The French apple tart is one of the first tarts we made in culinary school and I still follow much of the recipe I learned at The French Culinary Institute with only a few minor tweaks here and there. This tart is a staple in pastry kitchens around the world and everyone has their variation on the theme. This recipe has been simplified down to the most basic list of ingredients, it has wonderful complexity and depth of flavor. 10 apples go into this mouthwatering French Apple Tart. Simply flavored with only vanilla, sugar and apricot glaze
But be forewarned, this French Apple Tart recipe is not for the faint of heart. Lol, it’s very pretty, extraordinarily delicious and worth the effort. The recipes themselves aren’t difficult, the assembly is where things get tricky. Don’t freak out, it tastes great no matter what it looks like!
This is the French Apple Tart recipe:
French Apple Tart
- 11" Tart Pan
- 10-14 Golden Delicious Apples Depend on the size and shape. 700 grams for the filling, 4-6 for the decorative slices on top
- 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
- 1/4 Cup Water
- 1/2 Lemon Juice only
- 1 Vanilla Bean Split lengthwise and scraped
- 3 Tablespoons Apricot Jam
- 3 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
- Follow instructions from the pâte sucrée recipe (see blog for recipe)
- Refrigerate tart shell for 30 minutes until firm.
- Cut off both ends of the apples, peel, and core.
- Peel, core and chop the first six apples (700 grams to be exact) into ½ inch cubes, add ½ cup water, juice from the lemon, ½ cup sugar and vanilla bean to a pot and cook over high heat, stirring frequently, until liquid is almost completely evaporated and apples are soft but still hold their shape.
- Remove apples from heat and spread evenly on a sheet pan to cool.
- Peel, core and cut the remaining apples in half, then slice into 1/8 inch slices. Take time to make the slices as evenly and identical as possible, these slices are the ‘wow’ factor, so no pressure. 🙂
- Place the cooled apple compote mixture into the tart shell, spreading evenly to fill in every gap.
- Arrange the sliced apples evenly around outside edge, making sure to cover the cut edges and core of the slice before it. It takes a little practice so try it on the cutting board first, it’s more or less like playing with a deck of cards, just lay one over the other. If you’re right-handed it’s easier to go counterclockwise and left-handed people go clockwise.
- When you make the complete circle and get back to the start, simply tuck the last slice under the first slice. This way you can’t tell where you started or finished.
- Repeat the procedure for the next ring of apple slices, overlapping the first ring, repeat procedure to the center, and fill in the center with any scrap pieces of apples. The angle that you lay the apples down will increase with every ring. See pictures.
- Melt 2 tablespoons of butter and brush the butter over the apple slices, sprinkle the remaining sugar evenly over the apple slices.
- Bake at 350F for about 1 hour, until crust is golden brown and the apple slices are tender and browned on the edges.
- Remove from oven and let cool.
- Mix apricot jam with a 1 tablespoon of water, heat slightly and mix thoroughly, if the mixture has pieces of fruit in it, strain the mixture through a mesh strainer.
- Brush the top of tart with Apricot mixture.