Desserts

Rustic French Apple Tart

This rustic french apple tart is a beautiful combination of apple pie and apple crisp. A flaky crust layered with a mixture of sweet and tart apples is topped with a buttery oat topping and drizzled with caramel sauce. An elegant yet simple dessert for your holiday table that can be made ahead.

When you can’t decide between an apple crisp or an apple pie, you make this rustic french apple tart. A perfect marriage of two iconic apple desserts. Don’t let the word french scare you off, though, there’s nothing fancy here, quite the opposite. A french apple tart is a pastry filled with a thin layer of apples without a top. It’s rustic, elegant, and forgiving, meaning you don’t need to make it all pretty and perfect like a pie. the beauty of this dessert is the imperfections

My all-in-one approach to this rustic french apple tart is to elevate the ordinary while keeping it simple. It’s rustic, elegant, and forgiving, meaning you don’t need to make everything pretty and perfect like a pie. the beauty of this dessert is the imperfections.

While there are a few layers of ingredients, they are simple to make. One of the tips I love to share on my blog is how to make elegant dishes easily. With this recipe, I use the oat topping that I use for my berry crisp and the crust from my berry tart. When I made them this past summer, I made a double batch and froze them.

So If you choose to make this apple tart, make extra! You’ll thank me later. No need to peel the apples; it adds to the rustic appearance and texture. This year, I saved myself some time using a high-quality store-bought caramel sauce; both are great time-saving tips. Short on time with thanksgiving fast approaching? Use a store-bought pie crust. But honestly, make the crust, guys; it takes 5 minutes!

Ingredients Needed

Ingredients for tart crust

Apples ~ use a firm variety, such as granny smith, gala, golden delicious honey crisp, or fuji. No need to peel them unless you prefer to

Sugar ~ White, brown, or sugar substitute

Oats ~ I use quick oats because they cook up a little crisper and, of course…quicker. You can use old-fashioned oats; the texture may be a little chewier.

Caramel sauce ~ homemade or store-bought.

Crust ~ I like a thicker crust, which makes it a larger tart, feeding more people and easier to work with. A store-bought pie crust can be used. Powdered sugar is used to create a tender, softer texture versus crumbly, but you can substitute regular sugar.

Half and half ~ You can substitute milk or any milk alternative.

Turbinado sugar ~ This Is a coarse brown sugar used to top the tart. You can substitute regular sugar.

French apple tart on a platter

How To Make This French Apple Tart

The crust

  1. Mix the flour, powdered sugar, and salt in a food processor; pulse a few times. Cut the butter into small cubes, and add it to the dry ingredients. Process until the dough forms a ball. Cover in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator while you make the topping and filling.

The topping

  1. In a medium size bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, oats, and salt. Toss in the cubed butter and mix until it comes together. I usually use my hands… mostly because It’s fun… or you can use a fork if you prefer. It should hold together when you press it between your fingers. Set aside.

For the apple filling

  1. Wash, core, and slice apples pretty thin, about 1/8 to 1/4-inch thickness. Place them in a medium size bowl and add the lemon juice, cornstarch, sugar, and cinnamon. Toss well to coat all the apples. Set aside.

Assembling The Tart

  1. Remove the dough from the refrigerator. If it is too cold, let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes. Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface, about 10 inches in diameter, preferably a Silpat (silicone sheet). This way will allow you to transfer it to a baking sheet instead of trying to pick up the entire tart.
  2. Layer the apples in a uniform circle about 2 inches from the edge. No need to be fancy here unless you want to. It’s supposed to look rustic! you want to create a flat bottom layer and then keep working in circles and stacking them, making them as compact as possible. The apples shrink and flatten out as they bake.
  3. Fold the edges up and over the apples, overlapping them as you fold them. Again, nothing fancy. The important part is to contain all the apples in a compact package.
  4. Top the apples with the oat topping, careful not to press down too hard. I lift the edges to get some into the sides. Brush the dough with egg wash, and sprinkle with turbinado sugar
  5. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 20 -30 minutes or until golden brown. Apples should be soft when pierced with a knife. Cool slightly and drizzle with caramel sauce. Top with whipped cream or ice cream if desired. Can be served warm or at room temperature
tart dough rolled out
apples assembled on tart dough
Demonstration of tart dough being folded
French apple tart assembled, with egg wash being applied.

