A French apple tart is hands down one of the most comforting fall desserts. Softened apples that pack a punch, a sweet creamy filling topped with cinnamon, a buttery flaky tart crust, nothing beats it!
For the tart dough:
- 185g all-purpose flour (1 ¼ cup)
- 90g cold butter, cubed (3 oz)
- 1 egg yolk
- 80ml cold water (⅓ cup), you might need to use slightly more or less
For the French apple tart filling:
- 5 granny smith apples
- 70g caster sugar (⅓ cup)
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 180ml milk (¾ cup)
- 60ml heavy cream (¼ cup)
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon, or more according to taste
To make the tart crust:
- Place the flour in a mixing bowl. Add the cubed butter and rub it in lightly with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. It might take up to 6 min to get this result.
- Add the egg yolk and ¾ of the water and stir. Add the rest of the water and more if needed to gather the flour eventually left in the mixing bowl.
- When the dough mostly sticks together gently press it into a smooth ball and flatten it slightly into a disk. Wrap the pastry with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for 30 min. Butter a 26cm (10 ¼ in) tart pan.
- Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface with a floured rolling pin into a round slightly bigger than the pan. If the dough becomes soft and sticky as you roll, add a bit more flour under the pastry and on the rolling pin.
- Fold the dough in half and then fold it one more time. Pick it up and brush off any excess flour. Line the pan with the rolled pastry and ease the dough across the bottom and up the sides of the pan with your fingers. Leave a little excess pastry hanging over the edge.
- Fold the excess pastry over into the pan to make double-thick walls. Press the pastry along the seam and fluted sides of the pan with your index fingers side by side.
- If the sides are uneven, use a small sharp knife to trim away the sides of the pastry to even them. Gather the trimmings into a small, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate. You might need it to patch up the tart crust later on.
- Place the pan in the freezer for 40 min. Getting your pastry really cold will stop it from shrinking while baking.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C (390°F). Cover the pan entirely with baking parchment (I had to use 2 sheets) and fill the pan with baking beans or uncooked rice/lentils.
- Bake blind for 15 min, then remove the weights and parchment paper. Patch any cracks or holes in the tart crust with the reserved dough. Return the tart crust to the oven for 5 min.
To make the French apple tart filling:
- While the tart crust bakes you can get on with your filling! Peel and quarter the apples. To do that, simply cut them from top to bottom and then cut each half lengthwise. Core them.
- Score the top of the quartered apples several times lengthwise but don’t cut all the way through. Arrange the apples scored side up, slightly overlapping each other, in two concentric outer and inner circles.
- Bake for 15 min and in the meantime prepare the cream filling. Beat the sugar and egg together for 1 min, until light and fluffy. Then stir in the extract, salt, milk and cream. Beat until fully incorporated and pour into a jug.
- After the 15 minutes have passed, open up the oven door, pull out the rack part-way and pour the cream all over the fruits. Continue baking for 25 to 30 min. The edges of the tart crust and the apples should be golden brown. The cream should have risen around the fruits and be brown in places.
- Serve the tart at room temperature with ground cinnamon on top.
French apple tart is best the day it’s made, but it will keep wrapped airtight, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. The tart’s bottom will get soggier over time because of the juice from the apples.
I love it cold but you can reheat it before serving in an oven preheated at 160°C (320°F) until warmed through, about 10 min.
- Serving Size: 1 slice
- Calories: 433
- Fat: 19g
Keywords: apple tart, fall desserts, french desserts, french tart, apple desserts