Easy and quick recipe for French Apple Tart. Made with ready-made puff pastry, it’s baked in 20 minutes using 2 Granny Smith apples, honey, butter and almonds. Serve with a Calvados (or Pommeau) cream for the ultimate apple puff French dessert.
50 Shades of French Apples
With our Autumnal surroundings suggesting 50 Shades of Apples all around Paris (and chestnuts too) and dropping temperatures, we want pommes-pommes. (Chapeau to you if you can smile at that dreadful pun!). We love apples in all shades of fall: green, yellow, golden, pink, red…
Taken near our home near Saint-Germain-en-Laye, just west of Paris.
Even our garden mole is going mad about apples – albeit for fake Granny Smiths from our garden centre.
If you haven’t yet met la taupe du jardin, she’s quite a local celebrity with the passing French kids that go to the pre-school maternelle en route. They peer over the garden wall to see the latest message, if I’ve remembered her the night before – and sometimes post on Instagram/FaceBook stories. Do you think I’m teaching her wee fans to become a teacher’s pet? Back to this quick apple tart!
We love an Apple Crumble Cake, a recipe that’s perfectly easy for entertaining – but it needs 24 hours in the fridge to set. When a quick dessert is needed, then this is our answer.
Can Puff Pastry Be Used as a Tart Crust?
Ready-made puff pastry is one of our staples in the fridge. As its shelf life is quite long, it’s always handy to have a stock of it – or in the freezer. Just defrost thoroughly before using. It’s excellent used as a tart crust – for both sweet and savoury. If you have the choice for puff pastry like there are a few variations in France, pick one with added butter (‘pâte feuilletée pur beurre‘).
So if you don’t have much time to prepare a tart, using ready prepared puff pastry is so quick and easy – and makes a delicious tart like this as well. In France, it’s even easier, as the pastry is pre-rolled in a circle or can be bought as squares. Puff is also ideal to make a classic French Tarte Tatin – and is great as a tart crust in a savoury Tarte Tatin with Onions and Cheese.
What Apples are Best for Tarts?
What kind of apples you use for tarts depends on your personal taste. For a quick apple tart like this one, we love Granny Smith apples, as they are particularly acidic and tart. What’s more, they keep their shape in the oven without going mushy.
For much more on what kind of apples are best for tarts and other desserts, see the market produce apple page.
Simple Apple Tart Recipe
This easy recipe is inspired by my Fast Fig Tart in ‘Teatime in Paris‘ with a simple base of almond cream mixed with butter. Instead of rum I used Calvados to bring out the flavour of the apples.
By working quickly and slicing up the apples finely (use either a sharp knife or mandoline), there’s no need to pre-soak the apples in lemon juice. They don’t have time to go brown!
Instead, I ‘browned’ the apples by melting a little butter in the microwave, mixed with muscovado sugar. Quickly brush it over the apples and scatter over some slivered almonds to echo the think almond-pasted base. Then slam it in the oven.
With Apricot Jam Glaze
If you like your apple tarts extra shiny, brush over warmed apricot jam just before serving to create a quick glaze.
Did you know the French refer this glaze as ‘abricoter une tarte‘ (literally apricot-ing a tart)? For much more on this, see the apricot market produce page.
Do you Eat Apple Tart Warm or Cold?
Although apple tart can be served chilled, we prefer to serve this tart warm. Moreover, it’s delicious served at room temperature with a simple dusting of icing sugar.
French Fall Apple Tart
I saved you a slice for next day to take a better photo and this time with a dollop of Calvados Cream.
Except, I snapped mine so quickly to join the others for teatime that I knocked over the plate. Not at all the same kind of ‘accident’ like the upside-down apple tart invented by the Tatin sisters! Have you ever tried Calvados Cream with pine needles? I didn’t eat that part but I still enjoyed it as a French Fall Apple Tart!
Puff PastryApple Tart with Calvados Cream
Puff Pastry Apple Tart with Calvados Cream
French Apple Tart
- 1 packet ready-made all-butter puff pastry ready-rolled, if possible (250g)
- 2 Granny Smith apples organic
- 85 g (3oz/¾ cup) ground almonds
- 1 tbsp runny honey (e.g. Accacia)
- 60 g (2oz/? cup) butter softened (unsalted)
- 1 tbsp Calvados (or Pommeau)*
- 1 tbsp muscovado sugar or organic coconut flower sugar
- 1 tbsp slivered almonds optional (for decor)
- icing (confectioner's) sugar optional (for decor)
- 140 ml (5oz/¾ cup) whipping cream no less than 30% fat
- 60 ml (2oz/¼ cup) mascarpone cream
- 2 tbsp Calvados (or Pommeau de Normandie)*
For the Apple Tart:
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/180°C fan/Gas 6
- If the puff pastry isn't already rolled, roll out the pastry to about 5mm (1/4") thickness in either a rectangular or round shape. Place on a baking sheet covered with baking paper.
- Prepare the almond paste: in a bowl, stir together the ground almonds, honey, 15g of the softened butter and Calvados (or Pommeau). Spread evenly over the pastry, leaving a small space (1cm) in from the edge.
- Peel and core the Granny Smith apples and slice them as thinly as possible using a good, sharp knife. Quickly arrange them in rows on the pastry.
- Melt the remaining butter, stir in the muscovado sugar and brush on top of the apples. Scatter with slivered almonds, if using and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes.
- In a chilled bowl, whisk the whipping cream with the mascarpone and add the Calvados or Pommeau towards the end, just as the cream thickens.