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Traditional French apple tart recipe

Traditional French apple tart recipe

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  • Pies and tarts
  • Sweet pies and tarts
  • Fruit pies and tarts
  • Apple pies and tarts

You'll be shocked at how easy it is to make this classic French apple tart. Use calvados if possible, for the most authentic flavour.

7 people made this

IngredientsServes: 8

  • 1 (23cm) shortcrust pastry case
  • 1kg apples - cored, peeled and sliced
  • 2 eggs
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 75g ground almonds
  • 200g crème fraîche
  • 30ml Calvados® or brandy

MethodPrep:20min ›Cook:25min ›Ready in:45min

  1. Preheat oven to 220 C / Gas 7. Line pastry case with apple slices.
  2. In a medium bowl beat eggs with sugar, almonds, crème fraîche and brandy; pour blended mixture over apples.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes. Enjoy with a glass of brandy, warm and cosy!

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The Queen-like Cloſet or Rich Cabinet (1672)

Be Sure to Try the Renaissance Apple Tart Recipe
(Source: ©studioM/

To make Tarts of Pippins (Apples)

Here's an early Renaissance apple tart recipe calling for the added flavor of orange peel and orange or lemon juice.

Having ſome Puff-Paſt ready in a Diſh or Pan, lay in ſome preſerved Pippins which have Orange Pill in them, and the Juice of Orange or Limon, ſo cloſe them and bake them a little.

To make an Almond Tart

Cooking Tip

Make your Renaissance-style tarts rich and chewy and for a traditional appearance, elaborately decorate them with colored sugars.

Take a Quart of Cream, and when it boils, put in half a pound of ſweet Almonds blanched and beaten with Roſewater, boil them together till it be thick, always ſtirring it for fear it burn, then when it is cold, put in a little raw Cream, the yolks of twelve Eggs, and ſome beaten Spice, ſome Candied Citron Pill and Eringo Roots ſliced, with as much fine Sugar as will ſweeten it, then fill your Tart and bake it, and ſtick it with Almonds blanched, and ſome Citron Pill, and ſtrew on ſome ſmall French Comfits of ſeveral colours, and garniſh your Diſh with Almonds blanched, and preſerved Barberries.

To make a brave Tart of ſeveral Sweet-Meats

Renaissance Tart Making

This Renaissance tart recipe makes an interesting sweetmeat pastry consisting of several fruity layers separated by a flaky puff pastry.

Take ſome Puff-paſte, and roule it very thin, and lay it in the bottom of your baking-pan, then lay in a Lay of preſerved Rasberries, then ſome more Paſte very thin to cover them, then ſome Currans preſerved, and then a Sheet of Paſte to cover them, then Cherries, and another Sheet to cover them, then any white Sweet-Meat, as Pippins, white Plumbs, or Grapes ſo lid it with Puff-paſte, cut in ſome pretty Fancy to ſhew the Fruit, then bake it, and ſtick it full of Candied Pills, and ſerve it in cold.

To make Puffe-Paſte

Enjoy experimenting with this early recipe for making puff pastry.

Cooking Tip

Renaissance puff paste was similar to today's puff pastry, so if you're in a hurry substitute the store-bought kind.

Take a quart of the fineſt Flower, the Whites of three Eggs, and the Yolks of two, and a little cold water, make it into a perfect Paſte, then roul it abroad thin, then lay on little bits of Butter, and fold it over again, then drive it abroad again, and lay on more Butter, and then fold it over, and ſo do ten times, make it up for your uſe, and put your Fruit or Meat therein and bake it.

The Queen of Hearts Nursery Rhyme

The Queen of Hearts she made some tarts all on a summer's day
The Knave of Hearts he stole the tarts and took them clean away.

The King of Hearts called for the tarts and beat the Knave full sore
The Knave of Hearts brought back the tarts and vowed he'd steal no more.

This familiar nursery rhyme was first published in England, in 1782, though it might have originated much earlier, when tarts were being made using these original Renaissance pastries recipes.

Author Lewis Carroll made reference to the rhyme's Queen of Hearts in his novel "Alice in Wonderland" in 1865, when he penned her as saying the oft-quoted line, "Off with their heads!"

