This ode to the classic apple tart found in many french bakeries is an absolute apple dream. A thin, buttery, flaky crust topped with sliced apples, all baked to golden perfection and glazed with a sweet jam. Enjoyed perfectly as it is for a crunchy, sweet moment.
You could also pair it with some vanilla bean ice cream or dust with powdered sugar. This apple tart is the size of half sheet pan, making it great for gatherings or parties—just cut up and serve!
This post is sponsored by Yes! Apples.
Some Materials You’ll Need:
- Medium-sized mixing bowl
- Measuring cups/spoons
- Mandolin / sharp paring knife
- Rolling Pin
- Plastic Wrap
- 1 Half Sheet Pan / parchment paper
- Pastry brush for jam
I got inspired to make this after seeing a couple versions out there just as tantalizingly delicious. The incomparable Barefoot Contessa makes a wonderfully boozy version and David Lebovitz crafted a stunning disc-shaped version with puff pastry.
Definitely check those out too, friends!
Making the Tart Dough
The dough with for this apple tart is essentially just your basic pie dough. I’ve never been a fan of sugar in my pie dough, especially here with all the sugar being sprinkled on top. That and the jam brushed overtop—plenty of sweet and sugary goodness to be had already! Let’s walk through how to make this flaky dough, shall we?
- If you can, place your butter in the freezer for 15 minutes prior to making the dough. Cold butter is essential for flaky dough and it’ll help let you handle it longer before getting sticky.
- Whisk your flour and salt together in a medium-sized bowl.
- If not done so already, cut your butter into a little 1/2 inch cubes, and then toss them in the flour to coat each piece (gives you a little barrier between the cold butter and your warm fingers, plus it helps prevent butter seeping out and burning in the bake later).
- Squish each piece of butter between your fingers to create flat little “shingles” of butter, crumbling a few along the way too. You want a good mix of big flat pieces and smaller, pea-sized crumbles.
- Make a well in the center, pour in half of your ice cold water (1/4 cup), tossing until evenly distributed. Add half your water again (~1/8 cup), toss, and then add your water by the tablespoon until the dough holds together, but is still crumbly. You don’t want it to be wet and sticky!
- Wrap it tightly in plastic and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour, but 2 hours is ideal. The dough will hydrate a bit and become easier to handle.
How to Make Your Crust Flakier
There’s a step I think is often skipped over in recipes that baker’s often secretly do in preparing their pie doughs. Some do mention it, so it’s not all, but I think it’s essential in achieving the flakiest dough possible—one that also is much easier to handle and roll out.
After you’ve chilled your dough in the fridge, you want to roll it out and fold it a few times (repeating that process) to create some layers. While you’re doing this, the dough goes from looking a bit shaggy to much more smooth and supple. Plus, it’s not hard! Just requires a bit more of your time, which for this apple tart is very, very worth it.
- Take your chilled dough out of the fridge and on a lightly floured surface, roll it out into a large square (roughly 10×10 inches).
- Fold it half one way (top to bottom) and then in half the other way (left to right), so that your dough is now a quarter of it’s original size.
- Roll out the dough into another large square, repeating the folds and adding small bits of flour as needed to avoid sticking to the surface.
- After that last fold, wrap your dough tightly in plastic again and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes (up to 1 hour) before using.
You’ll be left with dough that is much easier to handle and much, much flakier!
Assembling and Baking the Apple Tart
Making and preparing the pie dough is honestly the most labor-intensive step of this apple tart recipe. Once you get to the assembly portion, it’s super simple to throw together and bake!
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out your dough until 1/4 inch thick (adding small bits of flour as needed), and then trim into a large 10×14 inch rectangle (the size of a regular half sheet).
- Place in the fridge to keep cold while you prepare your apples.
- Peel and core your apples (if not done so already) and slice them as thinly as possible—I used a mandolin on the 1/8 inch setting, but you can also cut by hand with a sharp paring knife.
- Arrange your apples, slightly overlapping, in 3 or 4 rows and be sure to leave an inch border.
- Sprinkle your granulated sugar overtop the apples, then evenly distribute your little cubes of butter around the top (see photos above or below, I cut tablespoon-sized pieces into quarters).
- Bake on the center rack of your oven at 400°F for 40-50 minutes or until desired browning on the crust, making sure to rotate the pan halfway through (see notes in recipe card below for tips).
- When there’s about 5 minutes left in the bake, melt your jam of choice in a small saucepan over medium heat with the water to thin it out.
- Once you take your tart out of the oven, immediately brush the warm jam overtop (the crust too). Let cool on the baking sheet for about 15 minutes before moving to a separate rack to cool even more.
Check the recipe card for some suggestions on how to serve or what to pair this with! I love eating as-is because you really get to taste those apples with that flaky crust and sweet jam. Less is more, friends.
Pink Lady Apples from Yes! Apples
Like I’ve mentioned with previous apple recipes, when it comes to this tart being so paired back, you want to make sure you’re using high-quality produce! My buddies over at Yes! Apples are my absolute go-to. Always fresh, so juicy, and stay fresh in the fridge for a long time past other brands.
