Tarte aux Pommes is a classic French Apple Tart. The combination of chopped apples made into a sauce with a nice liqueur and apples slices gives this dessert a nice contrast of textures. The glaze is really easy to make and gives a beautiful patisserie style appearance. All of this sits on a simple shortbread crust. Read on to learn how to make this tasty treat!
It doesn’t get used much. A tart is a dish baked in a pastry crust that can be sweet or savory. It is usually does not have a top crust and the possibilities are only limited by the creative spirit of the cook. In this recipe I will introduce to one of my all-time favorite desserts – Tarte aux Pommes –, or simply put French apple pie. I do promise to write one or two recipes that feature a savory tart at a later date.
I first learned about Tarte aux Pommes while living in Europe as a teenager.
Until then all I knew about was the traditional apple pie. At first I didn’t know what to make about this dessert with a crust on top. My doubts soon evaporated when I took the first bite. What I bit into was a piece of heaven. The smell, the sweetness, the soft texture. I wanted more.
Your everyday apple tart sold in nearly every patisserie in France.
The ingredients are simple as its preparation technique. I prefer this French dessert over apple pie, but that is just my taste. For this particular recipe, we used a shortbread crust. My husband and I find that the caramelizing of the short bread crust adds a new dimension to the taste and texture of this old-time French favorite. Glazing the tart with apricot jelly adds visual appeal. Although it might be tempting to reach for that vanilla ice cream, I would skip it. The taste of this tart is amazing, just by itself. I do however recommend a nice cup of coffee or tea, and a couple of friends to share with.
It is my sincere hope that you enjoy this fabulous dessert as much as I do.
This is the basic shape and thickness of the apple slices. I really recommend a mandolin slicer for this and I personally like the OXO mandolin type slicer for quick clean up.
Here are some tips for a really great French style apple tart.
- I like to use a tart apple like a granny smith that holds up well and give a little tartness to the sweet glaze and sugar.
- This tart has an interesting filling because you have three layers above the crust. So the first later is the apple sauce reduction. This is simply chopped apple, sugar, water and a nice liqueur like Calvados or Belle Paire. (A brandy or cognac will work too in a pinch.)
- The second layer are the apple slices neatly arranged over the spread of apple sauce and then sprinkled with the cinnamon sugar.
- Finally, the last layer is the super easy glaze. It is apricot jelly and water melted in the microwave. You will have a work of art that will glisten like the fresh morning dew. Take a photo!
Here are the visual step by step photos to make tarte aux pommes:
- Preheat your oven to 375′ F degrees. Place all the crust ingredients in a food processor.
- Pulse the food processor until the it starts to look like corn meal and is well combined.
- Pour the mixture into a 10 inch non-stick tart pan with a removable bottom and push to the sides with a popsicle stick or chop stick. Make a thin layer in the middle and thicker on the sides.
- Press the middle of the mixture into the tart pan or you can use a flat bottom water glass. Press firmly to get a tight crust.
- Work the side up to the top edge of the tart pan and press tightly with your fingers.
- Bake in a 375 degree oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown around the edges.
- While the tart shell is baking, prepare a large bowl with water and the lemon juice to keep the apples from browning while you work. Peel and core all 4 apples. Slice two apples into 1/8″ sliced half circles and place in the lemon water until ready to construct the tart. I love my Oxo mandolin slicer for this task. Take the other two and finely dice them.
- Place the diced apples in a pan with the nutmeg, add the sugar and water. Cook slowly until reduced and there is no liquid. Smash down with a spatula or spoon. The texture should resemble a thick applesauce. Stir in the liquor.
- Stir until all the liquor is absorbed. When you push the sauce to one side of the pan no liquid should run when fully reduced. Chill the applesauce on the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
- Add the chilled applesauce to the tart shell. Turn the oven down to 350’F.
- Remove the apple slices from the lemon water and place on a kitchen down to dry. Arrange the sliced apples overlapping around the tart pan.
- Sprinkle the top of the tart with the 1/2 cup of sugar then bake in a 350’F oven for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes the apple slices will be quite soft. You can turn up the oven to 425 and watch the tart carefully for a nice caramelization of the sugar and the apples will turn brown. When you have a nice brown color remove the tart from the oven.
- While the tart is baking take 4 Tbsp apricot jelly and 1 Tbsp water and microwave for 20 seconds on high until very soft and runny. When the tart comes out and is still hot, brush the glaze over the entire dessert. Enjoy!
We usually consume the tart the same day but you can store it in the refrigerator 2 to 3 days and heat it up of you like in the oven. It is really nice when it is warm. You could freeze this tart in a freezer bag or wrapped freezer paper for just a couple months for the best results then defrost and warm in the oven.
If you want to explore some other French style recipes here are a few to bookmark for later or pin on Pinterest. The French patisserie fruit tart is easy to make and the cream filling just divine with a topping off fresh fruit of your choice and then glazed. If you are a soup lover then you have to try homemade French onion soup and learn a little about the history of the dish too. My all time favorite chicken dish has to be chicken tarragon that is cooked so tender and served with a creamy rich sauce.
Tarte aux Pommes
This is a classic style French apple tart (Tarte aux Pommes) with a sweet shortbread crust. This recipe combines sliced apples and an apple reduction sauce with a nice sweet liqueur, Calvados or Belle Paire with a dash of nutmeg. You will love the delicate flavors in this dessert!
- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour sifted
- 4 oz butter sliced into about 10 pieces
- 2 Tbsp sour cream
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 4 apples you want a tart apple, I like Granny Smith
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 dash nutmeg
- 2 oz sweet liqueur or brandy Calvados or Belle Paire work nicely
- 1 tsp lemon juice fresh squeezed juice
- 1/2 cup water
- 4 Tb. apricot jelly plus 1 Tbsp water
- Preheat your oven to 375'F.
- To make the crust:
- In a food processor, combine flour, butter, sour cream and sugar. Pulse until mixture looks like corn meal. Pack neatly into an ungreased tart pan and bake for about 15 minutes. Until golden brown.
Peel, core and cut apples in thin crescent shapes. I like to use a mandolin slicer set at 1/8". Also put apple slices into a bowl of water with lemon juice to keep from browning while you work. Two of the apples should be diced finely.
Place diced apples in a saucepan with the nutmeg, add the 1/2 cup of sugar, and the water. Cook slowly until reduced. As they soften, smash down with spoon. The texture should resemble that of a thick applesauce. Stir in the liquor until fully absorbed and no liquid runs when pushed to the side of the pan. Remove from stove and place in fridge for twenty minutes until cool. You do not want to place hot apple sauce on the baked tart shell.
When pie crust is ready, remove from oven. Turn the oven temperature down to 350'F.
Spread the chilled apple sauce mixture on the bottom of the baked tart.
Take your apple slices and dry them on a kitchen towel. Arrange them in neat rows slightly overlapping each other. Sprinkle with sugar (approximately 1/2 cup) and bake for approximately 20 minutes or until you notice that the apples are starting to get golden brown.
After 20 minutes the apples slices will be very soft and you can turn up the oven to 425 and watch the tart very carefully for a nice caramelization of the sugar on top and browning of the apple slices. Watch this very closely. Once brown remove from the oven.
Glaze: While the tart is baking place the apricot jelly and mix with 1 TB water in a microwave safe dish. Heat for about 20 seconds on high or until is it very soft and runny.
- Remove from oven, and using a pastry brush lightly glaze the apples. You can serve this dessert warm or cold; it is delicious either way.