Friday, December 3, 2010

French Apple Tart

When we get together with my family for Thanksgiving or Christmas, I usually end up making a French Apple Tart from Baking with Julia.  This tart is so fresh-tasting and bursting with apple flavor--if you are an apple fan you must try this.  And if you are not an apple fan...I don't know I can't help you. 

Note: I love Julia Child. There was something so charming about her, don't you think?  She seemed to enjoy life a lot, which I think naturally draws people in.  Ina Garten seems to have that spirit as well.  Did you watch Julie and Julia? I didn't because I heard the Amy Adams character was annoying.

To make this tart, you obviously need a tart crust.  I had a major brain fartopolis and neglected to use my absolute favorite sweet tart dough recipe from Dorie Greenspan (scroll to the bottom of the linked page).  It's fantastic because you can press the dough crumbs into the tart pan instead of having to roll it out.  So use that recipe instead, and don't do what I did.  

Nevertheless, I will still show you pictures of what I did because, well, I worked hard and I took the pictures.  No explanation of the steps though, because: (1) as I said, use the DG recipe; and (2) writing out the steps for the pie crust in the pumpkin pie recipe was taxing (both for me and I imagine for you) and I don't want to do the same thing here. 

Here we go on a roller coaster ride through tart crust:

That was fun.  Whatever tart crust recipe you use, go ahead and bake the crust first.  Now for the filling and toppings, which are the fun parts.

Adapted from Julia Child
  • 5 Granny Smith apples
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 TBS flour
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs (I didn't have any bread on hand so I used about a 1/4 cup of graham cracker crumbs which were lying around)
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice, or to taste
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Peel, core, and cut your apples into about 1-inch chunks.

Toss the apple chunks with the sugar, flour and cinnamon.

Spread apple chunks on large rimmed baking sheet and bake in oven until apples become mashable--start with 20 minutes and bake more if you have to (I think I ended up baking them for 30).  

Place the baked apple chunks into a bowl and mash--doesn't have to be silky smooth, some texture is nice! Flavor to taste with lemon juice. 

Set filling aside and work on the topping.
  • 2 Granny Smith apples
  • 1 tsp lemon juice (or to taste) 
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
Peel, core, and quarter your apples.  Slice into about 1/8" wedges.  Thin is good because you'll be layering these.  I didn't slice mine quite thinly enough, which you'll see later on.

Toss slices with lemon juice. 

Fill tart crust with apple filling, and smooth the top.  Arrange the apple slices decoratively over the filling in concentric circles.  Start at outer edge of crust, slightly overlapping each piece and making a circle.  Do the same for an inner circle (you will probably only have space for 2 circles).  You will also probably have some leftover apple slices--cut a circle out of one of them and place it in the center of the circles.

Sprinkle evenly with the sugar. 

See? Some of them a wee bit thick.  I give a shit not.

Place on baking sheet and bake (still at 375 degrees) until edges of apples have turned a little black--but in a photogenic and still edible way--about 25 to 30 minutes. 



  1. now THAT is a serious dessert. so beautiful and so tasty. I love that we can always force you to put in the effort to make one of these. hooray for sister pastry bitches!

  2. Damn that looks delicious and dare I say super professional? Seriously though, it really does! I bet it tastes amazing!!

  3. Yum, that looks so delicious! I love apple desserts and I love Julia Child - I used to watch old reruns of her show when I was little. I really enjoyed Julie & Julia and would recommend it - I can see how the Amy Adams character is a bit annoying, but Meryl Streep was just AWESOME as Julia.

  4. That is super pretty! awww.. apple desserts.. my heart melts and my tummy rumbles.

  5. Yeah just skip over the amy adams parts. She's a good actor too but the character is annoying. Or do like I did and read the book :) This tart looks delish! I'm definitely trying it out.

  6. Agreed, Ina Garten has a lot of Julia-personality. Love them both. And I'm with BigAppleNosh, Meryl Streep IS Julia. Perfection.

    I've never seen the combo of filling and layered apples, nom.

  7. You never fail to make me super hungry. Also, Amy Adam's character is pretty annoying.

  8. OK Missy... your blog makes me SO HUNGRY. Everything you make looks incredibly delicious. I'm coming to your house for dinner (and dessert!) <3

  9. thanks everyone! it's simpler than it seems so those of you willing should give it a try!

    seems there's a consensus on the suckiness of amy adams' character and the wonder of meryl streep. netflix here i come.