Her Majesty Queen Henrietta Maria's Renaissance tart recipes are easy to make, and the colorful sweetmeats will be a hit with your guests, especially the youngsters who know the rhyme.

About the Renaissance Tart Recipes

Peeling an Apple to Make Renaissance Pastries
(Source: ©Vagengeym/

Tarts and sweetened pastries in the Renaissance Era were richer and chewier than today's. They were spiced, highly sweetened with sugar or honey, and sometimes thickened with almond milk while baking.

Their pastry crusts were crimped around the edges and for festive occasions, and they were fancily decorated with colorful comfit candies and had flavored sugars strewn over them. Violet and rose flavored sugars were the favorites with their natural colors.

Gum Dragon and 23kt edible Gold Leaf are not easy to find locally, so here's where to get the historical ingredients called for in some Renaissance recipes.

਌urious about historical ingredients and cooking methods, and that strange ſ letter in words? Click or tap the Red Button for a Glossary of Renaissance Cooking Terms.

French Apple Pie Recipe Tarte aux Pommes Fruit Tart Recipe

One of the most famous French desserts, this French apple pie recipe (tarte aux pommes) is one of the easiest French dessert recipes to prepare.

In France an apple pie is a one crust pie or tart. You can serve it anytime or add it to your Christmas dessert recipes. Plus it looks beautiful on a buffet table.

French Apple Pie Recipe (tarte aux pommes)

- Partially cooked pastry shell for a one crust pie in a 10 ½ inch (26 ½ cm) tart pan using our easy pie crust recipe.

- 6 or 7 apples : Golden Delicious, Jonagold, or Cortland

French Apple Pie Recipe step by step guide

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (204 C)

2. Peel and cut 4 apples into chunks.

3. Place apple chunks and water in a saucepan. Cook covered over medium heat for about 20 minutes and stirring well. When the apples begin to soften, uncover and add 1 tsp or 1 ½ tsp vanilla sugar and 3 TB butter, letting the compote cook down. Add a little more water if necessary.

the compote

4. While the sauce cooks, peel and cut 2 or 3 apples into quarters, then cut the quarters into thin strips. Set aside. (they will be used to be placed on top of the pie). I used 2 apples in the tart above. I think next time I'll use 3 to give it more volume on top.

5. When the sauce is ready, set aside to cool. The sauce is ready when the apples are soft and thick so that you can hold in a mass in the spoon.

6. 10 ½ inch partially cooked tart shell. (easy pie crust recipe).

6. Pour the sauce over the dough and spread evenly. Place the apple slices on top to form a circle.

7. Bake in the middle of a preheated oven for 30 minutes or until the apple slices have browned.

8. When ready, cool on a wire rack lifting away the sides of the pan.

Can be served warm or cold by itself or with whipped cream or heavy cream.

This healthy French apple tart is low in fat and low in added sugar. You can even leave out the sugar altogether like I do and enjoy a delicious sweet dessert.

Serving traditional French food at home is a rewarding and fun way to enjoy the culture of France without being there.

What is shortcrust pastry?

A shortcrust pastry is called pâte brisée in French. This buttery pastry dough is essentially a pie crust.

This pastry is made from simple ingredients: flour, water, fat, and salt.

It does not puff when it bakes, because it does not contain any leavening agents (baking powder, yeast, etc).

The Sliced apple layer

Discovery apples have a beautiful red skin the colour of which permeates into the flesh making this a great choice but it is a variety that is less well known and does not store well so the season is limited.

You can replace it with any apple variety that keeps its shape when cooked. I think a red skinned apple looks pretty but green skinned apples look good too. You can also if you prefer, peel the apple. Granny Smith or Braeburn apples work well.

Tarte fine aux pommes – Thin Apple Tart


  • 5 chantecler apples (golden delicious and green apples would be my recommendation)
  • 1 puff pastry
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon (or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla powder (or to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar


  1. Peel and cut 4 to 5 apples into very thin slices.
  2. Place them in a rosette on top of a puff pastry leaving a thin border around the edge.
  3. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of sugar and the cinnamon and vanilla to taste.
  4. Bake in the oven at about 350°F (180°C) for approximately 30 minutes.
  5. Enjoy hot out of the oven!

