in another world // apple rose custard tart

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I imagined a world in gradients of pink. A dusty rose, a powdery faded pink, sweet pastel, an electric fuchsia bordering on cherry. I imagined them all together, like roses planted side by side in a flower bed.

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There was also both an accessorising vibrant pop and muted calm of green. A rim of bronze to frame, set against the tranquility of a monday morning and liquid golden rays of the forenoon sun. There were shimmers and sweetness. The first taste of fall. The comforting familiarity of a butter cookie, crisp but yielding. It’s swirling, hypnotising. A rose-tinted world.

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Apple Rose Custard Tart

makes a 7 inch tart

For the tart dough:

102 grams all-purpose flour

30 grams icing sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

64 grams unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1/2 large egg yolk

For the custard:

1 cup whole milk

3 large egg yolks

50 grams sugar

2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon cornstarch

1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract

25 grams unsalted butter, softened

For the apple roses:

3 to 4 apples, depending on size

lemon juice

For assembly:

honey

mint leaves

Make the tart dough: Put the flour, confectioners’ sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse to mix. Add the pieces of butter and pulse until the butter is cut in coarsely. Add in the egg yolk and pulse to combine.

Take a large piece of plastic wrap and lay it on your work surface. Turn the dough out onto the plastic wrap and press it into a thin, even layer about a 1/4 inch thick. Wrap it up and place it in the fridge to chill for about an hour.

Remove from fridge and roll out the dough to an 1/8 inch in thickness. Press into a tart pan, trimming off the excess. Prick the bottom of the crust all over using a fork. Return to the fridge for at least an hour.

Preheat oven to 170C. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the crust is golden brown all over. Let cool completely.

Make the custard: Whisk the egg yolks, sugar and cornstarch together in a bowl. Heat the milk in a saucepan until simmering. Whisk in the hot milk bit by bit into the egg mixture. Pour back into the saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil on high heat while whisking constantly. Keep whisking for 1 to 2 minutes with the mixture at a boil. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Pass the custard through a sieve into a bowl. Let cool for a bit. When the custard has cooled slightly, stir in the butter. Press a piece of plastic wrap on the surface of the cream and place in the fridge to chill.

Make the apple roses: Halve an apple on either side of the core and slice again to achieve four quarters. Slice thinly with mandolin into a bowl of water mixed with lemon juice to stop the apple slices from browning. Repeat with the remaining apples. If using different colored apples, have a bowl for each color. Drain the water and move the apple slices around such that they don’t overlap too much, otherwise rearrange them on a plate. Microwave for about 3 minutes or until the apples have softened and are now pliable.

Depending on how big you want the roses to be, take between a number of apple slices and arrange them in a straight line, with their ends overlapping. Roll up the apple slices and set aside the rose. Continue making roses with the remaining apple slices.

Assemble the tart: Fill the tart shell with the pastry cream. Arrange the apple roses on top of the cream. Brush the tops of the roses with honey and decorate with mint leaves.

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