Caramelised Apple, Brandy and Almond Portuguese Tart

Walk into any trendy gourmet bakery and it’s clear that Portuguese tarts are very much en-vogue these days. Generally the custard is flavoured with vanilla and perhaps a little orange zest. This recipe adds a sophisticated twist on the classic by using another Portuguese favourite: almond custard. Apples, gooey caramel and brandy seal the deal… and why on earth not.


For the Caramelised apples

  • 4 x crisp apples (cored, peeled and chopped into slim wedges)
  • 25g x Butter
  • 5 x tablespoons caster sugar
  • 1 x teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 x handful chopped almonds (toasted)
  • 1 x big glug of brandy
  • Pinch of salt

For the custard

  • 125 g caster sugar
  • 3 x egg yolks
  • 100ml milk and 400 ml double cream mixed
  • 2 x teaspoons almond extract
  • 1 x tablespoon corn flour


  • Shop bought All-butter puff pastry



  • Melt butter in a pan with 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • Stir in the apples and cook on a moderate heat until the sugar just begins to caramelise
  • Add the rest of the sugar and continue to simmer until the sugar is turned to caramel and the apples are translucent and sticky.
  • Splash in the almond extract and brandy the caramel will loosen. Continue cooking until it is thickens again.
  • Add the toasted almonds to the mix.
  • Pick out 3 slices of the apple per tart for decoration, and retain the rest for the tarts gooey core.


  • Combine egg yolks, sugar and corn flour and whisk until a creamy paste forms
  • Heat the mix in a pan over a low heat whisking constantly, the paste should loosen slightly
  • Add the cream and milk in a constant steady stream, whisking the whole time
  • Add the almond extract at this point
  • Turn the heat up, allow to boil and then remove from heat. It should now be thick and creamy.
  • Allow to cool and thicken further

The Pastry

  • Roll out pre bought puff pastry
  • Cut out circles of pastry and press to the edges of greased and floured muffin baking trays

The filling

  • Place a teaspoon full of the apple, brandy, almond caramel in the bottom centre of each individual pastry case
  • fill to the top with almond custard

To cook

  • About 20 minutes in a preheated oven at 180 degrees

To garnish

  • See photo, slices of caramelised apples and toasted almond