French Apple Tart

Sunday 11 April 2021

French Apple Tart

This recipe for a delicious simple French Apple Tart is one which will have everyone licking their lips in anticipation.  Its simple enough to serve for a family meal, but at the same time its impressive enough to serve to company.

This is something which I cooked as a dessert on a few occasions when I worked at the Manor. I often had to cater to silver service 5 course meals and my boss usually liked me to have at least two desserts for her guests to choose from.
French Apple Tart 
Normally she liked everything to be overly complicated.  I always tried to temper the complicated dishes with a few simple ones and dishes that I could do a lot of pre-prep for were what I preferred. 

After all I was all on my own in the kitchen. When you are talking about shopping and prepping for a huge dinner party that is a lot of work.

They would start with canapes to be served with drinks.  You would think canapes would be simple, but actually they are quite fiddly.  I would have to serve no less than 4 or 5 different canapes. 

A favorite with me was Quail's eggs with seasoning salt. The hardest part was the peeling of the cooked eggs, but depending on how many guests there were, this was something that went rather quickly for me.  

They were always served on a huge platter atop a bed of shredded lettuce, a bird's nest holding a dish of seasoning salt in the center.  Another favorite was smoked salmon on brown bread. Also very easy.

Other canapes would be parmesan crisps, easy . . .  I used to make these Indian shortbreads that were gorgeous.  The recipe is on here.  I liked doing those because they could be baked ahead of time and then just put together on the night.

I had a few other favorites I liked to do as well. Lets just say, easy was key for me, as much as possible.

French Apple Tart 
The first course all depended on what the main course was going to be.  I liked it when she wanted a soup of some kind because I could also do that ahead of time and just reheat it on the night. 

The main course would be major work, always. I didn't mind however.  I got to use the finest ingredients and really stretch my culinary abilities.  I got to cook things I would never have been able to afford to cook at home.   

Usually it would involve duck, or lamb, maybe beef,  with a sauce. A starch of some kind (either potatoes or rice.) I made a really fabulous Dauphinoise Potatoes. This could also be made ahead of time and then reheated at the last minute.

Usually two or three vegetables to accompany on the side also. 

French Apple Tart 
Always, always two desserts, and she liked to go really fancy there.  Most people would not choose one or the other, they usually had a tiny slice of each, whatever it was.

One favorite was the frozen Lemon Souffle.  One reason I liked that as a dessert was, again, I could make them ahead of time and have them in the freezer waiting to pull out when I needed them.  I tried to do that with both desserts if I could.

French Apple Tart 
Another favorite would be this simple French Apple Tart. It looks impressive and complicated, but really it isn't.  And lets face it, if you call something a tart, it automatically sounds special.

A simple pastry is made. Its a sweet pastry. You can make it earlier in the day and chill it.  Roll it out and then par-bake it.  This can all be done ahead. Bonus!

French Apple Tart

The fiddliest part of this tart is peeling, slicing and arranging the apples.  They are mixed with a spice mixture, some lemon zest and lemon juice and then arranged in the tart crust, atop a flour and sugar mixture.

The flour/sugar mixture is there to help absorb some of the juices from the apples, so that the pastry doesn't get all soggy.

French Apple Tart

And then you just bake it.  It bakes for a short time at a higher temperature, and then you reduce the temperature and bake it for a bit longer.

Just until the apples are crispy tender. You don't want them mushy.  Once they are just right, you pull it out of the oven and brush it all over with some sieved apricot jam to glaze it a bit.

Its best served at room temperature.  They always enjoyed it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Always Hagen Das.

French Apple Tart

While they were enjoying their dessert, I would be getting the cheese course ready. This was always served on a large silver tray with a silver biscuit barrel to hold the crackers. Usually six cheeses, and some fruit.

And as if that wasn't enough, once they were finished with the cheese course I would serve them coffee and chocolates in the Linen Fold room, which was a special room that had oak walls carved in a special linen-fold pattern.  The manor itself dated back to Tudor times and this room and its walls were dated back to that time.  

Then while they were enjoying their coffees, etc. I would start with the cleaning up. Usually I had my husband and the housekeeper to help me with that. Even so, it was a HUGE chore and we would be very lucky if we were home by 2 a.m.   

All in all though they were pretty wonderful experiences. I look back on them now and I wonder at how I managed to pull it all off. There was only me to do everything, but somehow I managed to sort it every time and do it well.  I am rather proud of that.

In any case I hope you enjoy this French Apple Tart! They always did!

Yield: 6
Author: Marie Rayner
Spiced Apple Tart

Spiced Apple Tart

A wonderful tart with a crisp and rich dessert pastry base, delectably sweet filling of apples . Serve at room temperature with a hot drink after dinner for a real taste treat!


