Simple? Check. French? Check. Apple? Check. Tart? Double check. You know, because the apples are tart and it’s a tart…
This is one of my favorite things to make because it tastes like butter. I also like apples. Also, it’s a classic. Also, it’s French. Also, it’s easy. Also…just kidding, that’s all. Or is it?
Quick, probably boring, story – The day I originally decided to make this tart, I checked the ol’ fridge to make sure I had my ingredients and then went to the store to buy apples, the one thing I didn’t have. When I got home I decided that I wanted to blog about it and it was getting too late to be able to take pictures with natural light.
The next afternoon, I started to make the tart. When I got alllll the way to the part with the frangipane, I went to the fridge to add the egg AND THE EGGS WERE GONE. MY HUSBAND ATE THEM FOR BREAKFAST AND I DIDN’T KNOW.
“NOOOOOOOOO!” I wailed into the egg-less refrigerator. I had to lug my ass all the way back to the store to get more! So I willed myself to the store and bought more eggs. Then I made the frangipane and put it in the fridge while I assembled the rest of the tart. Once assembled, I put the tart in the oven (naturally) and called it a job well done. 10 minutes later I realized I FORGOT TO ADD THE FRANGIPANE. I know, great story!
In conclusion, this recipe is for a simple French apple tart sans frangipane. It was easy and it was still very delicious. Rave reviews, guys. The crust is very buttery, of course, but pairs very nicely with the tart apples. I did not blind bake my crust, but I might from now on as the base tends to be a bit soft.
Anyway, if you are into desserts that are simple, clean and not overly sweet, this is just the ticket. For a very nice complement of sweetness, I like to enjoy it with vanilla ice cream (Haagen-Dazs knows what’s up) or sweetened whipped cream.
SIMPLE FRENCH APPLE TART
For the crust:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon granulated white sugar
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into ~1 inch pieces
1/8 cup ice cold water
For the filling:
5 medium sized apples (I used granny smith)
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
1-2 tablespoons butter to sprinkle on tart
Optional: 2 tablespoons apricot jam
1. Place flour, salt and 1 tbsp granulated sugar in a food processor. Process until well combined. Add the 1/2 cup of cold butter and process until mixture resembles coarse corn meal, about 10-15 seconds. Add the ice cold water a little at a time and pulse continuously until the dough just sticks together when you pinch it between your fingers. It will be slightly dry/powdery still, you don’t want it to be sticky.
2. Dump the dough out onto a work surface, press it together into a ball and then flatten slightly into a thick disc (it will chill faster and be easier to roll out). Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.
3. Once dough is thoroughly chilled, preheat oven to 375 F.
4. Peel, core and slice the apples into ~1/2 inch thick pieces. Set aside.
5. Butter and lightly flour a 9-inch tart pan. Remove the dough from the fridge and the plastic and roll it out to 9-inch tart pan size on a lightly floured work surface*. Once rolled out, roll the dough loosely around your rolling pin and transfer to your tart pan. Press the dough gently into the bottom and sides of your pan and cut off any excess around the edges. Prick dough with a fork.
6. Arrange your apples slices in the tart however you like! You could make your own design! You could dump them in all in at once, or carefully arrange them in beautiful, perfect concentric circles. OR you can do both, like I did. I dumped about half the apples in and roughly arranged them so they’d be as flat as possible to act as the base layer. Then I arranged the remaining slices on top in concentric circles. Voila, apple tart hack.
7. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup sugar and 1-2 tablespoons of butter
8. BAKE EM’ AWAY, TOYS! For approximately 1 hour. Apples should be tender and crust should have a decent tan. Once baked, let it cool for ~30 minutes, or devour it immediately and burn your mouth, but who cares? It’s, like, so good.
9. Optional: Microwave apricot jam for 20 seconds. Brush onto baked tart while it is still warm.
*I use a cheat sheet (no shame) pastry board that shows me how big I need to roll my dough out to fit an 8, 9, or 10-inch pie plate and it works like a charm! I freakin’ love that thing. Changed my pie life.
Want to see another recipe? Check out my Kogi Style Korean BBQ Tacos