Apple and cranberry custard tart

Gluten-free apple and cranberry custard tart

Gluten-free apple and cranberry custard tart

heirloom apples

Thanksgiving week.

I am sure that those of you who celebrate Thanksgiving are all set with your recipes, pantries full, and ovens ready.

And dessert?

Are you steering away from pumpkin pie into new territory?

EGluten-free apple and cranberry custard tartGluten-free apple and cranberry custard tart

We will be hanging low with friends and family. The thought of staying in Seattle sounds perfect to me – the sun, the fog and the cold have returned drawing everyone into the kitchen.

Our menu will be simple. Smoked turkey, which I probably won’t have much to fiddle with, and lots of seasonal vegetables. I loaded at the Ballard market this Sunday. Brussels sprouts in a quinoa salad with pears and chorizo, roasted carrots with honey, sage and garlic, kabocha squash and celery root soup, potato and sweet potato gratin, braised greens with beans and elderberry compote.

“And the cranberries?” you might be wondering… The cranberries will go into the dessert. In this apple-cranberry custard tart I created for Vogue magazine.

Creamy and flakey.

Vogue also featured the roasted pumpkin, quinoa and hazelnut gnocchi I created a few years ago.

So I hope you are able to enjoy the cooking, the eating and the company on this week to give thanks for the things we have and the people we surround ourselves with.

Thank you.

And enjoy.

Heirloom apples

Gluten-free apple and cranberry custard tart

makes a 9-inch tart

Pastry crust

3/4 cup superfine brown rice flour
1/4 cup buckwheat flour
1/4 cup tapioca or cornstarch
2 teaspoons natural cane sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
6 to 8 tablespoons water

Combine the first five ingredients in the food processor and pulse to aerate. Add the cold and diced butter and pulse ten times until the butter is the size of large peas. Add 6 tablespoons of water and pulse until it comes together. Press the dough between your fingers and if it comes together it is done. If not, add another tablespoon of water.

Transfer dough to your work surface. Bring together and form a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

Dust your work surface with a little bit of superfine brown rice flour and roll the dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Fill a 9-inch tart pan with the dough and cut off excess around the edges. Place the crust in the freezer for 10 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375F.

Take out the tart crust from the freezer and place a piece of parchment on top. Top with pie weights or dry beans and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the pie weights and parchment and proceed with filling.

Apple cranberry filling

1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
2 tablespoons natural cane sugar
1 tablespoon orange juice
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped
2 eggs
1 teaspoon tapioca or cornstarch
1/2 cup half and half
3 medium apples (Pink Lady, Gala, Pink Pearl…), peeled, cored and thinly sliced

Combine the first four ingredients in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat for 3 minutes or until cranberries burst and sauce thickens slightly. Remove the vanilla bean. Let cool.

Whisk together the eggs, tapioca starch and half and half.

Spread the cranberry compote over the bottom of the tart crust. Arrange the apple slices on top in concentric form. Pour custard over the apples.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until custard sets and apples brown. Let the tart cool for 10 minutes before cutting into it.

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41 Responses to “Apple and cranberry custard tart”

  1. Rosa says:

    A beautiful tart and delightful combination!



  2. Enjoy as well. Happy Thanksgiving to you. I do not celebrate it, as I am not American, but I eat desserts :D

  3. Melissa says:

    Sounds like a perfect plan and a delicious menu! Happy Thanksgiving Aran.

  4. Beautiful! We’ve already got our Thanksgiving menu all worked out, but this looks like it might be good to try soon after!

  5. I wanted to make those scones the other day, but I had trouble finding quinoa flakes. Any suggestions for sources in Seattle?

  6. Juliana says:

    Lovely! Happy Thanksgiving, Aran.

  7. I bet this is just as delicious as it is beautiful.

    Lisa | c/oMKE

  8. This is totally perfect for the season! Yum!

  9. Eileen says:

    That tart is just beautiful! It makes me wish I had the patience to cut that many super-thin slices of apple (or a mandoline. Either one). :)

  10. Cheryl says:

    Your menu plan is making my heart sing and my belly rumble.

    Have a beautiful day with family and friends lovely.

  11. aline says:

    I love this kind of tarte! And Curstard: waaa this is for me! Beautiful!

  12. Oh my, I get so hungry every time I come in here! The apple tart looks absolutely lovely, but I would be the happiest gal on earth (almost) right now if I’d had the “brussels sprouts in a quinoa salad with pears and chorizo” at hand. Lovely photos as always!

  13. Lorelei says:

    Could you replace the half and half with coconut milk?

  14. Virginia says:

    Aran¡¡¡ Me encanta esa fuente en verdes¡¡. Estoy segura que la conseguiste en uno de los mercadillos de segunda mano del sur de Francia¡¡¡ ¿Me equivoco??? Fijate que yo he encontrado platos, pero no acabo de agenciarme una fuente mas grande, con sus mellas incluidas… Como siempre preciosas fotos. Bss desde Bilbao

    Virginia “sweet and sour”

  15. Madre mía pinta de maravilla, que bueno! Me llevo la receta. Bss buen finde.

  16. What a delicious Thanksgiving you must have had, Aran! I love the look of this tart. Rustic yet delicate.

  17. My husband is nice guy and we are happily married for five years.He loves me and my two kids.I have only one regret in life that he hates my cooking :( .When i made this custard tart, he was telling me that this is food for Cullens.He is fan of Twilight Series :) Jokes apart, this is first time that he loved anything made by me.I will try more of your recipes .

  18. Belen says:

    Aran, testuak ulertzeko zailtasunak ditut baina argazkiak zoragarriak!!!

