Charred apple custard pie

Fire cooking transfers to desserts with the help of a blow torch. Prep in advance up to the final step then brûlée table side, keeping the flame moving.
Charred apple and custard pie on wire cooling platter.Brett Stevens
1H 15M
1H 45M

This apple custard pie brings elements of fire to the end of your evening with a table side brûlée element. A short, flaky pastry filled with just-set wobbly custard, perfumed with a subtle hit of lemon and topped with thin slices of tart Granny Smith apples. You don’t have to brûlée table side, but everyone loves a little bit of drama, don’t they?

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To make pastry, pulse flour, sugar and 1/2 tsp sea salt flakes in a food processor until combined. Add butter and blitz until fine crumbs form. Add 21/2 tbsp iced water and process until mixture just comes together. Transfer dough to a clean work surface; shape into a disc, cover with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.


Preheat oven to 180ºC fan-forced. Roll out pastry to 5mm thick, then line a 20cm fluted tart tin. Cover pastry with baking paper, fill with baking weights and bake for 15 minutes. Remove weights and paper and bake until dry (10-15 minutes). Set aside to cool completely. Reduce temperature to 120ºC fan-forced.


To make custard, combine cream, milk, vanilla pod and seeds, lemon peel and nutmeg in a small saucepan over medium heat; remove from heat just before boiling.


Meanwhile, place egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl and whisk until pale. Slowly pour over hot milk mixture while whisking constantly. Strain custard through a fine sieve into prepared tart case. Bake until just set with a slight wobble (40 minutes). Remove pie from oven and set aside to cool slightly (30 minutes).


Layer apple in concentric circles on top of pie, slightly overlapping. Brush with maple syrup and sprinkle over sugar. Place pie under a hot grill or gently blow torch to brûlée until caramelised (1-2 minutes). Cut pie into slices and serve.

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