This tart is my twist on what I find is the perpetually disappointing fresh fruit tart. I am always tempted by the beautiful fruit and pastry cream but it is almost always bland with huge pieces of strawberry that are impossible to eat with out making a mess of the tart. My version uses a rustic pecan crust and small tender apples lightly spiced. My pastry cream is rich with dark rum and lightened with a bit of sour cream to give it some balance. The crust recipe is for a larger tart pan (10+ inches ) so if you are using a smaller pan you won't need all the dough. —meganvt01
For the crust - preheat oven to 375. In a food processor grind pecans to a coarse crumb. Add flour, salt, and sugar. Mix. Add butter and mix to a coarse meal. Add ice water to moisten.
Take dough and wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 mins. Then roll out and press into tart shell. The dough will be fairly sticky so you may need extra flour to handle it. Prick holes in the dough and bake until toasty brown - 15 to 20 mins. Let cool on a rack.
Meanwhile for the apples - cook the apple, butter, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and pinch of salt in a wide skillet over medium low heat. Cover and cook until apples are just tender but not mushy 10-15 mins. Let cool.
For the pastry cream - put the egg yolk, flour, cornstarch and sugar in a bowl and blend with a mixer for 2 minutes until thick and light yellow. Meanwhile place the milk and vanilla bean in a saucepan over medium heat. Let simmer carefully making sure not to let the milk scald. When the milk is hot remove the vanilla bean and carefully add some of the milk to the egg mixture stirring to combine. When about 1/2 cup of the milk is incorporated into the eggs and the eggs to the saucepan and return to medium low heat. Whisk constantly until thickened - about 4-5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add rum and sour cream. Cool.
To assemble tart - put the chilled pastry cream in a cool crust and top with apples. Chill.