rustic french apple tart
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Rustic French Apple Tart

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This Rustic French Apple Tart is a classic French pastry recipe made with cinnamon and brown sugared apples baked into a buttery tart crust.

A few years back my mother decided to plant a small orchard alongside the back portion of their house. A beautiful edition of trees that line their yard. I love to walk through the grass barefoot and see all the pretty fruit hanging from the branches of the trees.

Waiting to be plucked and enjoyed. A recent visit yielded me a basket of them and it just so happened to rain today. Which naturally made it a perfect setting to bake. Not that I need an excuse but the rain does have its magic. Standing in my kitchen with my hands in the dough listening to the rain pour from the gutters. An odd sound for August in California. But here I am slicing the freshly picked apples in the cool air with the kitchen window open.

Who can complain about that? Certainly not me, I adore the rain. The smell sounds and feeling it gives the home. Which then makes the baking season just ahead of us. The apples are beginning to ripen on the trees. Soon the farmer’s markets will be packed with them. If you love to bake with apples, and I am guessing you just might. You will need to save this Apple Cake recipe for your next baking day.

For today we have this Rustic French Apple Tart. A tart that captures the apple season perfectly. With its buttery tart crust and cinnamon apples.

Why I Love This Tart

Baking with fresh fruit is always a treat to me. There is something wholesome about the textures of fruit being blended with spices and dough. Slicing the apples and placing the thin wedges into a bowl. Then working them about with a wooden spoon in sugar and vanilla. I love arranging the fruit slices on this Rustic French Apple Tart in a pretty circle. But mostly, the smell and taste of this tart are above all, worth the effort of baking it.

Origins of The French Apple Tart

A French Apple Tart is originally known as a “Tart Normande” or “Tart aux Pommes.” They are one and the same. The French Apple Tart has its origins in France of course, but more precisely in the Normandy region where apples are abundant. This variation of the apple tart is not just simple but rustic too as the name implies. Some are baked more “neatly” and for this Rustic French Apple Tart recipe, there is no strict rules to adhere to as far as placing the apples go. In fact, the more “rustic” it looks, the better.

What You Will Need To Make It

For The Filling

3 apples (granny smith, golden delicious, honey crisp)

5 tbsp brown sugar

2 tbsp melted salted butter

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla

For The Tart Crust

1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

12 tbsp salted butter

3-5 tbsp cold water

For Topping

2 tbsp white sugar

2 tsp melted butter

Tools You Might Need

Food Processor

Baking Sheet

Pastry Brush

Directions

Peel apples and slice them into thin wedges. About 1/8 inch thick. Place them into a bowl. Add brown sugar, cinnamon, melted butter, and vanilla. Mix contents well. Set aside.

In a food processor. Place the flour and cold butter in the tub. Place lid on and remove pour spout cover. Begin pulsing and pouring in the cold water to blend. Mix until the dough just comes together. Place the dough on a floured surface. Roll out with a rolling pin into a large rectangle about 8 inches wide. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place the rolled-out pastry onto it and pop it into the fridge. Chill for 10 minutes.

While the dough chills get your workspace ready with the apple mixture and 2 tsp of melted butter with the pastry brush. When the dough is chilled, begin in the center and lay out apple slices in neat rows. They don’t have to be perfect but lay them tightly so they all fit in the center leaving about 3 inches of dough around the edge.

apples placed in the center of tart dough for Rustic french apple tart
apples placed in the center of tart dough for rustic french apple tart
folding over pastry on a rustic french  apple tart

Fold dough around the edges of the apples just slightly covering the beginning of the apples in the outside row. Brush dough with butter and sprinkle with sugar.

rustic french apple tart on a baking sheet

Pop into the oven and bake at 350℉ for 55 min-1 hr or until the crust is golden brown and the apples are cooked through.

rustic french apple tart

Baking Notes

  • Use just what you need to cover the center of the tart. Apples give off a lot of liquid and overstuffing the tart could ruin it. Or at least make it more of a mess than a dessert.
  • I use unbleached organic all-purpose flour for this recipe.
  • I opt to use salted butter for this recipe however if you would like to use unsalted. Be sure to add a pinch of salt to the apples and crust to help bring out the flavors in the tart.
  • Be sure to pop the tart crust into the fridge to keep it chilled throughout the process of making this tart. After rolling it out.
  • Make sure the butter is chilled before making your tart dough.

Ways To Serve

  • Pairs wonderfully with coffee or tea.
  • Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a true apple tart à la mode.
  • I like to place a bowl of homemade whipped cream out when serving at a dinner party. To make a homemade whipped cream pour 1 cup of heavy whipping cream into a mixer bowl along with 1 tbsp of white sugar. Place whip attachment on and beat until peaks form. Scoop into a pretty bowl with a spoon and place it on the table next to the Rustic French Tart.
rustic french apple tart

Rustic French Apple Tart

Yield: 1 French Apple Tart
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

A classic French pastry recipe made with cinnamon apples baked into a buttery tart crust

Ingredients

  • For The Filling:
  • 3 apples (granny smith, golden delicious, honey crisp)
  • 5 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp melted salted butter
  • For the Tart Crust:
  • 12 tbsp salted butter
  • 3-5 tbsp cold water
  • 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • To Top:
  • 2 tsp salted butter
  • 2 tbsp white sugar

Instructions

  1. Peel apples and slice them into thin wedges. About 1/8 inch thick. Place them into a bowl. Add brown sugar, cinnamon, melted butter, and vanilla. Mix contents well. Set aside.
  2. To prepare the tart crust. In a food processor, place the flour and cold butter in the tub. Place lid on and remove pour spout cover. Begin pulsing and pouring in the cold water to blend. Mix until the dough just comes together. Place the dough on a floured surface.
  3. Roll out with a rolling pin into a large rectangle about 8 inches wide.
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the rolled-out pastry onto it and pop it into the fridge. Chill for 10 minutes.
  5. While the dough chills get your workspace ready with the apple mixture and 2 tsp of melted butter with the pastry brush.
  6. When the dough is chilled, begin in the center and lay out apple slices in neat rows. They don't have to be perfect but lay them tightly so they all fit in the center leaving about 3 inches of dough around the edge. Fold dough around the edges of the apples just slightly covering the beginning of the apples in the outside row.
  7. Brush dough with butter and sprinkle with sugar.
  8. Pop into the oven and bake at 350℉ for 55 min-65 min or until the crust is golden brown and the apples are cooked through.

Notes

*Line the baking sheet with parchment paper for easy clean-up.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 400Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 62mgSodium: 189mgCarbohydrates: 45gFiber: 3gSugar: 22gProtein: 3g

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rustic french apple tart on a baking sheet

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