Apple Crumble Tart

This apple crumble tart is a delightful dessert that combines the comforting flavors of apple pie with the satisfying sweetness of a delicate crumb topping. Not only is this tart delicious, but it’s much easier to make than apple pie. Read below for all the details.

apple crumble tart on a wood serving platter against a warm tan back drop with apples

What’s in an Apple Crumble Tart?

An apple crumble tart, also known as an apple crumb tart, combines a tender, sweet crust, an apple cinnamon filling, and the most delicious brown sugar crumble.

The ingredients you’ll need for this tart include light brown sugar, granulated sugar, flour, kosher salt, unsalted butter, egg, cinnamon, and apples.

Apple Pie Vs. Apple Tart

What’s the difference between an apple pie and an apple tart?

While the apple filling is very similar for both desserts, the crust is not. An apple pie almost always uses a savory pie crust with little to no sugar. Pie crust can be more difficult to work with, and it’s not as forgiving as tart crust. For beginners, I always recommend starting with tarts because the crust is easier to master.

The second difference is that with apple pie, you might choose to add a lattice, but with a tart, you’ll rarely see a crust on top. This is because tarts are made in a shallower baking pan. If you add crust on top, the tart will feel overwhelmingly crust-heavy.

Finally, an apple tart doesn’t have to be baked as long as an apple pie due to its shallower depth.

apple crumble tart on a wood serving platter with apples around

Best Apples for Tarts

For apple crumb tarts, use baking apples. Baking apples hold their shape and don’t become soggy when baked. The best apples for tarts include Honeycrisp, Braeburn, Granny Smith, Fuji, and Jonagold.

As you’ll see in this recipe, I use Honeycrisp apples partly because they are widely available. They also have a crisp but not overly tart flavor, which works well for apple desserts. I also use them in this Apple Tarte Tatin.

Should You Peel the Apples?

The answer is that it’s a matter of preference. For apple crumble tarts, I like to peel the apples, but there’s not a significant change in flavor or texture whether you leave the peel on or not. I like to use a peeler like this.

3 Tips to Make the Perfect Apple Crumb Tart

1. Prebake the Tart Crust

Bakers often wonder about this, so I’m going to give you a general answer that will help you with this tart as well as others. Prebake (blind bake) a tart crust for an apple crumble tart or any tart that has a baked fruit filling.

The reason?

When you prebake the tart crust before adding the filling, this helps the crust to be more resilient to moisture. Naturally, apples (and most fruits) produce juices when they bake. A prebaked crust is not going to absorb as much moisture.

For the best results when blind baking a tart crust, use parchment paper and pie weights (see recipe below).

2. Tent the Tart

Because the tart crust is prebaked, the apples are going to take longer to bake than the top edge than the apples. The apples need 40-50 minutes to bake, but the crust will be golden at around 20 minutes.

To prevent the crust from browning too much, add a ring of foil around the top edge of the crust. You can do this as soon as you put the apple tart in the oven, or you can add the foil 30 minutes into the baking process.

Pro Tip: How to Make Foil Ring

Tear off a piece of foil slightly bigger than your tart. Then fold it in half, and then turn it a quarter turn and fold in half again. With scissors, cut a quarter circle out of the foil. Open the foil up, and place it over the tart so only the crumble is showing. Or use a crust ring like this.

3. Let the Tart Cool Before Eating

Just like an apple pie, this apple crumble tart needs to cool before serving. Cooling serves two purposes:

  • Cooling allows the juices to cool and thicken more. In turn, the filling isn’t runny once cooled.
  • Allowing the tart to cool makes it easier to slice.

You can serve this tart warm or completely cool, but avoid trying to serve it straight from the oven. This tart needs at least 3 hours to cool, and then it can be properly served.

slice of apple crumb tart with a gold fork and honeycrisp apples

The Best Way to Make a Crumble Topping

As I worked on the apple tart crumble, I tested two ways of making it. Both were delicious, but one was the clear winner!

The first method I tried was the traditional method of making crumb topping. To do this, I combined the dry ingredients and cut in cold butter with a pastry blender. The topping was delicious, but it almost formed into a solid layer as the tart baked, which isn’t what I was going for.

The second method still includes the same ingredients, but instead of using cold butter, I opted to use melted butter. I’ve seen this method used before, so I was fairly confident it would work. And it did! The best way to make a crumble topping for tarts is the melted butter method. Overall, it was easier and baked best.

With this method, the apple tart crumble was beautiful and had that true crumbly look that you see on top of coffee cake.

How to Make an Apple Crumble Tart

  1. Make the pate sucree (sweet crust pastry) in a stand mixer.
  2. Roll out the dough on a floured surface and chill the dough for 5 minutes.
  3. Place tart dough in the tart pan and press into the grooves and bottom. Trim excess, and prick the bottom of the crust with a fork.
  4. Freeze the crust, then prebake for 20 minutes. Cool completely.
  5. Make the crumble by combining the dry ingredients. Pour in the melted butter and gently toss to form clumps and crumbs. Refrigerate until needed.
  6. Peel, core, and slice apples into thin slices. Mix the dry ingredients and toss with apples.
  7. Arrange apples in the tart crust until full and slightly mounded.
  8. Top with crumble, and bake for 40-50 minutes.
  9. Cool for at least 3 hours before serving.
slice of apple crumble tart on a white plate with a gold fork

Common Questions About Making Apple Crumble Tarts

Q: How long should I bake the crumble tart?

