Quick French Apple Tart with Calvados Cream


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.

Quick French Apple Tart

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!

apple compote sandwiched with oat crumble as a cake

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.

3 french apple custard tarts

Golden Delicious apples are great for all kinds of apple tarts

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.

If you prefer less acidic apples, use Golden Delicious, as they are perfect all-rounders for many tarts. Golden Delicious are good in  this French Apple and Custard Tart – or an Apple Nougat Tart.

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

Quick French Apple Tart Recipe

Making a simple French apple tart with 2 Granny Smiths

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.

Quick French Apple Tart Dessert

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!

Quick French Apple Tart

Puff PastryApple Tart with Calvados Cream

slice of apple tart with a dollop of cream on Paris plate autumn
5 from 11 votes

Puff Pastry Apple Tart with Calvados Cream

Author: Jill Colonna
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course : Breakfast, Dessert, Brunch
Cuisine : French
Keyword : apple tart
Servings : 6 people
Calories : 402kcal


A fast and easy apple tart recipe, with ready-made puff pastry, 2 Granny Smith apples, honey, butter, almonds and Calvados. Add the extra Calvados cream for special occasions.


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)

Calvados Cream

  • 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.

Calvados Cream:

  • 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.


* Pommeau is a lighter apple wine from Normandy made with 1/3 Calvados and 2/3 non-fermented apple juice.  If you can find this easily, this is fabulous to replace Calvados.
Serve with a dollop of the Calvados or Pommeau cream - or, if you prefer ice cream, replace the Drambuie to make this no-churn Calvados or Pommeau Ice Cream.
Apple Tart Glaze: If you like an extra glaze on your apple tart, brush over some warmed apricot jam before serving.
Measures: Please note that all my recipes are best made using digital kitchen scales in precise metric grams. Both ounces (and cups) are given as a guide. 

From the market

From the kitchen

20 responses to “Quick French Apple Tart with Calvados Cream”

  1. 5 stars
    Made this recently and it was as quick and delicious as the recipe suggests. Replaced the Calvados with some whisky – a touch of the Auld Alliance!

    • Thanks so much, Linda. Love the Whisky addition for a true Scottish-French connection!

  2. 5 stars
    Thank you Jill. It was so easy to make and maximum flavour!! The simple almond paste was what i was looking for; it reminded me of the apple tart i used to have at the French hypermarket i used to work for years before.

    • That’s wonderful you like the recipe and it evokes your memories in France! Thanks for popping in x

  3. 5 stars
    Thanks, Jill. I made it recently when friends came over for dinner. We all loved it!

    • Thanks so much for popping in to tell me! So happy you all enjoyed it – loved seeing your photos on Instagram. Have a delicious weekend!

  4. I would just like to show my appreciation to both you and Christina for the blood sweat and tears you put into using your computers.
    Stick in there lassies; we love you for it.
    Have a good weekend…

    • What a most lovely, motivating thing to say, Dave. Much appreciated as I don’t make any money of this here. It’s all for love!

  5. 5 stars
    Been crossing fingers for you as well deserved title of Best Blog in Paris for the second year in a row! Are the results out yet?

    • Hi Samuel,
      No news still from them yet. I have no idea! Thank you so much for all your support. Have a delicious Sunday x

    • Hi Samuel,
      I realized I didn’t get back to you on this, but the great news is that I did make it to Best Food Blog in Paris 2019 – it was so late in coming through, they’ve also made it for 2020! Thanks ever so much for your support x

  6. 5 stars
    You have NO idea how excited and happy it makes me to see an apple dessert with NO speck of cinnamon in sight! Honestly, it’s a breath of fresh air 🙂 I love the way you made it and the Calvados cream would be brilliant atop a slice, thank you! Sorry about the pine needles, but hopefully you saved it!

    • Glad you like it, Christina. I admit I love spices with apples too, depending on the dessert but in this one, it would just overpower the apples, as it’s so delicate. Besides, we want the kick from the Calvados, lol. I certainly did save it, as no wastage here, although the cream took a fright!

  7. 5 stars
    Oh my, this looks amazing and I don’t think there’s anything more French than a beautiful apple tart:-)

  8. 5 stars
    This looks gorgeous. The colours of those trees too. And I am 100% behind adding booze to all recipes!

    • Thanks – I can’t get enough apples at this time of year. Glad you like ze booze, Chloe!

  9. 5 stars
    Thanks so much for the recipe! Love your presentation, Jill. This is so good – I love the almonds at the bottom. Didn’t have any Calvados but used Grand Marnier which was lovely. I must get some Calvados for the next time. This is a keeper.

    • So glad you like this, Sara. Good thinking on your orange liqueur substitute in the meantime. Reminds me of an apple and orange in my Christmas stocking when I was little! Enjoy the apple tart x

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