French Apple Tart

French Apple Tart

This is one of the most delicious apple tarts there is. It is quite time consuming to make, as each layer has to be cooked separately, but it really is worth going to this trouble.

A delicious apple tart. Best served with cream.



  • 4 large Cox’s apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped
  • 60g unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 75g granulated sugar, or to taste
  • 6 tablespoons Crème Pâtissière
  • For the sweet shortcrust pastry:
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs, 1 separated
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • 250g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 125g soft unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, plus extra for greasing
  • 1 egg white, beaten, for glazing
  • For the topping:
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2–3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
  • 40g butter, melted
  • 4 tablespoons apricot jam for glazing
  1. Butter a 22cm loose-bottomed tart tin.
  2. To make the pastry, place the sugar, whole egg, egg yolk and water in a bowl. Mix with a fork, then allow to stand for a couple of minutes.
  3. Put the flour in a heap on a work surface and sit the egg bowl on top to make a well.
  4. Put the butter in the well and rub with the flour using your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  5. Add the egg mixture and stir with a fork, then use your fingers and the palm of your hand to form a smooth dough. Do not overwork it.
  6. Roll the dough into a log shape, wrap in cling film and place in the fridge for 1 hour before use.
  7. When ready to use, remove the cling film. On a lightly floured surface, roll the pastry into a circle.
  8. Use the pastry to line the prepared tin, leaving a small overhang, as the pastry will shrink during cooking. Place in the fridge for 1 hour.
  9. Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Put the apples, butter and water into a pan and cook very gently until completely soft – about 20 minutes.
  10. Add the lemon zest and juice and cook for 2 more minutes. Finally, add the sugar to taste, then set aside to cool.
  11. Set the pastry case on a baking sheet. Line with a crumpled sheet of baking parchment and fill with ceramic baking beans, dried pulses or rice.
  12. Bake in an oven preheated to 180ºC/Gas Mark 4 for about 15 minutes.
  13. Remove the paper and baking beans, pulses or rice, then bake the case for a further 5 minutes, or until it is dry and light golden brown.
  14. Brush the baked case immediately with egg white, then return to the oven for 1 minute. Remove from the oven and trim the pastry overhang. Set aside until cold.
  15. For the topping, place the lemon juice and apple slices in a shallow bowl and cover with water to prevent the apple discolouring.
  16. Spread the crème pâtissière in the bottom of the pastry case.
  17. Then cover with a layer of the apple purée.
  18. Shake the lemon juice off the apple slices. Arrange them on top of the purée in a spiral pattern.
  19. Brush the top of the apple slices with the melted butter and bake the tart in an oven preheated to 180ºC/Gas Mark 4 for about 30 minutes.
  20. Heat the apricot jam until melted, then pass the mixture through a sieve into a bowl.
  21. Using a pastry brush, carefully spread the jam over the top of the hot tart in the direction of the apple slices and set aside to cool.
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