The typical time is 40-50 minutes, but look for these 3 indicators in addition to the bake time:

  • First, the crust should be deeply golden brown.
  • Second, the apples should be soft. You know they are soft if the apples have baked down and aren’t mounded as high.
  • Third, the juices from the apples are thick and bubbling.

Q: Can I make the apple crumb tart ahead of time?

Yes, you can make apple crumble tarts ahead of time. To do this, prebake the crust, fill it with the apples and crumble, and refrigerate for up to 24 hours before baking. When you are ready to bake the tart, remove it from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking so the chill wears off.

Q: Can I freeze an apple crumble tart?

Yes, you can freeze your tart after it’s fully baked and cooled. Once the apple crumble tart cools, wrap it well in plastic wrap and then place in a freezer bag. Freeze the tart for up to 3 months. When you are ready to eat the tart, thaw it in the refrigerator for at 12 hours or overnight, and then bake at 325 degrees F for 25-40 minutes to warm through. If the crumble starts to brown, lay a sheet of aluminum foil on top.

slice of apple crumble tart on a speckled white plate with apples in the background against a warm brown backdrop

Q: Can I make this apple crumb tart gluten-free?

Yes, you can make an apple crumble tart gluten-free. Use flour like Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free flour or Cup4Cup for the crust. Substitute cornstarch for the flour in the apple filling, and use your gluten-free flour for the crumble and crust.

Q: Can I use other spices in this apple tart?

Yes, you definitely can. Other good spices for apple crumb tarts include nutmeg, cardamom, and allspice. If you choose to add other spices, start with 1/8 teaspoon and add more if you want a stronger flavor.

A Quick Note

This recipe calls for 600 grams of apples. To ensure an accurate weight, weigh the apples once they have been peeled and cored.

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Apple Crumble Tart

slice of apple crumble tart on a speckled white plate with apples in the background against a warm brown backdrop

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This apple crumble tart is a showstopper dessert that combines the comforting flavors of apple pie with the sweetness of a crumb topping. Not only is this tart delicious, but it’s much easier to make than apple pie. An apple crumble tart is perfect to make for fall, Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any holiday.

  • Author: Camille
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Chill Time/Cool Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 hours
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Tarts
  • Method: Creaming
  • Cuisine: French

Ingredients

Units Scale

For the Sweet Crust Pastry

  • 113 g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 75 g powdered sugar
  • 30 g egg (scramble one egg and weigh out 30 g)
  • 1/4 tsp Morton’s kosher salt
  • 135 g all-purpose flour
  • 30 g cake flour (substitute AP flour if you can’t find cake flour)

For the Apple Filling

  • 600 g Honeycrisp apples (3-4 large apples)
  • 75 g granulated sugar
  • 90 g light brown sugar
  • 1/2 +1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 25 g all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp Morton’s kosher salt
  • 14 g unsalted butter, melted

For the Crumble

  • 5 Tbs unsalted butter
  • 115 g all-purpose flour
  • 100 g light brown sugar
  • 25 g granulated sugar
  • 1/4 + 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt

Instructions

To Make Apple Tart Crust

  1. Cream the butter and sugar on low in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.
  2. Add the egg and mix until absorbed and creamy.
  3. Combine the dry ingredients in a small bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the mixer in 2 additions, and mix on medium low just until combined.
  4. Remove the dough from the mixer and shape into a flat round disk. Wrap with plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  5. If the dough chills for more than an hour, let it sit out for 20-30 minutes to make it easier to work with.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 F/ 175 C and begin making the tart.
  7. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a 12-inch circle, then transfer to a 9.5-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Gently press the dough into the tart pan, and trim the excess dough off the edges with a pairing knife.
  8. Prick the bottom of the tart with a fork about every inch.
  9. Line the tart with parchment and pie weights (or rice) so that it keeps its shape while baking.
  10. Bake for 20 minutes, remove pie weights and parchment, and cool (about 30 minutes to cool). Keep oven at 350 F.

To Make the Crumble

  1. For the crumble, combine all dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Melt the butter, and pour over the dry ingredients. Gently toss or fold in the butter so that the mixture forms into a crumble. Don’t mix into a smooth ball. Toss just until the crumble is hydrated and crumbly. Use your hands to break up larger bits of the crumble. Cover and refrigerate while preparing the apple tart filling.

To Make Apple Tart Filling

  1. Combine both sugars, cinnamon, salt, and flour in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Peel and core the apples, then cut them in half and slice them into 1/16-inch slices. Place the slices in a large bowl and toss with the sugar mixture.
  3. Place half of the apples in the tart crust and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of melted butter. Add remaining apples and drizzle with the second tablespoon of melted butter.
  4. Pour crumble on top of the apples in the tart and spread out evenly. Break up any large bits if needed.
  5. Bake the apple crumble tart for 40-50 minutes until there are bubbly, thick juices and the crust and crumble are golden brown. Place foil over the crust if it’s browning too fast during baking.
  6. Remove from oven and cool for at least 3 hours before slicing and serving. This tart is best eaten within 1-2 days, but on day one, it’s the absolute best.  Cover and store at room temperature once cooled. Serve as is or warm with vanilla ice cream.

Notes

This is a Baker Street Society recipe.

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