Rustic Apple Tart

Kevin’s grandma turned 92 last Wednesday, so as a precursor to the birthday week, we had a little birthday celebration for her.  She can’t have nuts or chocolate, so I whipped up an apple tart.

Rustic Apple Tart
Rustic Apple Tart

Here’s the recipe, as adapted from Smitten Kitchen, who never lets me down with recipes:



  • 1 C unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 t sugar
  • 1/8 t salt
  • 6 T (or 3/4 stick) COLD unsalted butter, cut in 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3 1/2 T chilled water


  • 2 pounds apples (Golden Delicious or another tart, firm variety), peeled, cored (save peels and cores), and sliced thinly  [NOTE: 2 pounds is about 5 small apples, and I could only squeeze in about 3 1/2 apples in my tart pan laid out the way I had it]
  • 2 T unsalted butter, melted
  • 3-4 T sugar


  • 1/2 C sugar


  1. Mix flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer or food processor; add 2 tablespoons of the butter. Blend until dough resembles coarse cornmeal. Add remaining butter; mix until biggest pieces look like large peas.
  2. Dribble in cold water, stir, then dribble in more, until dough just holds together. The easiest way to do this is tablespoon by tablespoon out of a glass of ice water.  Toss dough with hands, letting it fall through fingers, until it’s ropy with some dry patches. If there are a lot of dry patches, add another half tablespoon water. Keep tossing until you can roll the dough into a ball. Flatten into a 4-inch-thick disk; refrigerate. After at least 30 minutes, remove; let soften so it’s malleable but still cold. Smooth cracks at edges.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, roll into a 14-inch circle about 1/8 inch thick.  Joe and Elsa got us this SWEET pastry mat that made it so much easier to roll out my dough to the right size around.  I don’t know about you, but my pie crust circles always end up more like an oval, so this really helped.

    Pastry Mat Lined with Parchment
    Pastry Mat Lined with Parchment
  4. Dust excess flour from both sides with a dry pastry brush.
  5. Place the dough in a lightly greased 9.5-inch round tart pan, or simply on a parchment-lined baking sheet if you want to go galette-style with it. Heat oven to 400°F.
  6. Overlap apples on dough in a ring 2 inches from edge if going galette-style, or up to the sides if using the tart pan. Continue inward until you reach the center. Fold any dough hanging over pan back onto itself; crimp edges at 1-inch intervals.

    Arrange Your Apple Slices
    Arrange Your Apple Slices
  7. Brush melted butter over apples and onto dough edge. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon sugar over dough edge and the other 2 tablespoons over apples. You can use another tablespoon if you like your tarts really sweet.

    Before the Glaze
    Before the Glaze
  8. Bake in center of oven until apples are soft, with browned edges, and crust has caramelized to a dark golden brown (about 45 minutes), making sure to rotate tart every 15 minutes.
  9. While your tart is baking, make the glaze. Put reserved peels and cores in a large saucepan, along with 1/2 cup sugar. Pour in just enough water to cover; simmer for 25 minutes. Strain syrup.

    Cook Down Sugar and Apple Remnants
    Cook Down Sugar and Apple Remnants
  10. Remove tart from oven, slide onto cooling rack, and let cool at least 15 minutes.
  11. Brush glaze over tart, slice, and serve.  Vanilla ice cream pairs wonderfully with this!

I made the tart the night before the party (and glazed it the night before) and the tart wasn’t soggy or anything.  It’s a really delicious tart.  Next time I make this, I may add a wee pinch of cinnamon to in the melted butter that gets brushed onto the tart prior to folding the crust over.

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