Apple and custard tart

An apple tart with a creamy custard filling

Growing up, my family and I would often go for holidays in regional Victoria. Sometimes a long car trip was required. I remember my dad had these bingo sheets that he would hand to us at the start of the journey. It had lots of pictures of typical things you might see – a red car, a cow, a petrol station etc. You had to colour in the boxes until you’d found them all. It was a fun way to pass the time when travelling as a young child.

An apple tart with a creamy custard filling

Whenever we made a pit stop, we’d find a park to play in and a local bakery in the little town. And we’d get pies for lunch, with chocolate milk or a vanilla slice or custard tart if it was teatime. I’d always pick the custard tart. I like the fact that it’s not too sweet, and the texture is deliciously creamy.

I’ve put a spin on the custard tart today, adding apples as we have plenty of them at the moment. I added far too much cinnamon for my photos, but it still tasted delicious! I took it to dinner with my family, and we all had a slice for dessert with tea.

 

An apple tart with a creamy custard filling

Apple and custard tart

  • Servings: 6-8
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Ingredients

For the pastry:

  • 240g plain flour
  • 160g unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tbs caster sugar
  • ¼ cup water

For the apples:

  • 35g unsalted butter
  • 2 tbs brown sugar
  • 2 apples, sliced
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch cinnamon

For the filling:

  • 1 ½ cups cream/milk
  • 3 eggs
  • ¼ cup caster sugar

Directions

  1. To make the pastry, beat the butter and flour together in a mixer using a dough attachment. Add sugar and combine. Add enough water to bring the pastry together into a ball. As soon as the pastry comes together, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 20 mins or until needed.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200° Celsius. Grease a quiche flan with spray oil.
  3. To make the apples, melt butter and sugar in a small saucepan.
  4. Add the apples to the saucepan with the vanilla and cinnamon. Shake the saucepan to cover the apples with liquid, cover the saucepan with a lid and cook on a low heat for 10 mins. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  5. Take the pastry out of the fridge, and sprinkle the worktop with flour. Roll out the pastry until it is big enough to cover the base of the quiche flan. Line the flan with pastry and trim the edges, leaving extra height to allow for the pastry to shrink while cooking. Weigh down the pastry with baking paper and baking beads, and blind bake the pastry case for 20 mins in the oven.
  6. To make the filling, whisk the eggs and sugar together. Add the milk or cream and whisk.
  7. Remove the pastry from the oven and lower the heat to 160° Celsius. Remove the baking beads and baking paper. Line the pastry case with an even layer of the apples, and pour in the custard filling.
  8. Bake in the oven for 30 mins or until custard is set but wobbles when jiggled. Serve hot or cold, with ice cream or cream.

Pineapple and Coconut Drizzle Cake

Pineapple and coconut drizzle cake - perfect tropical vibes to freshen up a wintery rainy day!

Pineapple has such tropical vibes; I always associate it with summer. What a superb way to freshen up a dull and dreary Melbourne winter weekday. It has me dreaming of sunny beaches and summery breezes.

The pineapple I bought for this cake was lovely on its own. It was so juicy and sweet. The best pineapple I’ve ever had was in Fiji, on my honeymoon. But this pineapple was almost as good!

Pineapple and coconut drizzle cake - perfect tropical vibes to freshen up a wintery rainy day!

Coconut is the perfect flavour to combine with pineapple. And using coconut cream means that this cake is super easy to make dairy-free – just substitute the butter with a dairy-free spread and you’re good to go! I actually did this the second time I made this cake to cater for some dairy-free friends and it tasted just as good.

I decided to emulate the texture of a lemon drizzle cake by soaking the cake with a pineapple sugar syrup. Combined with a topping of shredded coconut, the texture of this cake is dense and intense and oh so tasty!

Perfect for an afternoon cuppa on a rainy day.

Pineapple and coconut drizzle cake - perfect tropical vibes to freshen up a wintery rainy day!

