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Apple Rose Tart with Maple Custard and Walnut Crust (Gluten Free)

Your guests will be wowed by this gorgeous apple tart of roses, with a toasty walnut crust and a silky sweet maple custard filling.  And it’s gluten-free!

Apple Walnut Rose Tart with Maple Custard | Baking a Moment

Do you guys know Hip Foodie Mom?  She’s one of my favoritest bloggers ever!

This week she is moving herself and her whole family alllllll the way from Seattle, Washington to Madison, Wisconsin.


Kind of a big deal.  Far.  And a whole different sort of scene.  Not to mention climate.

She’s kinda got her hands full right now, so I’ve been invited to fill in for the day!  Woot!

I’m totally psyched to be guest posting for Alice.  I made her this tart as a pseudo-housewarming gift.  It came out really pretty!

Apple Rose Tart with Walnut Crust & Maple Custard | Baking a Moment

And tasty!

And it’s gluten-free!

So hop on over to Hip Foodie Mom and check it out!  She’s got the recipe and lots more pretty pictures.  Say hi!  Tell her Allie sent you 😉

Update: Alice was kind enough to allow me to share the recipe with you here!  No extra clicking required!  Thanks a bunch, Alice!


Apple Rose Tart with Maple Custard and Walnut Crust (Gluten Free)

Your guests will be wowed by this gorgeous apple tart of roses, with a toasty walnut crust and a silky sweet maple custard filling. And it's gluten-free!

Yield: (1) 9-inch tart


For the Walnut Crust:

  • 2 ½ cups walnut pieces
  • 4 tablespoons (half a stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 egg white
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

For the Maple Custard:

  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • 6 egg yolks
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


For the Apple topping:

  • 2-4 fresh apples, quartered, cored, and sliced very thin (keep in lemon water until ready to use)
  • juice of 1 fresh lemon, added to a large bowl of cold water
  • ¼ cup honey (optional)


Make the Walnut Crust:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a food processor or chopper, pulse the walnuts until they are finely chopped, and the pieces are about the size of breadcrumbs.  Place the chopped nuts in a large bowl and add the remaining ingredients, tossing together with a fork.  
  3. Press the mixture evenly into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch tart pan.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Cool completely, then fill with Maple Custard and top with apples.  

Make the Maple Custard:

  1. Pour the milk into a small pot and place over medium heat until small bubbles form around the edges.  
  2. Whisk the egg yolks, maple syrup, cornstarch, and salt together in a bowl until combined.  Slowly pour the hot milk over the egg mixture, while whisking, to warm the eggs.  Transfer the mixture back to the pot and place over low heat.  Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture becomes very thick.  
  3. Turn off the heat, add the vanilla, and strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a heat safe bowl.  Place plastic wrap directly onto the surface and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Assemble the tart:

  1. Spread the maple custard in the walnut tart shell.  
  2. Warm the apple slices in the microwave until pliable.  Roll a slice of apple into a tight spiral and stand it up vertically in the custard.  Continue to arrange apple slices in a concentric pattern around the first one, building a rose pattern.  Repeat until the top of the tart is completely covered with apple roses.  
  3. Thin the honey slightly with a few drops of warm water, and brush over the apples, for shine (optional).

*Update: It has been brought to my attention that the idea for an Apple Rose Tart originates with the legendary French pastry Chef Alain Passard.  Here is a lovely little video that presents the history of the Apple Rose Tart in such a beautiful way.  I hope you enjoy:

The Best Blog Recipes

*This post was featured on The Best Blog Recipes’ Weekend Re-Treat Link Party*

  1. This is seriously stunning my friend!! I’ve been gushing all day long over it and can’t get over how beautiful those apple roses are. And the tart itself sounds so amazing….maple custard and walnut crust. Perfect combination!!