Posted on Tuesday, February 16th, 2021 at 12:13 pm in Food & Drink. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

Cooking notes:

  • The baking vessel: Choose a cast-iron skillet. I have tested this recipe with different baking vessels: a glass pie dish, a ceramic pie dish, a cake pan and a cast-iron skillet. The skillet made for the most successful recipe, by far (I used a 9-10” (22.9cm-25.4cm) cast iron skillet). I find that starting your oven on high (430F/220C) while using a skillet is best to give an initial heat shock to the tart, and provides faster and proper baking. With the other baking vessels, I had to cook the Tarte Tatin on lower heat for longer, which made the apples turn overcooked and mushy, while the crust was still barely cooked. A skillet tolerates and retains higher heat, which makes it the best vessel to create the best caramelization, crisp crust and proper overall baking.
  • The apple variety: Choose Honeycrisp apples. I have tested this recipe with different apple varieties, including Royal Gala, Melrose, Braeburn, Granny Smith and Honeycrisp. Honeycrisp apples provided the best results. They turned so sweet and tender, but not mushy at all. Many recipes out there suggest the use of both Granny Smith and Honeycrisp. Using different apple varieties is something I always do when I bake American-style apple pies, to provide both sweetness and tartness. But when I tried this option with the Tarte Tatin, the Granny Smith actually turned mushy, while the Honeycrisp kept a nice texture. The version using solely Honeycrisp was just perfect, working with my suggested cooking time and method (if you use other apple varieties that work well, let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear it).
  • Do not underestimate the initial stove-top cooking process. Taking the proper time to cook the apples on the stove-top first is an essential step. Do not rush it. You really want the apples to release their juices in the skillet, so they don’t sweat it out in the oven later– this is how you’ll end up with a juice oozing out of the pan when baking, and a soggy crust once the tart gets flipped. Once the apples have sweat their juices out and are lightly caramelized (this should take between 20 to 30 minutes, depending on your stove top), gently transfer them with a slotted spoon to a cooling rack, so they drain properly and cool down. The remaining apple juice in the skillet then gets reduced and turned into a caramel.
  • Don’t forget the salt! A Classic Tarte Tatin may be all about the sugar and apples turning into sweet caramel jewels, but a generous sprinkle of salt (fleur de sel, or sea salt flakes) will make the apples shine even more and bind all the ingredients together beautifully. Of course, because I am from Brittany (where we only rely on salted caramel), I think the step of salting the apples – after cooking them on the stove top and right before returning them to the skillet and into the oven – brings so much life to this tart. Think of it as salting your meat before your cook it. It brings tenderness, life and so much more character. For the fleur de sel, I use Fleur de Sel de Guerande. As a substitute, Maldon saltworks great too.
  • The crust: Homemade is the way to go! This recipe can be made with a store-bought pie crust if you wish. Although, I highly recommend you make your own crust here, as it will make a big difference. This crust recipe is specifically tailored to a Classic Tarte Tatin: it is buttery and crisp (firm enough to be kept together for the final flip), but slightly more delicate and crumbly than a classic pie crust – which is exactly what you want for a tarte tatin. It has to be a little more messy than your average apple tart.


Who has already enjoyed a good slice of milopita (mηλόπιτα)? In Greece, people are fond of desserts and more particularly of this traditional local apple pie. Milopita is halfway between an apple tart and apple pie. If you are a fan of apple pies, this one should please you!

What is milopita?

Milopita is a cake that can be prepared quickly but also a cake that gets eaten quickly. Its particularity is based on a preparation based on melted butter and brown sugar that is poured on the apples just before baking the cake.

Milopita usually contains eggs, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, apples and butter. Some perfume it with a little Greek liquor, usually ouzo, rum or Cognac. Milopita is not a very high cake, hence its comparison with apple tart. It is soft, and apples are very present.

Related Posts:

The milopita goes perfectly with a little Greek yogurt. Did you know that in Greece, it is common to enjoy a slice of milopita at breakfast? There is no time to enjoy a delicious apple cake.

What is the origin of milopita?

