Thanksgiving Desserts: French Apple Tart

Over Thanksgiving weekend, I invited some friends and family over for the usual Turkey and a mix of traditional and Indian sides. I brined the turkey for a day this time and it came out really moist. For dessert this year I also made a French Apple Tart and served some of that delicious gingerbread cake that I discussed in an earlier blog. I plan to go through the French Apple Tart experience in this blog.

The French Apple Tart was actually pretty easy to make. It was fairly simple to put together as well. The only difficulty I encountered was the choice in the pan – I forgot to use a tart pan and so the crust became non-uniform along the sides and slid down a little. It still tasted just as good but if you look closely then you’ll see that the crust isn’t completely even.

I also ended up baking it a bit longer than recommended in the recipe book and even put it under the broiler for 1-2 minutes to caramelize the apples so that the apples were slightly burned on the edges. It was fabulous!

This is another recipe taken from the Baking with Julia cookbook written by Dorie Greenspan.

French Apple Tart

6 Granny Smith apples
3/4 cup sugar
1 tblspn all-purpose flour
pinch of cinnamon
1/2 cup fresh, fluffy bread crumbs
2 te
aspoons fresh lemon juice

I replaced the Granny Smith apples with Honey Crisp apples. Peel and core the apples, then cut into 0.125″ wedges. Coat the apples in lemon juice and toss with the rest of the ingredients. Place the mixture on a jelly-roll pan and bake at 375 degrees F for about 30 minutes or until the apples soften (but are not total mush). Set aside.

I made the flaky pie dough from scratch, however, another option is to purchase a frozen crust and allow it to defrost before starting. You only need a bottom crust – no dough is necessary for a cover as this is an open-faced tart. The crust is baked at 400 degrees F for 20-25 minutes. Place parchment paper over the crust and a space holder on the parchment paper to prevent the crust from rising while it’s baking. After the pie crust starts to turn golden brown, remove from the oven and allow to cool.

While the crust is baking, prepare the topping with the following ingredients:

3 apples, peeled, cored and slice into 0.2″ thick pieces
2 tblspns fresh lemon juice
2 tblspns unsalted butter, melted
1.5 tspns granulated sugar
Confectioner’s sugar, for dusting

Toss the sliced apples with lemon juice. Set aside. In a separate bowl, melt the butter. Set aside. Now you’re ready to assemble the tart.

Once the crust has cooled, place the cooked apple mixture in it. Then start assembling the apple topping on top, starting at the outside edge and working your way in. I was able to make two circles of apples. Then brush the top of the assembled tart with a little melted butter and sprinkle the granulated sugar on top. Bake the tart at 375 degrees F for about 30 minutes in the middle of the oven. After the apples cook through, move the tart to the top of the oven and turn on the broiler. Broil the tart for 1-2 minutes until the edges of the applies blacken just slightly – this caramelizes the apples. Finally, remove the tart from the oven and allow to cool before serving. You can also dust the tart with confectioner’s sugar prior to serving. Enjoy!


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