Brandy custard and toffee apple tarts

This decadent recipe sees brandy-spiked vanilla bean custard poured into homemade tart shells and topped with golden toffee apple slices. Serve for an irresistible dessert

  • 15 mins preparation
  • 25 mins cooking
  • 1 hr 10 mins marinating
  • Serves 6
  • Print
This recipe first appeared in Woman's Day.
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  • 1 1/4 cup plain flour
  • 125 gram cold chopped butter
  • 1/3 cup icing sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoon cold water
Brandy and vanilla bean custard
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 3 egg yolks,
  • 1/4 cup caster sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon cornflour
  • 2 tablespoon brandy
Toffee apple topping
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 2 tablespoon water
  • 3 finely sliced apples


  • 1
    In a food processor, pulse flour, butter and icing sugar together until mixture resembles crumbs. Add egg yolk and cold water. Pulse to form a dough. Shape into a disc. Wrap in cling film and chill for 20 minutes.
  • 2
    Roll pastry out between two sheets of baking paper until large enough to line six 8cm fluted round loose-based flan pans. Cut pastry out, then ease into pans, pressing into sides. Chill for 30 minutes.
  • 3
    Preheat oven to hot, 200°C. Place pans on an oven tray and trim pastry. Prick bases with a fork. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden. Cool completely.
Brandy and vanilla bean custard
  • 4
    In a medium saucepan, bring milk, cream and vanilla bean paste to a simmer on medium. In a large bowl, whisk egg yolks, caster sugar and cornflour together until pale. Gradually whisk in hot milk mixture. Transfer to a clean saucepan with brandy.
  • 5
    Bring to the boil, stirring, on medium. Reduce heat to low. Simmer, stirring, for 3 minutes. Transfer mixture to a large heat-proof bowl. Cover with cling film and chill for 10 minutes.
Toffee apple topping
  • 6
    In a medium frying pan, heat caster sugar and water on low, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Boil on high, without stirring, until edges are golden. Add sliced apples, tossing to coat.
  • 7
    Cook for 2-3 minutes until mixture is syrupy. Transfer to a tray to cool slightly. Divide custard between cooled tart shells and arrange cooled toffee apple and syrup on top. Chill for 10 minutes before serving.


  • When cooling custard, ensure that the cling film touches the top to prevent a skin from forming.