No one can say with certainty the origin of the milopita. The term milopita, which is written mηλόπιτα in Greek, means “apple cake”. Etymologically, pita means cake. You will therefore find a variety of pastries that will end with this suffix, such as the fanouropita (a cake with spices and nuts prepared to celebrate Saint Fanouros), the vasilopita (the traditional Greek yogurt cake that is prepared for New Year’s Day) or the karydopita (the traditional Greek nut cake soaked in syrup).

Apple pies, tarts and cakes around the world

In the United States, apple pie is an official emblem of the state of Vermont. It is served warm or cold with a good slice of cheddar cheese.

In France, there is a multitude of apple tarts. The Norman tart is an apple tart whose filling consists of cream, eggs and sugar: it is flavored with Calvados (apple liquor), and then thin slices of apples are placed on this filling before baking.

Another variation of apple tart and just as delicious is the famous tarte Tatin. It is an apple tart that is baked upside down where the apples are caramelized and the dough bakes on top.

In the Limousin, the original clafoutis recipe consists of cherries and a flan mixture. When people replace cherries with other fruits, such as apples for example, it is not called an apple clafoutis but a flognarde. The flognarde originates from the Limousin and Périgord regions in France.

In Gascony, they make the tourtière, also known as pastis Gascon. The tourtière is generally a savory pie in other regions of France but it is served as a dessert in Gascony. It is an apple cake that is covered on the top with the remaining dough that is stretched finely before being basted with melted butter. This dough stretched over the apple cake was inspired by baklava. It is so thin that you should absolutely see through it.

In Austria, the traditional apple cake is called apfelstrudel. This cake is also popular in Germany, Switzerland or in the north-east of Italy. It is a cake that consists of a thin dough and stuffed with large apple pieces, crushed nuts, and raisins.

In the United Kingdom, apple crumble consists of a layer of apples covered with a sweet dough that is crumbled into coarse grains. The crumble was created during the Second World War, following food rationing, because the traditional apple pie required too much flour, butter and sugar.

In the United States, people enjoy the traditional apple pie. But this apple pie is native to the UK. It consists of two layers of shortbread dough, with an apple filling, that is previously baked over low heat in butter and sugar. You need to make a hole in the middle of the dough to let the steam escape during baking.

We hope you will enjoy this cake. Feel free to try our other traditional Greek desserts!

Apple tart

Like any hotshot young chef working in the heart of the entertainment industry, Maple Drive’s Eric Klein knows how to make all of the lighter, brighter dishes that are demanded by his clientele.

But Klein also has a secret weapon: choucroute, the very antithesis of light and bright. A steaming mass of long-simmered sauerkraut flavored with the mingled essences of half a dozen types of sausage and smoked meats, choucroute is the archetypal centerpiece of the Sunday family meal in Klein’s native Alsace.

Perhaps surprisingly, it and other rustic dishes from that French region have become favorites at the restaurant, which serves as a kind of unofficial cafeteria for a healthy portion of the Beverly Hills music and movie industry.

Maybe it will be a slab of tarte flambee, like a tissue-thin pizza topped with a smear of softly cooked onions, creme fraiche and a little bacon. Or maybe it will be a tiny bowl of split pea soup. Or Klein’s take on pickled herring, which he makes with buttery Spanish mackerel and serves atop warm sliced potatoes (so delicious regulars have started calling it “holy mackerel”).

When the weather and his mood are right, Klein will even roll out the big gun: choucroute royale. It’s all part of his plan to make diners feel like they’re a part of the family.

“Choucroute is something I grew up with,” Klein says. “It’s something very homey. The whole family would sit around on a Sunday and have a good meal.”

But Klein also has a deeper reason for serving such elemental dishes. Choucroute, which means “sauerkraut,” “is one of the most basic things ever, one of the oldest dishes ever,” he says. “But now the old stuff is again the new stuff. It seems like every 25 years or so we go back to the basics, then we evolve again. Sometimes we lose track of real flavors, but those are the first things a chef needs to learn.”

Like so much of Alsatian cooking, the dish seems more German than French. Little wonder. The mountainous region is on the border between the two countries and has been fought over since time immemorial. The regional dialect is essentially German with some French thrown in, the great grape is Riesling and, Klein’s wife, Tori, likes to tease, pork fat is regarded as a vegetable (she knows whereof she speaks, being from Arkansas).

