A Fall Favorite: Apple Tart

Posted by on Oct 25, 2013 in Farm Blog, Farm Recipes | 18 comments

As much as I love spring peas, and summer tomatoes, nothing really compares with the warm, rich flavors, and aromas, of fall. When it comes to the kitchen, fall is most definitely my favorite time of year, as the chilly autumn months herald the arrival of peak apple season!

Fresh baked apple tart

Fresh baked apple tart

It’s the season to cozy up by the fire with mugs of steaming hot fresh apple cider, or warm slices of fresh, sweet apple pie, or in this case, apple tart! The more crisp, fresh, and sweet the fruit, the better, and apples are never better than they are at this time of year, especially when picked straight from the tree.  Don’t worry though, you don’t need your own apple tree to make this delicious dessert. Most farmer’s markets are brimming with a wide variety of sweet, and flavorful apples at this time of year.

This tart recipe is very similar to the pluot tart we posted recently. It’s not very challenging to make, elegant enough in appearance to serve to even the pickiest of guests, and most importantly, this tart is simply delicious!

Yield: 8 Servings


The Pâte Brisée

1-1/2 Cups Unbleached All Purpose Flour
1/4 Tsp Salt
1-1/2 Tsp Granulated Sugar
10 Tbsp Cold Unsalted Butter, cut into 1/2 cubes
1/3 Cup Ice-Cold Water

The Frangipane

3/4 Cup Whole Almonds
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 Large Egg
1/2 Tsp Pure Almond Extract
1 Tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
2 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, Melted

The Fruit

4-5 Firm Red-skinned Apples (Cortland, Gala, Winesap, etc.)
Juice of 1 Lemon
2 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, melted
2 Tbsp Granulated Sugar

The Glaze

Reserved peels from the apples
1/2 Vanilla bean
1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
1/2 Cup Water


Food Processor, with cutting blade
9-1/2 x 1″ round tart pan with removable bottom
Pastry Brush
Preheat the Oven to 400F.

Pâte Brisée (Pastry)

Put the flour, salt, sugar, and cubed butter into the food processor fitted with the metal cutting blade.

This tart begins with a crisp, buttery crust

This tart begins with a crisp, buttery crust

Process for five 1-second pulses to evenly distribute the butter through the flour.

Add the ice-cold water, and pulse for an additional 10-12 seconds, just until the dough begins to come to together. Turn the dough out into a medium bowl, shape into a ball, and wrap tightly with plastic wrap.

It's important to chill the dough for 15-20 minutes before rolling

Don’t skip the chilling step!

Refrigerate the dough for at least 20 minutes before rolling.

On a floured board, roll out the dough into a 12-13 inch circle, and transfer to the tart pan. Press the dough gently into the bottom and sides of the pan, without stretching the dough, and lightly dock the surface.

To trim the pastry, lay the dough over the tart pan edges, and quickly trim the excess with one swipe of your rolling pin.

Trim the dough with your rolling pin

Trim the dough with your rolling pin

Place the pastry-lined tart pan on a small baking sheet, and set in the refrigerator to chill the dough for at least 15 minutes, while you prepare the fruit and frangipane.

Prepare the Frangipane

Place the whole almonds, and sugar, into the food processor, and grind to a fine powder. Add the eggs, almond and vanilla extracts, and melted butter, and blend until smooth.

Spoon the frangipane into the prepared shell, and smooth with a spoon or spatula.

The frangipane is a little thick. Just work it slowly out to the edges of the tart shell

The frangipane is a little thick. Just work it slowly out to the edges of the tart shell

Set the tart shell, with the frangipane, in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes while you prepare the fruit.

Prepare the Fruit

Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon into a large bowl filled with cold water, and stir briefly. Set aside.

Rinse and dry the apples. For perfect, even slices, I prefer to use a traditional apple peeler-corer-slicer. (The apples can be peeled, cored, and sliced thinly by hand).

If you don't own one of these peeler-corer-slicer gizmos, I highly recommend them if you make a lot of apple tarts or pies

If you don’t own one of these peeler-corer-slicer gizmos, I highly recommend them if you make a lot of apple tarts or pies

As each apple is sliced, place it in the lemon water to prevent browning, and reserve the apple skins for the glaze (instructions below).

Remove the tart shell from the refrigerator. If you used the apple peeler, and the apples are still ‘whole’, take an apple from the lemon water, dab it dry with a kitchen, or paper, towel, and slice in half from the stem to the blossom end.

Slice the apples in half, and discard the end slice or two

Slice the apples in half, and discard the end slice or two

Discard one or two slices from the ends of each half as they’re usually too small for arranging on the tart.

With the tart shell in front of you, arrange the apple slices on the surface of the frangipane, starting along the outside edge of the tart at the 9 O’clock position, and working clockwise. Be sure the cored side of each slice is facing away from you. Fan the slices, slightly overlapping the previous slice, so the cored section of the slice underneath is no longer visible.

Arrange the apple slices so the core section is covered by the next slice

Arrange the apple slices so the core section is covered by the next slice

For the center of the tart, either arrange smaller slices in concentric circles, or simply take one sliced half of an apple to fill the center.

When finished, the tart should look similar to this

When finished, the tart should look similar to this

Brush the surface of the tart with the remaining 2 Tbsp of melted butter, and sprinkle with 2 Tbsp of sugar. If your fruit is very sweet you can decrease the sugar to 1 tablespoon.

Position the tart on small baking sheet, and bake in the center of a 400 F oven for 50-60 minutes, or until the pastry has browned. Rotate once during baking to ensure even cooking.