  2. This is simply STUNNING Allie! Those apple roses are perfect and look just like a beautiful bouquet of real flowers! It sounds incredibly delicious too with the walnut crust and maple custard! What a fantastic post and perfect pseudo-housewarming gift 🙂

  3. This rose custard is lovely! I saw this on foodgawker and had to click on it! I love the fact it is gluten free. I am going to make this with my own almond flour crust. Your photos are inspiring. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Thank you, Ester, for the great compliment! I’m inspired every day by what I see on sites like Foodgawker; it’s nice to know I can return the favor every once in a while. Thanks for popping over and good luck with your tart! 🙂

  4. This is absolutely the most beautiful apple tart I have ever seen! I am allergic to walnuts but I can eat pecans and or hazelnuts, I am from Italy and we use a simple vanilla custard but the idea of maple sounds wonderful.

    I am glint to try creating a variation and posting to my food blog, I will credit you for the original version and also include links to your recipe and blog.

    Thank you for such a wonderful idea for the fall and holiday season.

  5. This tart is absolutely gorgeous. I would almost hate to cut into it as I wouldn’t want to mess it up, but I’m sure it tastes as great as it looks!

  6. Hi! Such a gorgeous tart!!! I bought all the ingredients and I’m about to make it but….do you not have to bake the custard? I saw in the original custard recipe she baked the custard so I just wanted to make sure if it was supposed to be baked after being poured into the crust or not! Sorry never made custard before!! 🙂

    1. Hi Amanda! That is a great question, I actually adapted the original custard recipe so that it would not need to be baked, because the crust would burn in the amount of time it would take for the custard to set in the oven. Instead, the custard is cooked on the stovetop. Just cook it gently and temper the eggs, so they don’t scramble, and then strain and cool it in the fridge. Good luck and let me know if you have any questions!

  7. Is it supposed to be liqudy when I pour into the crust??? I’m guessing not because how would the apples stand up?? What did I do wrong??? 🙁

    1. No, it’s not meant to be liquidy. I’m not quite sure what went wrong for you, dear. Did you chill the custard in the fridge before putting it in the crust? Did you maybe not cook it long enough on the stove? It should be pretty well thickened on the stove, but it will thicken even more as it cools. Mine was about the consistency of pudding.

      1. Ya it wasn’t that thick when I took it off tr stove.. Thankfully I was able to put it back on the stove an thicken it some more! Turned out great!!! I couldnt get The Apple slices to wrap as tightly as yours without snapping even though I used the thinnest setting of a mandolin and microwaved them lol but maybe the Type of apple matters? I used red delicious. Anyway still came our great Thank you 🙂

        1. Oh well I’m glad the custard worked out after all! I snapped a lot of apple slices in the process too. It took me some time to get the hang of it. I found that if the apple slices were too stiff I could nuke them for another few seconds to find the sweet spot. But some of them also got overcooked, and just fell apart. Kind of a fussy process but the result is definitely a stunner! I’m so happy it worked well for you. Thanks for reading, Amanda!

          1. As a longtime baker but firsttime custard maker, I was very close to the same thing happening. I took mine off the heat when it covered the back of the spoon and had gotten comparatively thicker, but it turns out that that happens pretty early in the heating process, way before it has turned into a pudding-like consistency. Glad I saw this thread and response, so I put it back on the heat and it’s now cooling in my fridge. That back-of-the-spoon thing just threw me!

        1. Hi Britni! Thank you so much for the feature! I’ll pop over to have a look, but unfortunately I don’t have anything to link this week. I’ve been a bit under the weather 🙁 Thanks for stopping by to let me know about the feature, and hopefully next week I’ll have something yummy to link.

    1. Wow, thanks, Ashley! It’s so great to hear that. When my face was 6 inches from it and I was fumbling through I was thinking it looked kinda messy. I guess sometimes you just have to step back and get the overall impression. Thanks so much for reading and for the sweet compliment!

  8. Allie, what an absolute stunner! And I loved watching that little video. So amazing! I can’t wait to show this to my husband (he’s the pie/tart maker in our house). I don’t think he’ll need much convincing to make this for Thanksgiving 🙂

    1. Thanks so much Amy! Your hubby sounds like a real pro in the kitchen. I remember you saying he’s good with meringue too. I’m impressed! Isn’t it great being married to a foodie? 😉 Thanks for the sweet comment and hope you’re enjoying your day!