“Alsatian cuisine is rustic, yes, and maybe a little bit heavy when it’s not prepared right,” Eric Klein says. “But there are good simple flavors there. I want to bring those back. I want to take the traditional cuisine and evolve it, make it clean and pure.”

Klein, just 30 years old, was raised in the Alsatian equivalent of a foodie family. His dad raises cattle on a 250-acre farm his family has owned for more than 600 years in the mountains above Colmar, the heart of the Alsatian wine country. His mom is a butcher. Growing up, he learned to help her make sausages. Both of his sisters work in restaurants.

Klein started working part-time in a local restaurant when he was 13. When he graduated from high school, he got a job for a couple of years at a small family place in Bergholtz.

“It was not high gastronomy it was casual simple food,” Klein says. “But the chef had a lot of knowledge. He had worked at great restaurants and then decided he preferred to do something simple.”

Klein worked for a short time at Schillinger, a restaurant in Colmar with two stars in the Michelin guide, then, when mandatory military service intervened, he was assigned to cook for a French general and spent much of his time at his country house, located, ironically enough, in the German Black Forest.

“Everybody loved to come to our place because we had the best food,” Klein says. “Even the drivers ate well. We had everything: lobster, foie gras, everything. I went into the service weighing 155 pounds and came out weighing 200 pounds.”

At the end of his service, he went to work at Holtzschopf Gasthaus, a restaurant in Germany that is owned by a sister of Hans Rockenwagner, a well-known Southern California chef. On a visit home, Rockenwagner persuaded Klein to give California a try.

He moved to the U.S. in 1995 and worked first for Rockenwagner and then for Wolfgang Puck, starting at Chinois on Main, then moving on to ObaChine and finally Spago. In 2002, he won a competition for the outstanding sous chef in the country.

Just this August Klein took over the kitchen at Maple Drive, his first head chef position. By October he had earned the restaurant a three-star rating from Times restaurant critic S. Irene Virbila.

Given that background, it’s not surprising that he has come up with a couple of twists on the traditional choucroute. One of them is to cook everything in separate stages: braising the sauerkraut in wine cooking the potatoes poaching the sausages. That way, all of the elements can be prepared in advance, then combined and warmed through right before serving.

This also gives him a certain flexibility that is necessary when you’re cooking for customers, rather than family. “People in Los Angeles are always asking for things to be done a little different,” he says. “Maybe they don’t want the potatoes. No problem, we’ll leave them out.

“We even have Jewish customers who come in and want to eat choucroute. Can we make it without pork? Sure, no problem. We’ll use smoked chicken or turkey breast and veal sausages.”

When cooking at home, Klein is more likely to start from scratch, being willing to sacrifice ease and flexibility in return for the enhanced flavor that comes with long, mingled cooking.

As always with good cooks, Klein knows that the most important thing is paying attention to the small details, even (and perhaps especially) with a dish that seems so simple.

With choucroute, of course, it all begins with the sauerkraut, which he says should be labeled “all natural” and “uncooked.” Check the ingredient label, Klein says. A good one will be made from cabbage, salt, water or white wine and nothing more.

He likes Kreugermann’s brand, which he buys at European Deluxe Sausage Kitchen on Olympic Boulevard (his favorite spot for sausages). Kreugermann’s is made in Los Angeles and is widely available in the area. Klein also recommends the kraut made by Moessner Farms, which sells at the Santa Monica Wednesday farmers market.

The sauerkraut should be lightly rinsed and then very well drained so it will absorb the flavors during cooking. Klein sets his in a colander and then pushes down with his hand until every bit of liquid has been squeezed out.

The wine is important too, though you don’t need to splurge on a great bottle. Klein uses a big jug of Inglenook Chablis both at home and the restaurant. “You want something that’s a little sweet and has good acidity,” he says.

To the kraut and wine, Klein adds a sachet of seasonings. In a cheesecloth bundle he ties up mounds of whole caraway and coriander seeds, cloves, peppercorns, a bay leaf, juniper berries and several sprigs of fresh thyme.

