French Apple Tart

This is one of my favorite desserts to make because it looks so fancy, and yet it takes no artistic skill whatsoever.  My cakes always come out a little lopsided, but this tart looks beautiful no matter what!  It just takes some patience to cut and arrange a whole bunch of little thin apple slices. (And really, those apples didn’t taste as burnt as they look).  It was a great Thanksgiving dessert – a nice change from the usual apple pie.  

(Adapted from Baking with Julia, seen at Once Upon a Cakestand)

Tart shell
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, cut in small pieces
about 1/4 cup ice water

Stir together flour and salt.

Cut butter into small pieces and add to flour mixture.  
Using a pastry blender, mix the flour and butter until it is in small crumbs.
Stir in half the water gently, mixing just until a dough forms.  Add the remaining water only if needed. 
Pat into a disk and refrigerate.

2 pounds Golden Delicious apples
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon flour
a large pinch of cinnamon
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
juice of one lemon

Peel and core the apples.  Cut into thin slices.

Put in a large saucepan and drizzle with lemon juice. 
Add sugar, flour, cinnamon and breadcrumbs. 
Add a tablespoon of water and put on medium heat. 
Cook, stirring occasionally, until apples are easy to mash with a potato masher.
Mash apples until nearly smooth.
Preheat the oven to 400 F.  
Roll the tart dough out to 1/8″ thickness and press into a 9″ tart pan.  Line with parchment and pie weights and bake for about 20 minutes, or until edges are golden brown.
Remover from the oven and turn the heat down to 375 F.
When the tart shell is cool, spoon the apple puree into it and smooth evenly.
2 Granny Smith apples 
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1-2 tablespoons of butter, melted
1 tablespoon of sugar

Peel and core the apples and finely slice them.

Drizzle lemon juice over them to prevent them from browning. 
Arrange the apples in a circle over the purée. The slices should overlap each other slightly.  
Cut a round piece from one slice to go in the center.
Once all the apple slices are arranged, brush with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake the tart for about 30 minutes. When the edges of the apples have started to brown, take it out of the oven and transfer to a cooling rack.

14 Responses to “French Apple Tart”

  1. 1 Melissa December 3, 2008 at 2:20 pm

    How beautiful! I have never made a tart yet. This one looks so impressive.

  2. 2 Katie December 3, 2008 at 2:25 pm

    I have been dying to make one of these lately. This is SO gorgeous!

  3. 4 Lisa December 3, 2008 at 5:16 pm

    It looks like it belongs in a fancy French bakery window display! Awesome job.

  4. 5 Maria December 3, 2008 at 5:24 pm

    I prefer tarts over pie any day! This tart is gorgeous!

  5. 6 Colleen December 3, 2008 at 6:21 pm

    Well, even if you think it takes no artistic skill, it still takes patience and attention to detail! It looks beautiful!

  6. 7 KMAYS December 3, 2008 at 7:07 pm

    That is so pretty and fancy-looking. What an impressive dessert!

  7. 8 That Girl December 3, 2008 at 7:36 pm

    You give yourself too little credit – this is beautiful because of you, it’s not a given.

  8. 9 emdot December 3, 2008 at 8:57 pm

    oh my gosh — this is beautiful! really gorgeous. 🙂

  9. 10 Maryanna December 4, 2008 at 2:42 am

    That is beautiful!!!

  10. 11 Joelen December 4, 2008 at 5:40 pm

    Stunning. Seriously, with the patience involved in making such a tart, that’s *almost* too pretty to eat!

  11. 12 melissa December 6, 2008 at 3:52 am

    my tart didn’t look as nice as yours, but i had the same idea for thanksgiving. it looked so impressive yet wasn’t very hard to make!

    yours looks so yummy!

  12. 13 The Lazy Housewife December 8, 2008 at 4:23 am

    Sooo pretty…takes a lot of patience to make something like that! Looks great!

  13. 14 Vera December 13, 2008 at 7:23 am

    Cate, this is also one of my favorite desserts! Your tart looks beautiful!

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