For the Pastry:
  • 280g plain flour (2 cups)
  • 120g cold butter (1/2 cup)
  • 56g sifted icing sugar (7 TBS)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 TBS water
For the filling:
  • 4 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced
  • the finely grated zest and juice of one large lemon
  • 50g soft light brown sugar (1/4 cup, packed)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 TBS each plain flour and granulated sugar, mixed together
To finish:
  • sieved apricot jam


  1. First make the pastry. Sift the pastry into a basin. Add the butter, cut into pieces and rub it into the flour until it resembled fine dry bread crumbs. Add the icing sugar. Whisk in well.
  2. Make a indentation in the centre of the butter mixture. Beat the egg yolks and water together. Pour into the indentation and then, using a fork, mix together to a rough dough in the basin.
  3. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for a few minutes until smooth. Shape into a ball and then place into a zip lock bag. Place in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes, while you make the filling.
  4. Pre-heat the oven to 200*C/400*F/ gas mark 6
  5. Put the apple into a bowl along with the grated lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar and spices. Set aside.
  6. Take the pastry out of the refrigerator. Roll it out onto a floured surface to a round about 14 inches in diameter.
  7. Line a 10 inch diameter tart tin which has a removeable base with it, being careful not to stretch it. Don't trim off any of the overhang.
  8. Prick with a fork and line with a piece of baking parchment and fill with baking weights. Place onto a baking sheet and place into the heated oven.
  9. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, remove the baking parchment and the weights and return to the oven for a further 5 to 7 minutes.
  10. Remove from the oven and run a rolling pin over the edge all around and remove the overhang and discard.
  11. Sprinkle the base with the flour/sugar mixture. Add the apple slices, placing them into the pastry on top of the flour/sugar mixture in a really decorative manner.
  12. Return to the oven and bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 160*C/325*F/gas mark3  and bake for another 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush the top with the sieved apricot jam. Allow to cool to warm. 
  13. Cut into wedges to serve.
Did you make this recipe?
Tag @marierayner5530 on instagram and hashtag it #marierayner5530
Created using The Recipes Generator
French Apple Tart
This content (written and photography) is the sole property of The English Kitchen. Any reposting or misuse is not permitted. If you are reading this elsewhere, please know that it is stolen content and you may report it to me at mariealicejoan at aol dot com. 

Follow my blog with Bloglovin


  1. I'm in awe of all the work you had to do. And knowing you. I feel sure that you went above and beyond the call of duty. They were very lucky to have you working for them.

    This looks so wonderful. I wonder if I have the patience to carefully arrange those apple slices. I'm an impatient person and I can't see mine looking quite so professional and gorgeous. That's when custard comes in handy - it hides a multitude of mistakes - ha, ha!

    1. I did my best always Marie! Most of the time it was appreciated, and I did get overtime for all the extra hours at time and a half which helped! I can be very patient when it comes to things like this! Yes, custard is wonderful for covering a multitude of sins! xoxo

  2. I hope your efforts were appreciated by the guests. The lady of the manor I know was not a particularly grateful person.

    1. This is true, she was not the most gracious or grateful person. She did not like it if the guests complimented me on how lovely the dinner had been. She preferred them to say it to her and her alone. The day after I would get a critique on if it had been good or not from her. Generally she was okay with everything. But you heard it if she was not and she would call you out right in front of her guests. I can remember when I first started working there, she grabbed a plate from the front of one of her guests and shouted we are not field hands, there is too much food on this plate!! (Yes a southerner from Alabama she was.)

  3. Really? A southerner from Alabama? Well, that explains a lot. I don't think I'd expect a Brit to be so critical in front of others. To you, maybe or another person on the staff, but not in front of the guests. I read this list and I am overwhelmed with the volume of food and of course I would want to try it all! I think I'll definitely have to try this tart (and maybe some of the others!) A fascinating and very fun post, Marie. Quite the experience, to be sure.

    1. You are right Jeanie! Most British have far more class than that! I was flabbergasted as was the guest whose plate she commandeered! Haha I hope you try the tart and enjoy it! ❤️


Thanks for stopping by. I love to hear from you so do not be shy!

Did you make the recipe as directed? Recipe results are not guaranteed when changes have been made.

Is this comment helpful to other readers? Rude or hateful comments will not be approved. Remember that this website is run by a real person.

Are you here to complain about ads? Please keep in mind that I develop these recipes and provide them to you for free. Advertising helps to defray my cost of doing so, and allows me to continue to post regular fresh content.

Thanks so much for your understanding! I appreciate you!