What Type Of Apples Are Best For The French Apple Tart

A mixture of both sweet and tart varieties adds excellent flavor. Use firm apples that will hold their shape when baked, such as granny smith, braeburn, golden delicious, honeycrisp, pink lady or Jonagold. Avoid red delicious or macintosh, as they lack the taste and can become mushy when baked.

Make Ahead

Great news! make the entire rustic apple tart and freeze it unbaked. Once assembled, wrap securely with plastic wrap, and freeze for up to 2 months. When ready to eat, take from the freezer, place in the oven, and bake as directed. Baking time may take longer.

Or place the wrapped tart in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Sliced apple tart drizzled with caramel sauce on a serving platter

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Rustic French Apple Tart


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  • Author: Teri Wallingford
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 810 1x

Description

This rustic french apple tart is a beautiful combination of apple pie and apple crisp. A flaky crust layered with a mixture of sweet and tart apples is topped with a buttery oat topping and drizzled with caramel sauce. An elegant yet simple dessert for your holiday table that can be made ahead.


Ingredients

Units Scale

For the crust

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter ( slightly softened ) cut into small cubes
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons ice water
  • Egg wash ( 1 egg plus 1 tablespoon water whisked together)

For the topping ( this will make more than you need for this tart. You can freeze the remaining or cut the ingredients in half)

  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 stick, plus 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter ( slightly softened )
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

For the apple filling

  • 34 medium size apples sliced thin, about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon1 egg ( for brushing )
  • Optional turbinado sugar ( for sprinkling)
 


Instructions

For the crust

  1. Mix the flour, powdered sugar, and salt in a food processor; pulse a few times. Cut the butter into small cubes, and add it to the dry ingredients. Process until the dough forms a ball. If the ball doesn’t form, stop and turn the dough on the counter and work until it comes together. Cover in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator while you make the topping and filling. 

For the topping

  1. In a medium size bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, oats, and salt. Toss in the cubed butter and mix until it comes together. I usually use my hands… mostly because It’s fun… or you can use a fork if you prefer. It should hold together when you press it between your fingers. Set aside.

For the apple filling

  1. Wash, core, and slice apples to about a 1/4-inch thickness. * see notes  Place them in a medium size bowl and add the lemon juice, cornstarch, sugar, and cinnamon. Toss well to coat all the apples. Set aside

Assembling the tart

  1. Remove tart dough from the refrigerator. If it is too cold, let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes. Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface, about 10 inches in diameter, a Silpat (silicone sheet). This way will allow you to transfer it to a baking sheet instead of trying to pick up the entire tart.
  2. Layer the apples in a uniform circle about 2 inches from the edge. No need to be fancy here unless you want to. It’s supposed to look rustic! you want to create a flat bottom layer and then leep working in circles and tacking them,making them as compact as possible. The apples shrink and flatten out.
  3. Fold the edges up and over the apples, overlapping them as you fold them. Again, nothing fancy. The important part is to contain all the apples in a compact package.
  4. Top the apples with the oat topping, careful not to press down too hard. I lift the edges up to get some into the sides. Brush the dough with egg wash, and sprinkle with turbinado sugar
  5. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 20 -30 minutes or until golden brown. Apples should be soft when pierced with a knife. Cool slightly and drizzle with caramel sauce. Top with whipped cream or ice cream if desired. Can be served warm or at room temperature

Notes

*Depending on the size of the apples, you may or may not use all of them

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 Minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

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