Adapted from 'France the Beautiful Cookbook' by the Scotto Sisters - with reduced sugar in the creamy custard filling and addition of nutmeg. Makes one large tart, 2 medium tarts or 8 tartlets. Blind-baking the pastry is done by baking the apples first with the pastry before adding the custard filling.
275g (10oz)sweet pastry with 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan/425°F (gas 7). Butter a 28cm/11" tart tin (no need to butter if using non-stick moulds) or tart ring. Roll out the pastry dough evenly, larger than the tart tin (about 4cm larger) and press well into the tin. Chill in the fridge.
Peel the apples, cut into quarters and core them. Cut each quarter into 4 slices and arrange them evenly over the pastry, starting from the outside and arrange the slices in the form of a flower. Make a second smaller layer to fill in any gaps. Bake for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, using a hand whisk or fork, beat the egg yolks, sugar, nutmeg (or cinnamon), vanilla and cream. Pour over the apples and bake for about a further 30 minutes (20-25 minutes for tartlets) or until the top has delicious custardy brown patches.
There’s no need for any ice cream or cream; enjoy on its own served warm for the perfect teatime treat, dessert or even breakfast. If you want to decorate, dust with a little icing/confectioner’s sugar, top with grapes or an edible flower.