I used their Pink Lady variety for this apple tart! Their labeled as a cross between a Golden Delicious and a Lady William (so very fancy, indeed). They definitely lean towards the tart end of the spectrum, which helps cut down and balance the added sweetness in other parts of this recipe.
Grab some of this vibrantly pink and red apple on their website! Don’t miss my discount code below!
Grab $10 off plus a FREE hat (while supplies last) with your first order using promo code “JOSHISBAKING” at checkout! Head here to find some delicious apples and get baking.
I hope to see some flaky, sweet french apple tarts out there in the world! Tag me (@joshisbaking) over on Instagram if you do, friends. Always love to see your make my bakes. Truly makes me so happy to see!
Check out some of my most recent recipes:
- Baked Brie with Marmalade & Spiced Pecans
- Apple Pastry Rings with a Vanilla Bean Glaze
- Coffee Buttercream
This ode to the classic apple tart found in many french bakeries is an absolute apple dream. A thin, buttery, flaky crust topped with sliced apples, all baked to golden perfection and glazed with a sweet jam.
- 2 cups all purpose flour (275g)
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cold
- 1/2 cup ice cold water
- 3–4 apples, peeled/cores/very thinly sliced (no bigger than 1/4 inch)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 stick unsalted butter, cold, cut into a little 1/2 inch cubes
- 1/2 cup apricot jam/honey/apple jelly (even apple butter—just use less water if already thin)
- 2 Tablespoons water
Making the Dough
- Whisk together the flour and salt in a medium-sized bowl, toss your cubes of butter in the flour to coat them, flatten/crumble the butter between your fingers (you want a good mix of pea-sized pieces and large flat “shingles”). Make a small well in the middle, pour in half the ice water (1/4 cup), toss with the flour until evenly distributed. Add half the remaining water again (~1/8 cup), tossing to distribute. Then just keep gradually adding the water by the tablespoon until the dough holds together, but still crumbly (not wet).
- Shape the dough into a disc, wrap tightly in plastic, and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour (2 hours is ideal). Take out the dough, and on a lightly floured surface, roll it out into a large square (~10 inch). Fold in half one way, then fold in half the other (so it’s a quarter of the size). Roll it out into a square again and repeat the folds, using a small amount of flour if needed. Wrap tightly in plastic and chill in the fridge again for at least 30 minutes (up to 1 hour). This folding process creates layers and makes your dough much easier to work with.
Assembling/Baking the Apple Tart
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out your dough until 1/4 inch thick (adding small bits of flour as needed to avoid sticking), and then trim into a large 10×14 inch rectangle (the size of a regular half sheet). Place on a parchment lined baking tray (half sheet or larger) in the fridge to keep cold while you prepare your apples. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Peel and core your apples (if not done so already) and slice them as thinly as possible—I used a mandolin on the 1/8 inch setting, but you can also cut by hand with a sharp paring knife. Arrange your apples, slightly overlapping, in 3 or 4 rows and be sure to leave about an inch border around the outside (I used 3 apples and did 3 rows, which gave me a few slices left over to snack on—oh darn).
- Sprinkle your granulated sugar overtop the apples, then evenly distribute your little cubes of butter around the top (see photos above, I cut my butter into tablespoon-sized pieces and then into quarters). Bake on the center rack of your oven at 400°F for 40-50 minutes or until desired browning on the crust, making sure to rotate the pan halfway through (see notes below on baking time/tips).
- When there’s about 5 minutes left in the bake, melt your jam of choice in a small saucepan over medium heat with the water to thin it out. Once you take your tart out of the oven, immediately brush the warm jam overtop (the crust too). Let cool on the baking sheet for about 15 minutes before moving to a separate rack to cool even more.
Serve warm with some ice cream, dust with powered sugar (once completely cooled), or eat just as is like I did. Sometimes less is much, much more.
This is best enjoyed day-of, but will keep for a couple days stored in an airtight container at room temperature (the apples will loose a bit of their texture, so I highly recommend making and eating the day it’s made).
- Baking the Tart: I baked my apple tart for about 50 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. I wanted it to get nice and dark (the apples a bit too), which I highly recommend for a good crunch! Just pay attention to the crust so it doesn’t burn (a little bit’s okay though), as every oven is different. The bottom of my oven runs very hot, so the middle rack works great for me.
- Chilling the Dough: The more time you’re able to give your dough in the fridge, the better! You always want dough to be cold—its cold butter that gives you a flaky crust and makes things less stick when rolling. Don’t skip the added step with the folds (step 2)! This makes your dough much easier to handle and creates some lovely layers.
- Slicing the Apples: Truly try and get those apples as thin as possible! I know not everyone has a mandolin to get that exact 1/8 inch size, but you can just as easily achieve this with a sharp paring knife. It just might take a bit more time and precision. Making them thin allows you to fit more on and results in them browning up a bit in the bake (which you want, I promise).
Check out my other recipes with Yes! Apples:
- Apple Biscoff Cheesecake Bars
- German Apple Cake with Golden Figs
- Fresh Apple Oatmeal Cookies
- Apple and Almond Cream Galette
Looking for something else to bake?