Prepare The Vanilla-Infused Glaze

While the tart is baking, in a small saucepan add the reserved apple skins, 1/2 cup of sugar, 1/2 cup of water. Split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise, and scrape the seeds in to the pan, and add the pod.

Apple skins, sugar, water, and vanilla

Apple skins, sugar, water, and vanilla

Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and allow to stand for 10-15 minutes. Pour into a medium bowl through a mesh sieve, pressing the skins with the back of a spoon, and then return the syrup to the pan.  Boil the remaining syrup over medium-high heat until the syrup is reduced to approximately 1/4 cup.

The syrup will reduce quickly, so don't step away from the stove!

The syrup will reduce quickly, so don’t step away from the stove!

Reduce the glaze until thickened, and reddish-pink in color

Reduce the glaze until thickened, and reddish-pink in color

When the tart has finished baking, set aside on a rack to cool for 5 minutes, then brush the surface of the tart with the vanilla-infused syrup.

Allow the tart to cool for a few minutes before brushing with the glaze

Allow the tart to cool for a few minutes before brushing with the glaze

Serve the tart either slightly warm, or at room temperature, with a little homemade vanilla ice cream, or lightly sweetened cream. It’s unlikely there will be any leftovers to worry about, but if there are, refrigerate them for up to 2 days. Enjoy!


  1. Clare this looks insanely good, especially with the use of fraginpane. I have one apple tart recipe that calls for an almond meringue on top, just in case this lily needs more gilding.
    Tom | Tall Clover Farm´s last post…A Foggy Day in Vashon Town

    • Interesting, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a pomme fruit tart with meringue, but now I’m intrigued! 😉

      • Clare, I made this tart, and holy moly is it good, though if I keep eating it, I will change that to “was” good. I have no restraint with great desserts. Thanks for sharing the recipe! I used Bramleys Seedling apples. Great apple, recommend it for your orchard.
        Tom | Tall Clover Farm´s last post…Quince Chutney: Condiment with a Kick

        • Glad you enjoy it, Tom! I love Bramley’s. Those were the apples I grew up with as “cooking apples”. A little tart in hand, but fabulous in anything baked. They also make fabulous apple sauce! I have a small tree I grafted, but it will be a while before it sets much fruit 😉

  2. Oh, my goodness! This looks so good – it is so beautiful. And it looks yummy, too! I never knew how to make those edges, either. What a great tip! I bet it makes the whole house smell delicious.
    Holleygarden´s last post…That’s What It’s All About!

    • That’s what I love about these French tart pans, they’re so easy to use. A quick swipe of your rolling pin, and the crust is trimmed perfectly. No fussing around with knives or kitchen shears, and no fancy dough-folding either! 😀

  3. Clare that is one of the most delicious desserts I have seen…I can only imagine it warm and tasty oh so incredible.
    [email protected] Eye View´s last post…Attracting Native Pollinators

    • It was very tasty! The challenge is resisting the urge to make another…but with the buttery crust, moderation is important 😉

  4. I have nominated you for the Sunshine Award! Go to my latest post if you would like to accept the award and then follow the steps to pass it on to others. http://urbanoveralls.net/2013/10/28/sunshine-award/

    • Thank you so much for the shout-out, Connie 🙂 Now I feel extra guilty for not blogging as regularly lately! That’s the trouble with having even a tiny farm…the days simply aren’t long enough. I hope to get back to a regular blogging schedule once the rains return!

  5. How delicious! I am going to make this !!! I love your photographic recipe – it helps so much!

    • I’m glad it helps, Barbie. When I’m learning a recipe for the first time, I find that pictorial step-by-step instructions can be immensely helpful. It also gives me the confidence that the recipe actually worked for someone too! 😛

  6. In all my years of baking I’ve never even thought of using the apple skins to flavor the glaze. Yum… I’m going to try this! So glad to find you again. I lost my favs when google reader died. I always enjoy visiting here.
    Carolyn @ This Grandmother’s Garden´s last post…An Old Witch Lives Here

    • Glad to see you back Carolyn. I’ve had the same problem between Blotanical woes, and Google reader getting axed!

      Personally, I’m not a fan of using red currant jellies, or apricot jams, to make a glaze for fruit tarts, especially apple, or pear tarts. Sometimes I find jam/jelly-based glazes to be too much, and they take away from the flavor of the fruit. This glaze is much lighter, and not gloppy at all, with just a hint of sweet vanilla. Although you could make this tart with a green apple, like a Granny Smith, the glaze is part of why I recommend using red apples. I love that as the skins steep in the simple syrup, that they add just a touch of color to the glaze too 🙂

  7. You’re right Clare, there’s something about this time of year and the food. I love my warm kitchen on crisp days like this, the smell of baking and cooking. Sadly, no apples this year as a late frost killed our blooms but I’m virtually enjoying your tart 🙂
    Marguerite´s last post…Vegetable Garden Review 2013

    • I’m sorry Jack Frost had such poor timing. Here, sometimes we get unexpected heavy late rains, right as the trees are in peak bloom. It really does knock back production, but until we learn how to control the weather, it just makes us appreciate the good years all the more. Now, if only I could make it rain! Been almost 11 months here since we had any significant rainfall 🙁

  8. Ummmm, frangipane.. I didn’t know what that was until your description, but I know I like it! I keep ground almond ‘flour’ at Trader Joe’s on hand for Oatmeal-applesauce muffins and could easily adapt your recipe with it. Yum,..baked Fall apples!
    Sue Langley´s last post…House of many colors

    • I expect, if your almond flour isn’t ground too fine, it might work. When you grind whole almonds and sugar together though it makes a stiff paste. Then the addition of the egg helps the paste be more spreadable. If you try it with the almond flour, would love to hear how it turns out 🙂