French Apple Tart Recipe

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy for more info.

While I love creating beautiful cakes and darling confectionaries, it’s simple desserts like this Julia Child French apple tart (tarte aux pommes) that truly make me happy. It’s the uncomplicated combination of butter, sugar, and fresh fruit that’ll overwhelm your senses and reach the very deepest part of you.

Before winter arrives and citrus steals the show with desserts like my lemon ricotta cake or lemon tart, it’s important to embrace and give attention to apples, which are oh-so-deserving.

This rustic apple tart recipe carries the sweet scent of sliced apples glazed with fig preserves and will make anyone appreciate the art of baking with fruit.

I think this easy French apple tart is such a fantastic dessert when you’re looking for simple entertaining recipes. It’s the first dessert I think of when someone asks me for an easy French recipe.

It doesn’t matter what level baker you are or how fancy you like to get in the kitchen, this French apple tart will impress without a ton of effort.

If you’re looking to go the quick and easy route, you can make this French apple tart with puff pastry bought at the store. That makes this dessert a total cinch.

If you’re all about getting your hands a little messy, feel free to make your own pastry at home.

Regardless of whether you go the homemade route or store-bought route, just be sure you’re using puff pastry instead of pie crust. The puff pastry is a bit lighter, which is what we’re going for with this French apple tart recipe.

french apple tart

For the apple topping, you can use any kind of apple that you enjoy.

My love for apples is pretty evident here on the blog. I’ve got recipes like Chicken Normandy (which is a dish of chicken and apples), apple-glazed pork tenderloin, a frangipane French apple tart, and even apple jam!

Apples are wonderful for this tart because they bake really nicely, are naturally sweet, and they’re not super juicy, a.k.a. they won’t make your pastry soggy.

For this particular French apple tart recipe, I tend to use Gala apples or Honeycrisp apples. If you wanted, you could do a mix of sweet and tart apples like you might with a classic apple pie recipe.

A couple of points to take note of when you’re assembling this tart: 

  • If you assemble this French apple tart recipe as instructed below, your pan is likely to get pretty messy from the apple juices that run off the tart during the baking process. Make your life easy by using a sheet of parchment paper underneath the tart for easy clean-up and to protect your baking sheet.
  • When the juices run off, they’ll quickly turn dark and burn early in the baking process – don’t fret. Your actual tart is fine and should continue baking.
  • If you want to prevent any run-off of the apple juices, you can assemble this French apple tart a little bit differently. Instead of layering the apple slices all the way to the very edges of the tart, you can leave a thin (about 1/2″ to 1″) border bare along the edges of the puff pastry square. This will create a border wall around the apples that prevent the juices from running off the tart edges.

Perhaps one of the most beautiful aspects of this French apple tart recipe occurs after the tart comes out of the oven. Once the tart is fresh out of the oven and still warm, a simple brushing of fig preserves (or apricot preserves, marmalade, etc.) on top of the tart gives it a glamorous, shiny appearance.

Brushing sweet fruit preserves over desserts is an age-old technique many bakers and pastry chefs use to give their desserts that professional, glossy appearance. The technique works really well for this dessert makes this French apple tart a total show-stopper!

After I set the tart down at the table, I’ll usually cut up the tart into smaller squares for my guests. You can serve this French apple tart as is, or you can serve each square with a scoop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream for an indulgent touch.

french apple tart

French Apple Tart Recipe

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 sheet of puff pastry
  • 1 1/2 large crisp apple, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup fig preserves

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place a large sheet of parchment paper over a baking sheet. Unroll your puff pastry sheet (or if you've made your own, roll it out on a lightly floured surface to 10 1/2" by 15 1/2”). Use a fork to pierce all over the puff pastry.
  2. In a large bowl, very gently toss the apple slices with the lemon juice and brown sugar. Layer the apple slices on the puff pastry square however you prefer, diagonally or straight down. Just make sure you slightly overlap the apple slices.
  3. Bake the tart for approximately 40 minutes, until the edges of the apples and puff pastry begin to brown. The apple juices that stream off the tart will burn quickly on the parchment paper - do not worry, this is OK.
  4. Immediately loosen the tart from the pan using a metal spatula. Transfer the tart to your serving plate. Warm up the fig preserves in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Use a pastry brush to brush the fig preserves all over the tart. Enjoy warm or room temperature.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 6 Servings
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 329
French Apple Tart - easy & delicious! Recipe via MonPetitFour.com

20 thoughts on “French Apple Tart Recipe”

  1. I made this yesterday for my husband’s birthday party and it was a huge hit. Thanks for the wonderful recipe. Simple, beautiful and delicious!

    Reply
  2. Lovely French Apple Tart. How do you reduce the puff pastry burn due to juice runoff? I had to cut off about 2 inches from the perimeter due to sugar and apple juice burn. Once I remedy this small problem, this is the most delicious tart.

    Reply
    • Hi Sharon! Thanks for your comment! 🙂 What you can do if you’re experiencing a lot of juice runoff is to leave the border of the tart bare. So for instance, when you lay out your square of puff pastry out, take a fork and pierce everywhere along the inside of the square, but just make sure to leave a 1/2″ or so border along the edges of the puff pastry untouched. Then you’d layer your apple slices all over the pierced section of the puff pastry, but again, making sure to just leave that border along the edges bare. This way, when your tart bakes, the border of the tart will puff up because it doesn’t have the weight of the apple slices or fork piercings to release steam to stay down. The border becomes a sort of wall to keep the juices from spilling over the edges and running off. 🙂

      Reply
    • You can mix ground almonds, sugar, flour and 1 egg. Spread this over the pastry before you layer the apples. This will seal the pastry, so it doesn’t become soggy.

      Reply
      • Thanks for the idea, Julia! 🙂 Sharon, what Julia is describing is called frangipane. It’s very yummy and would make the dessert similar to a galette des rois in flavor profile (you can find a recipe for frangipane here, Sharon). But if you don’t want to make anything extra, the bare edges on the puff pastry should puff up and help keep the juices in. 🙂

Leave a Comment