Friday, February 27, 2009

French Apple Tarts

I visited friends in Barcelona and in Toulouse the spring of 2007. We took a day trip to Carcassonne, France, a fortified city that now plays hosts to many, many tourists. The city is filled with delightful gelaterie and patisserie. I spent more time looking at the food than the fort.

One of my favorite items was a small apple tartlet.

I am attempting to recreate the patisserie's apple tart (I have a lot of apples laying around my place). My recipe makes 1 9-inch tart; to make smaller tarts, adjust cooking time accordingly.

This tart has a sweet pastry crust, apple and custard filling and an apricot glaze. Yum.

The Ingredients:

1 prepared (baked) sweet pastry crust (I don't have this on my site-but many others do. Check one out at Life by Chocolate.

For Apple Mixture:
3-4 large apples
2-5 tablespoons sugar (for tart apples, use more, for sweeter, use less...add some to your apple mixture and adjust accordingly)
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons lemon juice

For Custard:
1/4 cup flour
1/3 cup white sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 cup light cream or half&half
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon apple brandy (Calvados)

For Apricot Glaze:
1/4 cup apricot preserves
1/2 tablespoon Calvados

Wash, core and peel apples. Cut into thin (1/4 inch thick) slices. Top with lemon juice, cinnamon, 1 tablespoon sugar and butter. Taste, and add more sugar if needed. Let sit 30 minutes. Drain excess liquid into bowl.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the half-and-half until it just starts to boil and the cream foams up. Remove from heat.

In a large bowl whisk the flour and 1/3 cup sugar together. Mix in the eggs and stir to make a smooth paste

Gradually whisk into the egg mixture, stirring constantly. Whisk in the Calvados, vanilla extract and extra liquid from apples (if you have a lot, just add 1/4 cup or so). Set this mixture aside while you prepare the apples.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Arrange the apple wedges in concentric circles on top of the cooled and glazed tart shell. Carefully pour the custard over the apples to just below the top of the tart pan (do not fill all the way or the custard will drip between the crust and the pan).

Place tart pan on a larger baking sheet in middle oven rack. (This will catch any spills and will make it easier to remove from oven) Bake for about 25-30 minute, until the custard has set.

After putting tart into oven, heat up apricot preserves in small saucepan. When they begin to boil, remove from heat and stir in the 1/2 tablespoon of Calvados.

Lightly spread apricot glaze over the tart about 5 minuts before it is done baking. Turn to broil and caramelize glaze. You can cover the crust with aluminum foil to prevent it from getting too brown.

Let the tart cool on wire rack.


  1. Apple tarts are my favorite - delicious!

  2. The glaze looks yummy. I love the tarlets!

  3. Isn't the best thing about going to other countries the food? Everything else comes 2nd. These tarts=great!

  4. I love apple tarts and anything edible and little is something I must have.

  5. Sounds great... Reminds me so much of tarte tatin. Thee look so much better in smaller rounds.


Tried my recipe? Please let me know how it turned out for you! Be honest (and kind!)