Feel Good Apple Crumble Tart

I wasn't quite sure whether this was just Apple Crumble, or if its pastry shell meant I could upgrade to a tart. I love making tarts so decided on the name upgrade. I made this one quite quickly after an argument, and there is something about the 'apple-pie cooking' smell that just made everything seem right with the world again.

This recipe is a bit of a shortcut, using canned apples. But that means its the perfect 'spur of the moment' bake, because no one can guess when you'll need a bit of cheering up, or your house will need to smell welcoming…..

I adored how straightforward Davids recipe (link below) was…but I didn't have (and don't particularly like) almond extract, and I couldn't resist swapping cornmeal for custard powder…..

I've already restocked on the ingredients.

Apple Crumble Tart adapted from David Lebovitz Easy Jam Tart


  • 110g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 190g plain flour
  • 70g custard powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tins pink lady apple slices
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon sliced almonds
  • coarse raw sugar, such as demerara


  1. Beat together butter and sugar until well combined. Mix in the egg, egg yolk and vanilla extract.
  2. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, custard powder, salt and baking powder. Gradually add to the butter and egg mixture, until it just comes together.
  3. Measure out about 400g of the dough, pat it into a disk, wrap it in plastic and chill it. The remaining dough roll into a log about 5cm in diameter, wrap and chill it alongside the disk. I leave it in for around half an hour.
  4. Remove the dough disk from the fridge, and with the heel of your hand, press the dough into the bottom and sides of an unbuttered (yes that is bold) tart pan (about 22 or 24cm) or a springform pan, patting it out to be even as possible.
  5. Drain the two tins of apples and put the slices into your tart shell. In a small bowl combine the nutmeg, cinammon and teaspoon of the raw sugar. Sprinkle over the apple slices.
  6. Remove the log of dough from the fridge and slice in cookie-sized disks, then lay them over the apple slices. Top with a tablespoon or two of raw sugar and the almonds.
  7. Bake until the bastry is golden brown in a preheated oven (about 180C) until golden brown. About 20-25mins. Let cool before serving with scoops of good vanilla ice cream.

This one is great the next day!




4 and 20 Blackbirds

I don't know about you, but I have a terrible habit of buying food magazines (and yes, books, lets be honest) and after flicking through them, NOT MAKING A SINGLE RECIPE.

Its had gotten so bad that the second last Donna Hay magazine I bought, I made myself recreate at least six of the recipes. Some of them more than once.

In the spirit of making sure I cook at least one recipe from each magazine I buy, I made this Black-and-Blue Berry Pie from the Womens Weekly Food magazine. It was pretty straightforward, and I will admit I only used frozen fruit because ITS SO MUCH CHEAPER. Worked just fine, so don't feel guilty if you have to do the same.

The big win from the for me was the custard pastry. Its brilliant, and I can't wait to incorporate it into other pies and tarts. I raved about it so much, that WITHOUT EVER TRYING IT my sister used it to make an apple pie. Which we had to bake in the BBQ because of stupid broken oven (which is no longer broken because my husband is brilliant). Apple Pie with custard pastry? Total win. Get on board this pastry.

Black-and-Blue Berry Pie

From the Womens Weekly Food magazine, issue 6, page 75


  • 400g frozen blackberries
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 250g fresh (frozen) blueberries
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon rind
  • 1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1 egg white

Custard pastry

  • 225g plain flour
  • 35g cornflour
  • 30g custard powder
  • 2 tablespoons icing sugar
  • 125g cold butter, chopped coarsely
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon iced water, approximately


  1. Make the custard pastry. Process flours, custard powder, icing sugar and butter until crumbly. Add egg yolk (but keep the white for the filling!) and enough of the water so that ingredients just come together. Knead pastry on a floured surface until smooth. Enclose in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Combine 1 cup of the blackberries and sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring to the boil. Blend cornflour with the water in a small jug. Sitr into berry mixture; stir over heat until mixture boils and thickens. Cool. Stir in remaining blackberries, blueberries, rind and spice.
  3. Roll two-thirds of the pastry between sheets of baking paper until large enough to line a 24cm round loose-based flan tin. Ease pastry into tin; trim edge. Reserve and refrigerate excess pastry. Refrigerate pastry case for 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 200C/180C fan.
  5. Spoon filling into pastry case. Brush edge with egg white. Roll reserved pastry between sheets of baking paper until large enough to cover pie. Cut into 10 x 1.5cm strips. Place strips over pie, weaving in and out to make a lattice pattern. Trim edges, pressing to seal; sprinkle with demerara sugar.
  6. Bake the pie for 50 minutes or until browned. Stand for 10 minutes before serving.