My friend Helene introduced me to the Tarte Normande, a delicious apple dessert baked in a custard. She took it to a gathering and I fell in love with it. It’s a nice alternative to the every day apple pie.
Tarte Normand hails from Northwest France, Normandy. Its temperate climate is prime for growing apples.
Apart from its fabulous taste, I love simplicity.
- You don’t have to cut the apples too thin.
- Assembly is easy.
- No specialty ingredients. You can find everything at your local grocer.
Here’s what I’ve learned after making a few Tarte Normande
- Crispin or Golden Delicious are best. Think crisp and not overly sweet.
Granny Smith is out!
- A tart pan with a removable bottom will save you time, fuss, and look prettier on a plate. I gave away two of these beauties as Christmas gifts to co-workers. I’m still hearing about it.
Apart from its importance in World War II history, Normandy is known for butter and cheese (Camembert anyone?) To have a dish served a la Normande, means that it will be served with a sauce having butter or cheese, or both! Yum.
Here are the steps to make a great tarte Normande:
- Place the flour and salt in the food processor and pulse to combine. Add the butter and ice water and pulse.
- Pulse and you may need to add a little more ice water just until the dough forms a ball.
- Turn out the dough on a floured surface.
- Form the dough into a disc.
- Wrap the disc with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour or even overnight.
- Take out the chilled dough and roll out into about a 12 inch circle. This will fit nicely into a 10 inch tart pan and fill the sides.
- Lay the removable bottom of your tart pan on the rolled out dough to size it up.
- Slide the tart pan bottom under the dough.
- Here is my hack/tip: Gently fold up the dough on the removable bottom and center it.
- Drop the removable bottom with the dough into the outer tart pan.
- Gently unfold the dough out to the edges of the pan.
- Press the dough firmly into the sides of the pan and trip excess on the top edge. You can use small trimmed pieces to fill in any areas on the sides that are a bit thin or come up short.
- Slice the peeled apple about 3/8″ to 1/2″ thick. I like to use an Oxo Mandolin Slicer.
- Cut the apple slices in half.
- Add the eggs, sour cream, vanilla and heavy cream to a bowl.
- Whisk together until well combined into a custard.
- Arrange the apples around the tart pan.
- Pour the custard mixture over the apples.
- Laying the tart pan flat on the table, jiggle gently to settle the custard around the apple slices. You don’t need to coat the slices.
- After baking for 30 minutes, slide the tart out of the oven and add the small pieces of butter around the tart and sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar. I do this right on the oven rack but be careful. Bake 5 more minutes or until the crust looks golden brown on the edges.
The next time you are in charge of dessert for that office party, or family gathering, bring along a Tarte Normande, they’ll love you for it! Checkout some cool tart pans on Amazon if you need one.
Tarte Normande recipe: Easy and delicious. Yummy apples baked in a flaky crust and topped with custard. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar the last few minutes.
- 3 apples (Crispin, Golden Delicious or Granny Smith)
- 1 lemon juiced ( for coating the apples with some water to prevent browning)
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 pinch nutmeg optional
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 Tbsp cinnamon sugar (1/2 Tbsp Sugar & 1/2 Tbsp Cinnamon)
- 2 Tbsp butter salted, cold, cut into pieces
- 1 1/4 cup flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 7 Tbsp butter unsalted, cold, cut into pieces
- 2 1/2 Tbsp iced water
- For the dough: In a food processor place the flour, salt and unsalted butter. Pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add the iced water. Mix until the mixture forms a ball. Remove from food processor, dust with a little flour and wrap in plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator for about 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350'F.
- Roll our the dough on a floured surface. The dough should measure about 10".
Place dough in a 10" tart pan with a removable bottom. I like to gently fold the dough and slice the removable bottom under the dough and drop it into the tart pan.
- Peel apples and cut into thick slices (about 1/2"). Arrange in concentric circles around the dough.
To make the custard:
- Beat two eggs, add vanilla, sour cream, and heavy cream. Whisk thoroughly and pour over the apples.
Bake for about 30 minutes, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and top with pieces of butter. Bake an additional 5 minutes or until golden brown around the edges.
- *You can also top it with toasted slivered almonds at this time.
- To make sure it is done, insert a cake tester into the custard.