Peanut Butter Custard & Apple Tart

Apple + Pie - Check.
Ginger + Apple - Check.
Apple slices + Peanut butter - Check.

Why, oh why, aren't apple-peanut butter desserts a fall staple?

Seriously. Apple pie is great and all, but to be honest, I don't really gravitate toward apple desserts. I'm fairly peanut butter obsessed, though, and it recently struck me that while we all have dipped apple slices in peanut butter with abandon, you just don't see that combo taken past a childhood snack.

Well, I'm setting out to change that. Join me, won't you?

You could use a standard pastry pie crust, or a graham cracker crust, but I had the majority of a box of ginger snaps in my pantry, and their spicy-sweet flavor complemented the apple and peanut butter custard quite well.

Peanut Butter Custard & Apple Tart

2 cups gingersnap cookies, crushed
5 Tbsp butter, divided
3/4 cup sugar
2-1/2 Tbsp cup cornstarch
1 Tbsp all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
3 cups milk
3 egg yolks, beaten
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 apple, sliced thin
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350F.

Make crust: Combine crushed gingersnaps (pulse them in a food processor for quick work) with 4 Tbsp of melted butter. Press into a greased tart pan. You can use a 9" round pan; I used a 4.5"x14" rectangle here.

Bake crust for 10 minutes, remove from oven, and cool to room temperature.

Make custard: In a large saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch, flour and salt. Stir in milk until smooth.

Cook and stir over medium-high heat until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat; cook and stir 2 minutes, then remove from heat.

Stir a small amount (1/2 cup or so) of hot mixture into beaten egg yolks; return all to pan, stirring constantly.

Bring to a gentle boil; cook and stir 2 minutes, then remove from heat.

Heat peanut butter in microwave for 30 seconds or until warm and slightly thinned; mix into custard until smooth.

Pour custard into crust and smooth top.

Melt remaining 1 Tbsp butter in a medium skillet. Add sliced apple and brown sugar; sautee for 3-4 minutes until apples are slightly soft.

Carefully (I used tongs) arrange apple slices on top of peanut butter custard. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

Refrigerate for an hour or until completely set. Serve with whipped cream and caramel sauce, if desired!