French Apple Tart! A crisp sweet-crust is filled with roasted apple compote and topped with a blossom of sliced apples. A classic and elegant tart fit for any dessert table.
We often assume that French pastries are fancy and difficult to make. That can be true. But my favorite French recipes are those that are simple and elegant, like this French Apple Tart.
Apples are the star of the show here, both in the chunky roasted apple compote filling and in the lovely baked apples that grace the top of the tart.
- Tart Dough – Forms the sweet, crisp crust that is base of the tart.
- Apples – I prefer a tart, firm apple for this recipe. Granny Smith is a good option that is widely available.
- Granulated sugar – Sweetens the compote and is sprinkled on the tart before baking to promote browning.
- All purpose flour – Just a spoonful to thicken the compote.
- Cinnamon – For flavor.
- Panko bread crumbs – Thicken the compote and adds an interesting textural element.
- Lemon juice – To balance out the flavor of the compote.
- Salt – For Flavor.
- Butter – Melted butter is brushed on the apples before baking to promote browning.
How to make French Apple Tart
- Par-bake the tart shell and set it aside to cool while you make the compote.
- Peel, core and slice the apples for the compote.
- Toss the sliced apples with the sugar, flour, cinnamon, bread crumbs, lemon juice and salt.
- Spread the apples into a single layer on a buttered baking sheet.
- Stir the apples halfway through baking so they cook evenly.
- Bake until the apples are soft enough to mash with a fork and the juices are caramelized.
- Transfer the apples back to the bowl and mash with a fork until you have a chunky compote.
- Pour the compote into the pre-baked tart shell.
- Spread the filling to an even layer.
- Peel, core and slice the apples to 1/4″ thick.
- Arrange the apple slices in a pretty petal pattern over the compote. Brush the apples with melted butter.
- Sprinkle sugar over the apples.
- Bake until the apples are tender. You can run the tart under the broiler to brown the edges of the apples.
- Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.
Pastry Chef Tips for making French Apple Tart
- Any tart and firm apple works for this recipe. You can adjust the sugar and lemon juice in the compote according to how sweet/tart your apples are.
- To work ahead the dough can be mixed and refrigerated several days ahead of time. The dough can also be frozen for several months.
- The crust can be par-baked a day ahead of time.
- The compote can be made 2-3 days ahead of time and refrigerated.
- The tart is best the day it is baked and will keep at room temperature for 2-3 days,.
- Serve with lightly sweetened creme fraiche or whipped cream.
We love French Pastries. Here are more recipes for you to try: French Apple Cake, Pate a Choux, Chocolate Marveilluex, Baba au Rhum, Marolaine, Kouign-Amann, Caneles, Macarons, Sable Cookies, Madeleines and a romantic Coeur a la Creme.
If you love this recipe as much as I do, I’d really appreciate a 5-star review.
French Apple Tart Recipe
- 1 recipe Tart dough
- 2 pounds apples (about 4)
- 6 ounces granulated sugar (¾ cup)
- 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¾ ounce Panko bread crumbs (¼ cup)
- ½ ounce lemon juice (1 tablespoon)
- ¼ teaspoon table salt
- 18 ounces apples (about 3)
- ½ ounce lemon juice (1 tablespoon)
- 1 ounce unsalted butter (melted)
- ½ ounce granulated sugar (1 tablespoon)
- Roll the dough to fit a 12" fluted tart pan. Prick the bottom of the dough with a fork and refrigerate until firm.1 recipe Tart dough
- While the tart shell chills, preheat the oven to 350 °F. Bake the tart shell until it's light brown around the edges and pale in the center, about 7-8 minutes. Set the crust aside to cool while you make the compote filling. Keep the oven on.
- Generously butter a half sheet pan. To make the compote, peel and core the apples. Cut the apples into 8ths. In a mixing bowl toss the apple slices with the granulated sugar, flour, cinnamon, bread crumbs and lemon juice.2 pounds apples, 6 ounces granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon all purpose flour, ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, ¾ ounce Panko bread crumbs, ½ ounce lemon juice
- Dump the apples onto the prepared baking sheet and spread them into an even layer. Bake until the apples are soft enough to mash with a fork, about 20 minutes. Halfway through baking toss the apples to help them bake evenly. Remove the pan from the oven and transfer the apples back to the bowl. Mash them until you have a chunky compote. Taste the compote and add sugar or lemon juice as needed.
- Spread the compote into the tart shell. Peel and core the apples. Cut each apple in half, then slice into ¼" thick slices. Toss the apple slices with the lemon juice as you cut them to keep them from browning. Arrange the apples slices in a pretty petal pattern, starting with the outside edge and working your way towards the middle.18 ounces apples, ½ ounce lemon juice
- Brush the apple slices with the melted butter then sprinkle with granulated sugar. Bake until the apples slices are soft and starting to brown on the edges, about 25 minutes.1 ounce unsalted butter, ½ ounce granulated sugar
- Turn on the broiler and run the tart under the broiler for a minute or two to deeply brown the edges of the apple slices.
- Transfer the tart to cooling rack and cool until lukewarm before removing the sides of the pan. Serve slightly warm or room temperature.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.