Classic French Apple Tart

Making an elegant French dessert really is as easy as making apple pie! The ingredients in this tart are easy to find - including the apples - but the key to elevating these humble ingredients is in the presentation. The ‘wow’ factor with this dessert is created by placing the apple slices in an overlapping concentric, circular pattern over the top of the apple compote. Don’t be overwhelmed by the steps in this recipe - the dessert comes together deceptively quickly and can be made ahead of time, stored in the refrigerator and brought to room temperature when ready to serve. I like to pair this dessert with either fresh whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. I guarantee that if you serve this at any dinner party guests will be impressed with your baking skills and techniques!
Servings: 8

For the Crust:

  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter – cubed
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tbsp ice water

For the Compote:

  • 3 firm apples (such as Granny Smith or Golden Delicious) - peeled, cored & cut into chunks
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened apple juice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • zest from 1 lemon

For the topping:

  • 2 firm apples (such as Granny Smith or Golden Delicious)
  • 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp apricot jam
  • juice of ½ a lemon
  • powdered sugar for dusting

Directions

Make the Tart Crust:
In the bowl of a food processor combine flour, salt & sugar. Pulse to combine. Add cubed butter & pulse until dough resembles coarse meal. Beat the egg with the cold water. With the food processor running, add the egg mixture & mix just until the dough comes together. Turn out onto a floured surface & shape into a disk. Wrap in plastic & refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Make the Compote:
While the crust is in the refrigerator, place apple chunks, sugar, juice, water, cinnamon, & zest in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover & let cook for 10 mins. Uncover & reduce heat to a simmer. Continue to cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. Mash apples with a fork. Set aside & allow to cool completely. Note: the apple paste will thicken as it cools.

Prepare the Tart Crust & Apples:
On a floured surface, roll dough out into a circle that is slightly larger than your tart pan. Place dough in tart pan & trim the edges. Spread the cooled compote out in an even layer on the bottom of the dough. Place in the freezer to harden completely.

Peel, core & slice apples very thin - about 1/8 " in thickness. To prevent browning, place immediately in a bowl with lemon juice & toss to combine.

Assemble the Tart:
Preheat the oven to 400F.

Remove the tart from the freezer. Starting from the outside, place apples in a circle, overlapping their edges. Work your way into the center, continuing to place the apples in an overlapping circular pattern.

Form a rosette with 3 or 4 slices of apple by rolling the slices around each other in a concentric pattern. Place the rosette in the center of the tart. Sprinkle 1/2 tsp of sugar evenly over the tart.

Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350F & bake for 20 more minutes (or until golden brown). Place under the broiler for 1-2 minutes - just until the apples begin to get lightly charred. Note: Watch tart carefully under the broiler as this step occurs quickly and can easily burn your tart.

Set tart aside to cool.

Heat jam until it is runny and easily spreadable. Brush tart with melted jam to create a shiny surface.

Once the jam has set, lightly sprinkle the tart with powdered sugar. Serve with vanilla ice cream or a dollop of homemade whipped cream.

Enjoy!