This French apple tart with frangipane is delicate, beautiful, and most importantly delicious! The combination of apple, almond, and cinnamon is a sure winner every time. It’s a wonderful Thanksgiving dessert, autumn dessert, or even just an apple lover dessert with no holiday in mind. Because who really needs to wait for a holiday to make an apple tart? Read below for the recipe.
What is a French Apple Tart?
There are several variations of a French apple tart, but this particular recipe is very French. It consists of a pate sucree crust, frangipane filling (almond cream), and tart apples.
The one thing about this recipe that is not French is the cinnamon, which is really a very American touch. But honestly, I wouldn’t skip it for this recipe. This recipe doesn’t use Calvados or any other type of liqueur that adds more punch to the apples, so the cinnamon is a wonderful addition.
As a note, you do not have to make the beautiful apple rose if that is just not something you want to take the time to do. I’m all about showing you how to make a dessert, and then you do what works best for you.
My sister in law always tells me that she would never make the fancy desserts the way I do, nor does she really have a desire to. And that is just fine! I love to show people what they can achieve, but if it’s a day when that sounds too overwhelming, dump the apples into the tart crust and bake them as they are.
The Step You Should Never Skip
One of the most important steps in make a French apple tart or apple pie for that matter is to par bake the apples beforehand. There is nothing worse than a soggy apple tart that resulted from too much liquid escaping from the apples.
To par bake the apples, cook them for 5-10 minutes in a skillet with the other filling ingredients listed below. Allow them to cool some before placing them in the tart, and you will have one beautifully baked tart with soft and tender apples.
How to Finish Off an Apple Tart for that Extra Wow Factor
When the tart comes out of the oven, the apples may look a little dry or dull. This is perfectly normal since the apples are vertical instead of laying flat in the filling.
To give your French apple tart with frangipane that amazing finished look, use a simple glaze (listed below) of warmed apricot jam and water. It won’t change the flavor of the dessert since it’s such a light glaze.
It will, however, give the apples that permanent shine and keep the moisture locked in. I learned this technique long ago in culinary school, and it never fails to impress.
Essential Baking Tools
- You’ll need a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Don’t use a pan without a removable bottom, or it will be impossible to get the tart out whole.
- You’ll also need a good sharp knife (I love the Wusthof, but any good brand will do) to cut the apples to 1/16 inch. A dull knife is much harder to cut with, and more uneven cutting tends to happen.
- Use a stand mixer for the pate sucree and the frangipane.
- Lastly, use a pastry brush (these are the best I have used!) to brush on the apricot glaze at the end. There’s really no other good way to spread the glaze on.
Other Recipes You’ll Love!Print
French Apple Tart with Frangipane
- Prep Time: 60 minutes
- Chill Time: 90 minutes
- Cook Time: 50 minutes
- Total Time: 3 hours 20 minutes
- Yield: 8–10 servings 1x
- Category: Tarts
For the Pate Sucree (Sweet Shortcrust Pastry)
- 113 g 8 Tbs unsalted butter, cool but soft
- 23 g (3 Tbs) powdered sugar
- 1 egg
- 3 g (1/2 tsp) kosher salt
- 150 g (1 1/4 cups) all-purpose flour
- 32 g (1/4 cup) cake flour
- 70 g almond flour
- 70 grams egg (see recipe for explanation)
- 70 grams unsalted butter, softened
- 70 granulated grams sugar
- 1/2 tsp almond emulsion or extract
For the Apple Filling
- 4 Granny Smith Apples, peeled and cored
- 3 Honey Crisp Apples, peeled and cored
- 120 g (1/2 cup) caster or 100 g (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
- Juice of half a lemon
- 28 g (2 Tbs) unsalted butter, melted
- 1/4 cup apricot jam (for glaze)
- 2 Tbs water (for glaze)
- 3 grams (3/4 tsp) Cinnamon
- Vanilla Ice Cream (for serving)
- Homemade Carmel (for serving)
- Cream the butter and sugar on low in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.
- Add the egg and mix. It will look curdled, but that is okay.
- Add all dry ingredients and mix just until combined. Remove the dough from the mixer and shape into a flat round disk. Wrap with plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- If the dough chills for more than an hour, let the dough sit out for 20-30 minutes so that it is easier to work with. The dough gets really firm when it chills for a long time.
- On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough out into a circle that is 12 inches around.
- Fold the dough gently in half and then place in the 9 inch tart pan. Press the dough into the pan along the bottoms and then against the sides.
- Remove the excess dough along the edges with the palm of your hand or with a knife, then freeze for an hour.
To Make the Frangipane (Almond Cream Filling)
- Cream the butter and sugar together until smooth.
- Add the egg and almond emulsion, mix, and then cream in the flour. The frangipane should have a very spreadable consistency. If it’s stiff, add a little more egg. Set aside and make apple filling.
For the Apple Filling
- Peel, core, and slice apples thinly with a mandolin or by hand to 1/16 inch thick.
- Mix the apples with the sugar, lemon juice, salt, and cinnamon and place in a large skillet. Cook over medium heat and let the juices naturally reduce for 5-10 minutes. Apple should be bendable and softer, but not mushy or fully cooked.
- Remove apples from skillet and place in a bowl. Allow to cool for 20-30 minutes and to drain any extra juices.
To Assemble the Tart
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Remove the tart from the freezer and pour the frangipane into the tart shell. Smooth out the filling so it’s even.
- Next, place the apples in the tart shell with the flat end of each apple slice sticking down into the frangipane (curved part of apples should be up on top). Overlap the apples by 1/3 all the way around the tart. Continue to fill the tart until all of the apples make a rose.
- Brush with a melted butter and sprinkle with a mixture of 2 tablespoons of sugar and 1/2 tsp cinnamon.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until the edges of the tart crust are golden brown. If the apples begin to burn on the edges, lightly cover the top of the tart with a piece of foil.
- Remove tart from oven and place on a cooling rack to cool. Meanwhile, warm the apricot jam and water in a small pot until jam has melted. Use a pastry brush to brush the top of the apples with jam to give them a beautiful shine.
- Allow the tart to cool for an hour or longer so that it’s fully set. It’s best eaten warm with a scoop of ice cream.
- Store in an airtight container for up to a week at room temperature. The crust will soften after a few days, so it’s best eaten within the first 2 days for the optimal texture.
This is a Baker Street Society original recipe.
Keywords: french apple tart, frangipane, pate sucree