemon, added to a large bowl of cold water
- 1/4 cup honey (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a food processor, pulse walnuts until finely chopped and the pieces are about the size of bread crumbs. Place chopped nuts in a large bowl and add remaining crust ingredients, tossing together with a fork. Press the mixture evenly into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch tart pan. Bake for 15 minutes. Cool completely.
- To make custard, heat milk in a small pot over medium heat until small bubbles form around the edges. In a small bowl, whisk egg yolks, maple syrup, cornstarch and salt until combined. Slowly pour the hot milk over egg mixture, while whisking, to warm eggs. Transfer mixture back to the pot and place over low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture becomes very thick. Turn off heat and stir in vanilla. Strain custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a heat-safe bowl. Place plastic wrap over custard bowl and press wrap directly on surface of the custard; refrigerate for 2 hours.
- To assemble the tart, spread maple custard in walnut tart shell. Warm the apple slices on a plate in the microwave until pliable. Twist an apple slice 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. Repeat with apple slices until the surface of the tart is covered.
- (optional) To add shine, in a small bowl, stir honey with a few drops of warm water to thin. Brush mixture over apples. Serve tart the same day it is prepared.
PER SERVING (1/8 tart): 474 cal, 33g fat (7g mono, 18g poly, 8g sat), 173mg chol, 251mg sodium, 38g carb (4g fiber, 26g sugars), 10g protein