You’ll love this super-easy and delicious apple tart that highlights the natural flavor of fresh apples and comes together in a few minutes. My version has a homemade butter crust but if you use store-bought pie dough for a shortcut this dessert only takes 5 minutes to make.
When I was much younger, I would get to spend the day at my dad’s business and help out during the Summer. Across the street, a French couple opened a cafe. If I had enough pocket money, I would get my lunch there. Their classic apple tart was my all time favorite dessert. I think I loved it because it had the perfect ratio of pastry to fruit. It was sweet but not cloying… At the time, I thought it was called a tarte tartin, but that’s a completely different thing (more like an upside down apple pie). Got to start somewhere!
Pro Tips for making this apple tart
- The apples will shrink when you bake them so arrange as closely as possible if you want full coverage.
- Many recipes call for dotting the tart with butter prior to baking but brushing gives you a nice even coverage.
- I make my pastry from scratch but if you were to use store bought, frozen pastry you could whip this up in a few minutes… flat.
- This tart keeps well overnight at room temp if covered and will keep for a few days longer in the fridge.
- Measure your flour correctly! Adding too much flour to the recipe is the most common mistake. The best, and easiest way to measure flour is by using a scale. If you don’t have one then fluff your flour with a spoon, sprinkle it into your measuring cup, and use a knife to level it off.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which apple should you use?
Apples with a nice balance of acid and sweetness are best for baking pies. Honey crisps, granny smith, braeburn, golden delicious, and cortlans apples are all great choices. Use your favorite and enjoy! Never use red delicious…
Can you make this with store bought pie dough?
Yes! This tart can be made with pre-made pie dough but I would not use puff pastry as it will puff up too high and get kind of crazy!
How can you protect the edge from burning?
Watch the tart carefully in the oven but definitely protect the edge with some foil. Just fold a length of foil and wrap around the edge of the tart wile baking. This is called tenting and it is a lifesaver!!
This might be the easiest tart I’ve ever made. My little twist on the classic? Mix Grand Marnier into your apricot preserves for the final glaze, it gives a slight citrus finish that adds a nice depth or flavor.
How to make Pastry Dough
First off you’ll want to make the dough. This should be done at least 30 minutes in advance so it can chill and be more manageable.
- Start off by adding the all-purpose flour, sugar and salt in a food processor. Give it a few pulses before adding the butter.
- Cut the COLD butter up into tablespoon sized pieces and add it to the flour mixture. Pulse a few times until the butter is in pea-sized clumps. In a small bowl mix together the ice water and vodka. Drizzle the mixture into the processor while pulsing. If you can squeeze the dough into a clump that stays together it’s done. If not, add in another tablespoon of ice water. P.S. The vodka will bake off so don’t worry about adding it in!
- Transfer the dough onto a pastry mat or another floured surface and knead 2 to 3 times just to help it come together a bit. Gently flatten the dough into a one-inch thick disk and cover it in plastic wrap or a ziplock bag, then place it in the fridge to chill for about 30 minutes to an hour.
How to Make an Apple Tart
1. Roll the rough out to about 1/4 an inch thick and trim to a rectangle or square.
2. Peel the apples and slice the flesh away from the core, then slice thinly and arrange in a row fanned out.
3. Brush with butter.
4. sprinkle with sugar. Cover the edge with foil like you’re tenting a pie crust. Bake, brush with the apricot jam for and cool.
If you’ve tried this apple tart recipe then don’t forget to leave a rating and let me know how you got on in the comments below, I love hearing from you!
For the Pastry
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter very cold
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup water very cold
For the Apples
- 5 whole apples large
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup apricot preserves
- 2 tbsp orange liquor
- 2 tbsp butter melted
- In a food processor, combine the flour and salt and pulse briefly to mix (you can also do this by hand with two forks). Scatter the butter over the top and pulse just until the mixture forms coarse crumbs about the size of peas.
- Drizzle the ice water over the flour mixture and pulse just until the dough starts to come together.
- Shape the dough into a disk and wrap in plastic. Allow to rest in refrigerator for about an hour.
- Preheat oven to 375F
- Roll the dough out on a well-floured surface to a thickness of about 1/4 an inch. Trim into a rectangle shape if desired. Mine was about 10 x 14 inches.
- Peel, quarter and core the apples. Slice to a thickness of about 1/8th an inch.
- Arrange the apple slices on the pastry. Brush with butter and sprinkle with sugar.
- Bake for about 40 minutes or until apples are golden and tender.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool. If your edges burn just trim them off.
- Mix apricot preserves and orange liquor in a small bowl and brush onto apples.