  19. Adam says:

    O that tart looks absolutely delicious! I will definitely try out this recipe, Thanks!

  20. So beautiful, I love your photos!

    Anna x

  21. Katie says:

    What a beautiful, delicate looking tart.I love the blush pink of the apples.

  22. Iren says:

    I wish I could leave some notes in basque, to make you a little pleasure…

    Well, since swiss german is not an option, I write in english ;-)

    I made this tarte last weekend and it was super delicious. This cranberry-apple mixture is just great. Apples often become so sweet in a tart, so the cranberry give the perfect balance.

    Thanks for this delicious recipe, I will keep it and redo it, redo it and redo it.

    Love from Zurich

  23. Patti says:

    I Love your stories about family and your childhood! I have your beautiful new cookbook and use it regularly. The blue floral plate is exquisite . I would love to know where you find your beautiful pieces for displaying your dishes so beautifully Aran. Love everything you create. Patti

  24. Dear Aran,

    I’ve just erased my last two attempts at a comment/note to you here. I’m just not ready to share but… after 20 years of struggling with CFIDS…. with a bolt of lightning revelation…. I am so gluten sensitive!!!! It’s clear as day and, now, I can’t put a bit of gluten in my mouth – NO MORE!! (Just had a terrible reaction to a barbeque rotisserie chicken. whoops! I thought that there was only a tiny bit of gluten and wouldn’t hurt. =( )

    so, I have a huge thank you to you and your labor of love – your cookbook!!! But, I can’t yet… it’s just so new. But, I AM scrambling to reinvent the holidays and have a question. I’ve been looking for the answer but ‘am a Pooh Bear of very little brain’ at the moment. I see that I can convert your recipes to regular flour if I just add the weights together and add that amount of flour to recipes. BUT! What about going the other way? At this point, I’ve done quite a bit of baking from your book. Can I just take the weight of a regular recipe and translate it to an educated guess of mixture of the flours that I know of from your recipes? Er, any advice? And, actually, any other advice would be incredible but I think that I can find my way….

    It’s the holidays – it’s December – and you are a busy woman!! If you can’t really answer, that’s just fine! I understand!!

    But, thank you – what a difference you’ve made in my life – both through your wonderful photography and, now, this – it’s huge!! Thank you!!


    • Aran says:

      Hi Katy,

      Well congrats on finding out what’s ailing you. Always a big step.

      To convert gluten-containing recipes to gluten-free, you can either use an all-purpose Gf mix that you can buy at the store (many brands available today) or make your own. I don’t usually use an all-purpose mix (not even my own) just because I like to play around with different flours and flavors. First I would invest in superfine brown rice flour instead of just plain brown rice flour. It is more expensive but makes such a difference. I use about 60% mixture of whole grain flours (superfine brown rice, millet, buckwheat…), 25% nut flour (almond flour is amazing), 15% starch (tapioca, arrowroot, corn…). This is just a guideline as recipe textures vary and then you just experiment.

      I hope this helped and good luck!

  25. Thank you, thank you, thank you so much!! xxo That does help!!

    I just can barely believe how well I have felt, this week – that the horrific weakness running through me hasn’t been seen for five days straight – that there could actually be an explanation and something to do (besides sleep and sleep and rest and rest…) – it’ss mind boggling! I am so grateful and happy!!! I thought I would just have to live with it for the rest of my life! thank you for your part in it – it’s completely because of your photography – then, your cookbook – that I figured it out. After all this time…

    The deepest heart blessings to you!!!


    • Aran says:

      I’m so happy to hear that you are feeling better, Katy. Food plays such big role in how our bodies function yet we underestimate it. Many doctors underestimate it. Good for you!!

  26. Emilia says:

    Hi Aran,
    Many Thanks for all your incredible work and your beautiful site! I have two questions and I have a couple of annoying questions. I myself don’t like when people is always asking how if replace this with that. But I have a problem of access to things as I live in remote Africa:
    1) Para hacer esta receta con harina con gluten, solo debo sumar todas las harinas empleadas y luego reemplazar por harina de trigo?
    2) Vivo en Malawi, no tengo acceso a cranberries ni frescas ni congeladas, pero si tengo acceso a las oceanspray que vienen deshidratadas y con azucar anadida, no se si sepas de las que hablo, puedo reemplazarlas, puedo usar esas?
    Muchisimas Gracias!

    • Aran says:

      Hola Emilia,

      Para la base, suma las cantidades en gramos de harinas sin gluten y substituyelo por harina de trigo. Ten en cuenta que todas las harinas son diferentes y a lo mejor tendras que ajustar la cantidad de agua. Basicamente es una masa quebrada asi que si tienes otra receta que te guste, la puedes utilizar. En cuanto al relleno, no utilizaria las cranberries secas. No es el mismo efecto. Pero si tienes otra fruta acida como frambuesas, tambien sirven. Si no, puedes hacerlo solamente con manzana.

  27. […] feast for the eyes and senses, this gluten-free apple and cranberry custard tart was featured in last month’s issue of […]

  28. Brigitte says:

    Hi Aran,
    what is the meaning in the filling ingrédients of 1/2 cup half and half ?
    I think to have already met that in one of your recipe (Im addicted )
    and to have wondered the meaning of it.
    Thank you

    • Aran says:

      Hi Brigitte,

      Half and half is something they sell here which is half whole milk and half heavy cream so you can use 1/4 cup of whole milk and 1/4 cup of heavy cream. 1/4 cup is about 60 ml. Thanks!

  29. Annie says:

    I’ve been thinking of making a tart or galette- I’m going to try this recipe with strawberries and peaches! Yours looks beautiful and delicious :)

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