Imagine for a moment being an apple pie or an apple tart lover going on a keto diet. Wait, you don’t need much imagination here because it is you! Well, it is me, too. And it is my significant other, as well. If you feel the same as we do, let us walk you through the path that led me to bake one of the most impressive desserts of them all – the Keto Custard Apple Tart. But first of all, let me express how thankful I am for discovering a plant named chayote. I got acquainted with its apple resemblance at Ketogasm.com. As soon as I found it, I immediately thought of one of our favorite French desserts: Tarte Normande Aux Pommes (Custard Apple Tart).
Keto Tarte Normande aux Pommes
Our story of Keto Tarte Normande aux Pommes or Keto Custard Apple Tart began nowhere else but in Normandy, France. Half a year ago we were on our first exclusively French road trip, spending around 4 days in Normandy. We went grocery shopping one day. Knowing we had an oven at our rented apartment, we were eager to try baking something French for dinner. When running into a freshly prebaked Tarte Normande in one of their Intermarches, we knew it was about time for our keto WOE to go on a break. We were never sorry. We have been forever and ever thankful for the French desserts we have had a chance to try. Starting with Custard Apple Tart, continuing to Tart Tatin, Creme Brulee, macarons … We returned to Normandy a couple of months ago just to have more Tarte Normande, and we are thinking of going there again next year. Joking aside, the scenery and peacefulness there are something we want to return to again and again.
No need to fall off the wagon for an apple dessert
You don’t have to be like us and give your keto lifestyle a break if you don’t want to or don’t dare to. Let me explain that I have been on/off keto for almost three years now and I have learned to recognize my limits. I can jump into and out of ketosis without feeling miserable and going through a keto flu. I know exactly where my limits are for getting a migraine attack again. And getting all sorts of other symptoms by eating all kinds of “delicious” but unhealthy stuff. Plus, I am fit and regularly exercising, so by going keto I mostly try to take care of my neurological health.
Anyhow, if you are into an apple dessert but not into breaking your keto or low carb lifestyle, do find out where you can buy a chayote. Then take your time and bake a Keto Custard Apple Tart. You and your loved ones will be in bliss.
Substituting chayote for apple
Chayote fruit is a fantastic type of squash! Extremely healthy and low in carbs, with texture and taste which resembles apples when you cook it with cinnamon. It’s a piece of fruit to fall in love with. In fact, I am not sure whether it’s a fruit or a vegetable. It is shaped like a pear and usually has green skin. Its surface can be smooth or spiky. Everything about it is supposed to be edible. I haven’t tried yet, but the seeds fried in butter are supposedly a delicacy not to be missed. Sounds about right for a keto foodie.
How to make Keto Custard Apple Tart
- Form the dough by mixing almond flour, salt, cold butter, iced water, and egg yolk.
- While the dough is sitting in the fridge, peel and cut chayotes. Cook the slices in the mix of water, butter, low carb sweetener, cream of tartar, lemon juice, and spices, for 15 minutes. Let cool down and drain.
- Roll out the cold dough and place it in a tart pan. Prick with a fork all over, and prebake for 10 minutes at 390°F (200°C).
- Arrange the chayote slices in concentric circles around the dough.
- Make the custard by beating the heavy cream, eggs, sweetener, vanilla, and apple brandy.
- Pour the custard over the chayote slices.
- Bake at 360°F (180°C) for 35 – 40 minutes. After 30 minutes of baking, top with roasted sliced almonds.
- To make sure it’s done, insert a toothpick into the custard.
- Enjoy the Keto Custard Apple Tart warm. Sprinkle with cinnamon and Bon Appétit!
Apple Brandy Calvados
If you want to avoid alcohol, there is no substitute for the apple brandy. The apple brandy used in the recipe is called Calvados which is the name of a region in Normandy. I am sure a bottle can be bought across the globe if one looks hard enough. But I do guess one only comes to appreciate the liquor once they visit the region and get closely acquainted with the local production of apple cider and Calvados. Once you try crepes flambeed with Calvados, there is no turning back. You are sold and don’t want to substitute anything for it. So please understand that I can’t recommend any other brandy than apple brandy in this recipe. Naturally, I do not forbid you to use any other liquor of choice or no brandy at all.
Keto Custard Apple Tart even better than the original thing
Yes, I dare to say that Keto Custard Apple Tart wins the original Tarte Normande. With all the respect I have for the French cuisine. In my opinion, the almond flour int his recipe does a lot more to the overall taste than the plain white flour. Apples and almonds are a match made in heaven! There are in fact versions of Tarte Normande that use almond meal and apples but not custard. But this very version of Keto Custard Apple Tart has it all: Almonds, “apples,” and vanilla custard.
Enjoy, and don’t forget: If you are a French dessert lover, leave a comment below. And do not hesitate to comment if you are trying out the recipe!
- 1 1/4 cup almond flour
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 7 Tbsp. butter cold, cut into pieces
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 1/2 Tbsp. water ice cold
- 3 medium chayotes
- 1 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup sweetener
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp. nutmeg ground
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup sweetener
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 oz. almonds blached and sliced
- 2 Tbsp. apple brandy Calvados optional
- Place almond flour and salt in a bowl of a food processor and pulse. Add cold butter, ice cold water, and egg yolk. Pulse until the mixture forms a uniform dough. If too dry, add small amounts of iced water, bit by bit.
- Remove the dough from the food processor, form a disc, and wrap in plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator for about 1 hour.
In the meantime, prepare the "apple" topping.
- Peel chayotes. If you've got prickly chayotes that are not young and soft anymore, wear some kitchen gloves to avoid pricking your hands. Slice the peeled chayotes like you would slice apples. No need to make the slices too thin.
- In a large pot, whisk together water, sweetener, lemon juice, and spices. Add in chayote slices and butter, and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, let sit and cool, and drain before using.
- I suggest making the custard just before use. Alternatively, make sure that sweetener doesn't sit at the bottom by stirring the custard thoroughly before use.
Using an electric mixer, whisk eggs and sweetener for 3-5 minutes until pale yellow and creamy. Add heavy cream, vanilla, and apple brandy (Calvados), and whisk thoroughly.
Assembling and baking
- Preheat the oven to 390°F (200°C). Lightly grease a 10-inch tart or pie pan.
Roll the dough out to about a 12-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Help yourself with plastic wrap placed between the dough and the roller.
Fold loosely into quarters, and center the point in the pan.
- Unfold dough and press into the bottom and up the sides. Don't stress if it falls apart - you can stick it together again. Prick with a fork all over and bake for 10 minutes until golden. Do not over bake.
- Bring the oven temperature down to 360°F (180°C).
When the dough is out of the oven, arrange chayote slices in concentric circles around the dough. Pour the custard over the chayote slices.
- Bake for 35 - 40 minutes. After 30 minutes of baking, top with toasted blanched and sliced almonds.
To make sure the tart is done baking, insert a toothpick into the custard. Also, if the middle is still obviously wobbly, the tart is most likely not ready.
The Keto Apple Custard Tart is best enjoyed warm. Sprinkle with cinnamon and … Bon Appétit!