Apple Tart

apple_tart_tableanddish-7660-2The cool air is tugging at my senses pulling my culinary choices toward warm apple crisps, hearty soups, and comfort foods.  I’m not quite ready for this first day of Autumn. This past summer was a blur as we soaked up every last minute of quality time with Paul before we sent him off to college.  It never seems like there’s enough time.  Now that he’s there I send him teasing snapchats of our meals and he responds with dull plates of bland colorless food.  Yesterday he was making mac and cheese.  No not the Pioneer Woman’s ultimate home made mac and cheese but the one you prepare in the microwave.  College has its compromises.  Yes! The kids taught me how to snapchat.  Move over hipsters. They know I struggle with it because 1. I can’t edit my pictures and 2. They go away! No archive! ugh! I take screenshots of many of their snapchats because I’m simply too slow to take it all in in 10 seconds. 

apple_tart_tableanddish-apple_tart_tableanddish-111apple_tart_tableanddish-3530We have traditionally made a trip to the Apple orchard every year.   This year we simply haven’t made the time.  We will be going in October for Mary’s 12th birthday so more apple dishes to come.

Last week my neighbor called to say she had far to many apples from her friends tree and that she would leave a bag of them on the porch for me. Yes, Please and Thank You Laurie!  

apple_tart_tableanddish-7199I thought for a second about just sending them in school lunches but the thought of pie seemed much better.  Feeling creative I decided to make the pie in a spring form pan.  The pan cheese cakes are made in that release from the sides after baking.  I wanted to achieve straight sides but didn’t have the right size tart pan. (Time to go shopping!, Sorry honey!) This was a bit of a fail because as you can see the crust was not very attractive.  However one bite and it didn’t matter. Since this pie was going to be an experiment I decided to try a sauce under the tart and brushed onto the apples that I usually make for french toast.  Yes, I’m mixing it all up.  But stick with me because in the end it was delicious.

My friend Crystal writes a blog about easy dinners and one of her delicious dishes is an apple french toast casserole. On her casserole she serves an apple cider syrup. Well, we had just made this the day before and I had an extra jar of this wonderful syrup. I had cooked it a bit longer to reduce it to a thicker syrup than your typical maple syrup.  So I decided to brush the tart crust and then the apples generously with this syrup before baking. HUGE HIT!

Apple Tart 


  • 7-8 crisp tart apples
  • Apple cider syrup (recipe below)
  • pie crust (recipe below)


  • Prepare your pie crust and let it rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  • Prepare your cider syrup.  This can be done the day before.
  • Roll out your dough into a round slightly larger than your tart pan or springform pan.
  • Gently lift dough from work space and place in your pan pinching the edges with your fingers alternately to form a decorative edge.  If using a fluted tart pan simply cut the extra dough from the edge.
  • Poke five or six fork holes in the bottom of the crust to avoid bubbles and place in oven to pre bake for about 10-15 minutes.
  • While the crust is baking prepare your apples. 
  • Start by preparing a bowl with ice water.  Peel and core your apples,  Cut them in half then each half into very thin slices. As you slice you apples add them to the bowl without breaking them apart.


  • Remove crust from oven.
  • Brush crust liberally with the cider syrup. The crust will be slightly cooked but still somewhat soft so apply syrup carefully.
  • Drain your apples carefully.  You can place them onto a paper towel to absorb extra water but be careful to keep the apple halves intact.
  • Place your apples into your crust arranging them so most of the apples appear as intact sliced halves. 
  • Brush liberally with the cider syrup.
  • Bake an additional 40 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the apple slices are tender.

note: I like to wrap my pies and tarts with foil around the edges so the crust doesn’t brown too quickly and then burn while you’re waiting for the interior to cook.  I find if you remove the foil for the last 20 minutes the crust browns evenly. 


Perfect All-Butter Piecrust (makes two crusts)

  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 sticks of cold butter
  • 1 teaspoon of cider vinegar
  • ice water

Pulse flour, sugar and salt in a food processor. Add 1 diced stick cold butter; process until combined. Add 2 more diced sticks cold butter; pulse three times, or until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add 1 tablespoon white or cider vinegar. Gradually pour in 1/3 cup ice water, pulsing about four times until combined.

Turn out onto a clean surface and press into a cohesive dough without overworking (you should see bits of butter). Wrap in plastic wrap and press into 2 one inch-thick disks; refrigerate at least 1 hour before rolling out.

If you do not have a food processor you can do what I did on this pie and use a hand pastry blender and use your hands to fully incorporate the dough. work quickly so your warm hands don’t melt the butter. You want the dough to have streaks of butter throughout it.

Rolling out the dough:

Remove the dough 5-10 minutes before you plan to roll it out. Dough that is too cold will crack. Lightly flour your work surface and a wooden rolling pin. As the disc becomes bigger as you roll it out be careful not to over stretch the center of the dough. rotate clockwise from the center. If a crack forms patch it with a piece of dough and a little water. Roll the dough until it is 2-3 inches larger than your pie pan and about 1/8th inch thickness.

Once your pie is ready chill it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Place a foil-lined baking sheet on a rack in the lower third of the oven; preheat to 350 degrees. 


Apple Cider Syrup 

I usually triple this recipe. You can refrigerate leftovers too!

  • 2/3 cup of cider
  • 2 Tablespoons of sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Before turning on the burner, add all of the ingredients to a small sauce pan. Whisk well until combined then bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for about 2 minutes. This recipe can be doubled if you family likes a lot of syrup.

I hope your family loves this dish as much as mine did.  I have to make it again soon because when I tried to bring some over to Laurie she was not home.  Next time!




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