“When this gets hot in the cooking liquid, it becomes a bomb,” he says. “It just explodes with flavor.”

While the kraut is cooking, Klein gets the urge to make his mother’s apple tart, another Sunday meal regular. In no time flat, he effortlessly tosses it together and sticks it in the oven to bake.

Once the sauerkraut base has been taken care of, it’s time to think about the sausages. At a minimum there should be two: a smoked sausage and a fresh garlic sausage. When Klein makes a choucroute, he may include five or six types.

There will almost certainly be a viennoise, which he compares to a hot dog (if so, this may be the way hot dogs are in heaven it is much less salty and more subtly spiced). He may also have a weisswurst, which is a white pork and veal sausage, and a beer sausage, a smoked pork sausage.

He also includes a fresh sausage, preferably made from pork with a good hit of garlic. Klein usually adds his own homemade blood sausage as well, an extremely elegant version spiced with nutmeg, mace and ground apple.

Sausages must be cooked carefully so they won’t burst. Klein covers them with cold water or stock and brings them to the boil. Then he reduces the heat to a mere simmer for exactly 15 minutes. Invariably, they are cooked through but still moist and beautiful, with the skins intact.

Smoked pork chops are also good to add, as are any other smoked parts of the pig. Slab bacon is particularly wonderful, buried in the kraut and cooked until it practically melts. “My mom always uses ham hocks too,” Klein says.

Don’t be afraid of using too many meats. It’s the combination of flavors that gives a great choucroute its depth and savor. In the Alsatian tradition, any leftover meat will be used later in the week in a variety of dishes.

All kinds of variations are possible. Perhaps the most seductive one (at least to a pork lover) is using a bacon stock to cook the potatoes and the sausages. To make it, Klein covers a good chunk of slab bacon with four fingers of water, adds an onion studded with cloves and poaches them until the bacon meat is almost falling apart. When the stock is done, he skims the fat. What’s left is an extremely delicious, subtly flavored liquid that is so extracted it gels when cooled.

It is hard to think of something that wouldn’t be improved by cooking in this stock. Klein uses it to simmer potatoes for potato salad and as a base for split pea soup. He likes it so much he freezes any that’s left over. You never know when a dish might call for a hint of smoky bacon flavor.

All of these steps might seem like a lot of trouble to go through for what is essentially a simple dish, but it’s the only way to get the best possible version. And Klein says that, in turn, is the only way to get customers to try new things.

“I know there are a lot of foods people will like to eat but they just don’t know it,” he says. “There are a lot of things people think they won’t like, but when they go to France, they don’t have any trouble eating them. That’s because they’ve been done the right way.

“I’d like to bring those things back. There’s no reason you should have to travel to enjoy them."*

Tarte fine aux pommes (thin French apple tart)

Through his years behind in restaurant kitchens, magazine columns, lecturing at AUT and judging on MasterChef, Ray McVinnie has taught many New Zealanders a thing or two about cooking.

I will keep publishing a recipe for this classic French apple tart forever, as it is a great addition to any cook’s repertoire. It is simple to make and looks like you got it from a patisserie in Paris. It has only three ingredients: pastry, apples and apricot jam. When something is this simple, the ingredients need to be of the best quality you can find because there is nowhere to hide. I use the Paneton brand of pastry. It is traditional French-style flaky puff pastry made with butter and is real quality. Use eating apples that hold their shape when cooked and buy a jam with at least 50 per cent fruit in it (and not much else apart from sugar).

You can pre-make this tart up to the brushing of the jam stage and with a preheated oven you’ll have a hot apple tart in 10 minutes. The pastry needs to be very well cooked, maybe a bit more than you think, just don’t burn it. I like to cook the tart on a pizza stone to make sure the bottom is crisp. An inverted cast iron frying pan will also work as a pizza stone. Put either one in the oven when you preheat it.

I like this tart with what we always call clotted cream. It isn’t. Real clotted cream is the unctuous skimmings off slowly simmering cauldrons of cream in Devon or Cornwall. But for a different version, add lemon juice to cream, don’t stir for a while, then stir slowly and the cream thickens. Tastes like very fresh creme fraiche.

Watch the video: æbletærte (November 2021).