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5 from 44 votes

Apple Tart

French apple tart from Cook's Illustrated, 2014, is a delicious tart with 5 pounds of apples! This show-stopper is perfect for a holiday dessert. (Please read all the tips and notes before beginning)
Prep Time45 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time1 hour 15 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Keyword: apple tart
Servings: 8 slices
Calories: 422kcal
Author: Cynthia




Apricot Glaze

  • 1/2 cup apricot preserves


For the crust

  • Adjust the oven so that one rack is in the lowest position, and one rack is about 6" from the broiler unit. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Whisk flour, sugar, and salt together in a bowl. Add melted butter and stir with a spoon until dough forms. Use 2/3 of the dough to press into the bottom of a 9" tart pan with removable bottom. Use the remaining 1/3 of the dough for the fluted sides. Smooth dough with your hands to an even thickness.
  • Place tart pan on wier rack set in a rimmed baking sheet and bake on west rack, until crust is deep golden brown and firm to the touch, 25-30 minutes. Rotate pan halfway through for even browning. Set aside until ready to fill.

Apple Filling

  • Peel and core all of the apples. Place them in cold water with the juice of a lemon to prevent them from browning while you slice them.
  • 1/2 of the apples will be cut into thin slices for the top of the filling. Cut 1/2 of the apples into 16 slices. Keep the remaining 1/2 of the apples in the lemon water while you cook the decorative slices.
  • Melt 1 Tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add apple slices and 1 Tablespoons water to the skillet and toss. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until apples begin to turn translucent and are slightly pliable. About 5 minutes. Spread apples in a single layer on a tray or large plate. (This prevents them from browning) While the apples are cooking make the apricot glaze. (Don't bother to clean the skillet, you'll use it again to cook the remaining apples)
  • The other 2 1/2 pounds of the apples will be cooked and mashed to make the base of the filling. Cut the remaining apples into 1/2" wedges.
  • Melt remaining 2 Tablespoons butter in the skillet over medium heat. Add apples, any remaining apricot preserves and solids to the sauce pan and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally until apples are very soft, about 10 minutes.
  • Mash the apples with a food processor or immersion blender until they are pureed. Continue to cook the puree until it's reduced to about 2 cups, about 5-7 minutes.
  • Spread puree on the cooked tart shell. Reserve the most pliable apple slices for the center of the pie.
  • Place the apple slices around the edge of the tart, working towards the center, using the thinnest for the very center of the tart.
  • Bake tart, still on wire rack and baking sheet, on the lowest rack of the oven for 30 minutes. Remove tart from oven and heat broiler.
  • Heat up the remaining 3 Tablespoons of the apricot glaze in the microwave, until liquid, about 20 seconds. Brush the thinned glaze on the apples, avoiding the crust.
  • Place tart on the upper rack and broil for 30 seconds at a time, watching carefully, turning each time, until the tart caramelizes on the edges, about 1-3 minutes total.
  • Allow the tart to cool for 1 1/2 hours before transferring tart to serving plate or cake stand.

Apricot Glaze

  • While the apples are cooking, microwave apricot preserves in the microwave until thinner, about 30 seconds.
  • Strain the apricot jam, pressing and reserve 3 Tablespoons of the strained glaze for brushing on the top of the tart.
  • The remaining apricot solids and any additional strained jam will be added to the filling. Set both aside.
  • Tart is best prepared and served on the same day.


Make ahead tips:
  • Crust can be pre-baked, and wrapped well for 24 hours. Do not refrigerate.
  • Both the puree and the cooked apple slices should be stored separately in the refrigerator, in air-tight containers, for up to 24 hours. 
  • To prevent the decorative slices from browning, try to keep them in one or two layers.
  • Store apricot glaze in the refrigerator.
  • Assemble the tart with the chilled puree and apple slices, adding 5 minutes to the baking time.


Serving: 1slice | Calories: 422kcal | Carbohydrates: 64g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 49mg | Sodium: 229mg | Potassium: 283mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 38g | Vitamin A: 722IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 1mg