French Apple Tart
In partnership with Yes! Apples Ambassador, Josh Lehenbauer (@joshisbaking).
This ode to the classic apple tart found in many French bakeries is an absolute apple dream. A thin, buttery, flaky crust topped with sliced apples, all baked to golden perfection and glazed with a sweet jam–how could it get any better?!
Best For: Dessert
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Chill Time: 2 hours
Bake Time: 50 minutes
Yield: (1) 10 in. x 14 in. tart
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp fine sea salt
- 1½ sticks unsalted butter, cold
- ½ cup ice water
- 3-4 Pink Lady apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced (no thicker than ¼ in.)
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ½ stick unsalted butter, cold and cut into ½ in. cubes
- ½ cup apricot jam, honey, apple jelly, or apple butter
- 2 Tbsp water
- Whisk together flour and salt in a medium bowl. Toss in cubes of butter and flatten/crumble the butter between your fingers while coating the cubes in flour. You want a mix of pea-sized pieces and larger, flat shingles.
- Make a well in the center of the mixture and pour in ¼ cup ice water, then toss to distribute evenly. Add half (⅛ cup) of the remaining ice water, tossing once more to distribute. Add the rest of the ice water until the dough comes together and is still crumbly (not wet).
- Shape dough into a disc and wrap tightly in plastic. Chill for at least 1 hour (2 hours is ideal).
- Remove dough and roll into a large square on a lightly floured surface (about 10 in. square). Fold in half one way, then the other (so the dough is a quarter of its original size). Roll into a square again, then repeat the folds once more. Add a light dusting of flour as needed if dough begins to stick. Wrap folded dough in plastic and chill for another 30 minutes (no more than 1 hour).
Assembly & Bake
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough until ¼ in. thick, then trim to a 10 in. x 14 in. rectangle (the size of a standard half sheet pan). Transfer dough to a parchment-lined sheet pan and keep cold in the fridge while you prep the apples.
- Preheat oven to 400º F.
- Once oven is heated, remove dough from the fridge and arrange apple slices, overlapping slightly, in 3-4 rows. (I made 3 rows and used 3 full apples, minus a few slices to snack on!)
- Sprinkle granulated sugar on top of the apples, then drop cubes of butter evenly on top.
- Bake on the center rack for 40-50 minutes, or until the crust browns. Rotate the pan halfway through the bake for even cooking. See more tips below!
- About 5 minutes before you take the tart out, melt jam/honey/jelly/butter of choice in a small saucepan and 1-2 Tbsp water (this thins out the glaze, but you can add more or less depending on the consistency). Upon removing the tart, immediately brush the warm jam over the apples and crust.
- Allow to cool on the baking sheet for 15 minutes before moving to a wire rack to fully cool. Best enjoyed same day, but will keep for 1-2 days in an airtight container at room temperature.
- Chilling the Dough: The more time you’re able to chill the dough in the fridge, the better! You always want dough to be cold—it's the cold butter that gives you a flaky crust and makes things less sticky when rolling out. Don’t skip the added step with the folds (step 3 under dough)! This makes the dough much easier to handle and creates some lovely layers.
- Slicing the Apples: Try to get these apples as thin as possible! If you have a mandolin, set it as close to ⅛ in. as possible and slice away. If you slice the apples by hand, use a sharp knife and take your time so the cuts are precise. Slicing the apples thin allows you to fit more on the dough and they get crispier during the bake (which you want, I promise)!
- Baking the Tart: I baked my apple tart for about 50 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. I wanted it to get nice and dark (the apples a bit too), which I highly recommend for a good crunch! Just pay attention to the crust so it doesn’t burn (a little bit is okay though), as every oven is different. The bottom of my oven runs very hot, so the middle rack works great for me.