Apple Tarts with Chai-Spiced Custard Sauce

Apple Tarts with Chai-Spiced Custard Sauce Recipe

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The first snow of the season arrived up here a few days ago. Dan started a big, roaring fire in the fireplace and I felt like making a warm dessert to eat while watching the snowflakes fall. My first thought was a rustic apple cardamom tart but I wanted something creamy to go with it so I made a warm, chai-spiced custard sauce.

I based the sauce on my bruleed chai-spiced pots de creme but instead of pots de creme-ing the custard I cooked it on the stovetop to turn it into a sauce. It was quite easy, I infused a mix of milk, cream and sugar with cinnamon, clove, ginger, cardamom and black pepper corns, then whisked it into egg yolks and cooked it until it thickened. The sauce went perfectly with the flaky dough and the tart apple and also looked really beautiful (which is almost equally important to me). A great first-snow-welcoming-comfort-dessert. Hope you like it as much as we did! :)

Apple Tarts with Chai-Spiced Custard Sauce
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 6
  • This recipe makes 6 tarts.
For the custard sauce:
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 5 whole cloves
  • one ½-inch piece of ginger, thinly sliced
  • 5 green cardamom pods, lightly crushed
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper corns
  • 6 egg yolks
For the apple tarts:
  • 1 puff pastry sheet, thawed
  • 2 Granny Smith apples
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
For the custard sauce:
  1. Add milk, cream, sugar and spices to a saucepan and bring to boil, stirring constantly.
  2. Turn the heat off, cover and let sit for 30 minutes.
  3. Strain out the spices.
  4. Whisk the egg yolks in a bowl, then whisk in the milk mix.
  5. Transfer the mix back into the saucepan and, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon, heat on medium-low heat until it has thickened and is coating the back of the spoon (about 4 minutes). Be careful not to let the mix boil.
For the apple tarts:
  1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Peel, core and thinly slice the apples.
  3. Melt the butter in a pan, then add the apples and cook them until tender.
  4. Mix the sugar and the cornstarch in a bowl, then add the apples to the bowl and mix everything around.
  5. Cut six rounds (about 3½ inches in diameter each) out of the puff pastry and distribute the apple slices on them.
  6. Bake the tarts until they are golden-brown (20-25 minutes).
  7. Serve the tarts with the sauce.


    • Nicole B. says:

      At first I thought I wasn’t ready for snow yet either but then I ended up liking it. The nice thing about Colorado is that cold snaps never last that long, it was warm and sunny again this weekend. :)

    • Nicole B. says:

      Thank you so much, Kathleen! I honestly really love that sauce too and I think I’ll come up with more recipe to use it in. I actually ate the rest of it earlier straight and even that was delicious! :)

  1. Shinee says:

    Aww, this tart looks and sounds so cozy, Nicole. I love the spices!! We have yet to get our first snow here in ND, but I’m sure it’ll be here any day now. For now, it’s just rainy. I’ll sure be making this tart soon enough, snow or not!

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