Thursday, February 28, 2013

Quick And Easy French Apple Tart

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An apple tart is the perfect dessert to serve when time is of the essence.  That is why I always keep a box of puff pastry in the freezer.  In this case I don't think it's a big deal if you make the pastry or buy it and it can make a big difference when it comes to time. Just stretch it out to a 10 x 14 rectangle or use only three apples and make the rectangle slightly smaller, like I did.
Although Granny Smith's apples have less juice and are the perfect variety for a tart, I found that the Gala I had on hand worked out just as well.  Beware though, the butter and sugar will start to burn and create a lot of smoke in your oven but don't despair.  What I did was remove the smokey pan from the oven and slid the tart into a clean pan and continue cooking.   Use two spatulas to make it easier. 
Don't go out and spend a lot of money on Calvados.  It won't make that much of a difference.  Substitute rum, Marsala or Madeira.  The end result will be the same.  
We ate most of the tart before I realized I had not taken a photo.  By that time I was a bit tipsy, hence the poor photo. 


French Apple Tart


For the pastry:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 12 tablespoons (11/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 1/2 cup ice water
  • OR 1 sheet Puff Pastry
For the apples:

  • 4 Granny Smith apples (I used Gala)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, small diced
  • 1/2 cup apricot jelly or warm sieved apricot jam
  • 2 tablespoons Calvados, rum, or water ( I used Marsala)


For the pastry, place the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse for a few seconds to combine. Add the butter and pulse 10 to 12 times, until the butter is in small bits the size of peas. With the motor running, pour the ice water down the feed tube and pulse just until the dough starts to come together. Dump onto a floured board and knead quickly into a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

If you are using ready made puff pastry start here:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

Roll the dough slightly larger than 10 by 14-inches. Using a ruler and a small knife, trim the edges.

Place the dough on the prepared sheet pan and refrigerate while you prepare the apples.

Peel the apples and cut them in half through the stem. Remove the stems and cores with a sharp knife and a melon baler. Slice the apples crosswise in 1/4-inch thick slices.

Place overlapping slices of apples diagonally down the middle of the tart and continue making diagonal rows on both sides of the first row until the pastry is covered with apple slices. (Don't use the apple ends in order to make the arrangement prettier)

Sprinkle with the full 1/2 cup of sugar and dot with the butter.

Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the pastry is browned and the edges of the apples start to brown.

Rotate the pan once during cooking. If the pastry puffs up in one area, cut a little slit with a knife to let the air out. Don't worry! The apple juices will burn in the pan but the tart will be fine!

When the tart's done, heat the apricot jelly together with the Calvados or other and brush the apples and the pastry completely with the jelly mixture. Loosen the tart with a metal spatula so it doesn't stick to the paper. Allow to cool and serve warm or at room temperature.

Serves 4

Adapted from Barefoot Contessa
Photo Lindaraxa


  1. Mmmmmm... Looks delicious! I can almost smell the scent of it baking. I am inspired to order a piece when I am in Paris in two weeks, where I shall be spending a week on holiday! Thank you for helping me get in the spirit of it. Reggie

  2. Cool. Hopefully by the time you are back I will be coming to Ny and we can have one together!

  3. Well, then, consider that a plan! Orsay has a delicious Tarte Tartin I believe. Also one of the best steak tartares in the city. It's where we met your pal Juan for dinner. Shall we meet there, too?

    1. It's a date!...but no steak tartare for me. I hear you had oysters, yum!


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