Pineapple and Coconut Drizzle Cake

  • Servings: 8
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Ingredients

  • 110g unsalted butter, softened
  • 110g caster sugar, plus 30g extra
  • 2 eggs
  • 130g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 35g dessicated coconut, plus a handful extra
  • 125ml coconut cream
  • 100g fresh pineapple, cut into chunks

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 180° Celsius. Grease a 20cm cake tin with spray oil.
  2. Place pineapple chunks into food processor and whizz until pureed. Strain the pineapple puree and reserve the juice in a small bowl. Place both pineapple puree and pineapple juice to the side.
  3. Cream the butter and 110g of the sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. Beat in the eggs, one by one.
  5. Fold in the flour, baking powder and coconut.
  6. Stir through the coconut cream and pineapple puree until combined.
  7. Pour the mixture into cake tin and bake in the oven for 35 mins or until golden on top, and a skewer comes out clean.
  8. While the cake is baking, mix 30g of the extra sugar with the pineapple juice to create a thick paste.
  9. Leave the cake to cool for 5 mins, before turning out onto a wire rack. Use a skewer to poke holes all over the cake. Pour over the pineapple sugar syrup while the cake is still warm. Sprinkle extra coconut over the top and leave to cool fully before storing or eating! Keeps well for 2-3 days in an airtight container.

Custard and sultana muffins

Custard filled sultana muffins

You hear about women craving all sorts of weird and wonderful food combinations when they’re pregnant. I didn’t get any strange cravings, which is mildly disappointing, as I feel like I’ve been robbed of a good story! The closest I got to a ‘husband-making-a-mad-dash-to-get-pickles-from-the-shops-at-4am’ situation was a sudden desire for cucumber early one summer’s evening. I made this known to my husband, who assured me he was happy to go and get some cucumber for me, just after some household chore was done. Could I be any healthier??

However, he never went! He forgot, and to this day I don’t let him forget about it!

Custard filled sultana muffins

Saying that, during my pregnancy I did have a strong hankering for all things cold and creamy. I always doubted though how likely it was that this was pregnancy-related. I couldn’t get enough of milkshakes, crème brulee, cheesecake, ice cream, rice pudding, custard… Ah custard.

Custard filled sultana muffins

And this is where today’s recipe fits in. I think I’m still having a love affair with the stuff. This is custard for all times of day, whenever the desire may strike. Enjoy!

Custard filled sultana muffins

Custard and sultana muffins

  • Servings: Makes 12
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Ingredients

For the custard:

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 tbs caster sugar

For the muffins:

  • 225g plain flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 115g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
  • ½ cup sultanas
  • 225ml milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 115g (1/2 cup) butter, melted

Directions

  1. To make the custard, combine milk and vanilla in a small saucepan.
  2. Combine the egg yolks and sugar in a mixing bowl and whisk to dissolve the sugar.
  3. Fill the sink with cold water, and get out a clean bowl, rubber spatula and strainer for when the custard is cooked.
  4. Bring the saucepan with the milk mixture to a simmer. Remove from the heat.
  5. Pour the milk mixture into the eggs, whisking constantly.
  6. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan over a medium heat and stir constantly until thick. Cook for 2-4 mins. When the custard is cooked you will be able to draw a line on the back of the spoon through the custard.
  7. As soon as it is ready, pour the custard through the strainer into the clean bowl. Place the bowl in the sink so that the cold water surrounds it. Stir with a rubber spatula until cold. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
  8. Preheat the oven to 180° Celsius. Grease a muffin tray with spray oil.
  9. To make the muffins, combine flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, sultanas and sugar in a bowl.
  10. Combine milk, eggs and butter in a separate bowl.
  11. Mix dry and wet ingredients until combined. Spoon half the mixture into the muffin tray. Then, place a spoonful of custard into each muffin, and fill them up with the rest of the muffin mixture. Cook for 30 mins at 180° Celsius until golden.