    1. Hi Andie! I have to admit I did not slice it; I ended up giving it to my neighbor. I always have way too many sweets around the house so sometimes it’s good to just give things away! But, I would think it’d probably be best to try to kinda maneuver the knife between the roses, if possible. Just because the apples are obviously going to be firmer in texture than the custard underneath. Good luck and thanks for reading!

  9. Hi there! I’m inspired and I’m going to make this tomorrow. I just had a few questions for you.

    1. How far in advance do you think it’s ok to make this and still have the apples stay edible? I was planning on making it about 24 hours ahead and storing it in the fridge.

    2. Do you think it’s necessary to store it in something airtight?

    3 . Is it important that this tart remain cold constantly until it’s served?

    Thanks so much!

    1. Good Morning Sandy! Thanks so much for reading and I’m so happy to have inspired you! I think the apples should be ok for 24 hours. I gave my tart away several hours after taking the pics, and it never did get brown. Probably because I took the time to soak the apple slices in lemony water, I’m guessing. But if you’re in doubt, I’m sure that glaze would probably help keep it fresher looking. I always like to wrap things before putting them in the fridge, just because of odors and stuff, but in this case, you probably wouldn’t want to wrap it too tight and squoosh the apples roses! And finally, I think the tart would taste best if served cold, just because of that custard, but if there’s not room in the fridge right up until the very second you serve it, I’m sure it would be ok. Just watch and make sure the custard isn’t looking runny, sometimes it starts to get like that if it gets warm. Good luck and have lots of fun with it! 😀

  10. I made this following all the directions. After 48 hours, my filling had still not set. The custard had almost no flavor and was just a rich creamy kind of maple flavored custard. The crust turned out the best, but next time would add a combo of nuts or add some other type of crust to reduce the intense walnut flavor. Still don’t know why my custard didn’t ever set, anyone have any ideas?

    1. Hi Dklock! I’m so sorry you had difficulty. Custards can be tricky and if you take a moment to read some of the other comments on this post, you will see that you are not the only one who had trouble initially. I told many of my other readers that if they cooked the custard longer it would thicken up. I’m certain that is the culprit, as it solved the problem perfectly for other commenters. Do take a glance over to check out my advice to them and learn from their experience. As for the flavor, it is not meant to be aggressively flavored, but rather a rich and creamy kind of maple flavored custard. If you are looking for a bolder flavor, you could always supplement with a drop or two of maple extract, or try using a lower-grade (less refined) maple syrup. As for the crust, I’ve tried it with all sorts of nuts and it works beautifully! Thanks so much for reading and I hope you’ll have better luck with the custard next time around.

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  14. Just tried to make this for Valentine’s day. . . Love the crust, love the custard, but I’m curious what kind of apples you used. I tried McIntosh and there was no way after soaking in the lemon water they were going to do anything but fall apart. I ended up just chopping them up and sprinkling some brown sugar over the top. it was delicious, just not as pretty. I also made the custard in the microwave and it worked great!

    1. Hey Sally! I’m so sorry you had trouble with the tart! It sounds like you may have missed step #2 under “Assemble the tart.” You need to microwave the apple slices until warm and pliable. I’ve made the tart more than once, with different varieties of apple depending upon the season, and it’s really everything to do with the slices being thin, warm, and pliable. I hope that helps! Thanks so much for reading and I hope you have better luck next time!

  15. I don’t know if this has been addressed here, but has anyone tried to make a custard with a non dairy product such as almond milk or coconut milk? My granddaughter’s name is Rose and I would love to make this for her but she is allergic to milk and dairy products. I can sub for the butter in the crust, but wonder how the custard would turn out with a non dairy milk? I guess I won’t know until I try. Maybe coconut milk in the can, which has more fat in it?

  16. Has anyone tried to make a custard with a non dairy “milk” such as almond or coconut? My granddaughter is allergic to milk and I would love to make this for her. Maybe the coconut milk in the can which has more fat in it? I guess I won’t know until I try. Any thought?

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