Rustic Apple Tart

Rustic Apple Tart

Rustic Apple Tart 1900 2380 Daryl Duarte

Rustic Apple Tart

This is one of the most luxurious desserts you can serve – warm from the oven, delicious buttery pastry, and perfectly cooked seasonal fruit filling. There is very little sugar added – just enough to compliment the fruit. The key to this dessert is the buttery, tender crust. The key to making the dough that makes the crust is cold ingredients. Cold butter, cold surfaces, and cold hands – all contribute to perfection. If you suffer from warm hands, I recommend submerging your hands into ice-cold water for as long as you can, drying them off, and touching the dough as briefly as possible. I am not kidding. Flaky pastry is no joke! My mother had cold hands (but a warm heart), and naturally, her pie crusts were perfection.


For the dough

  • 1/2 lb (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter
  • 2 cups unbleached flour
  • 1/4 cup superfine sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup ice water

For the filling

  • 2 Granny Smith apples
  • 2 tbs lemon juice
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • 2 tbs butter


Making the dough

  • This recipe works best with very cold butter. Cut the butter into ½ ” cubes; return to the refrigerator for at least 10 minutes.
  • If you don’t have superfine sugar (does anyone?) no sweat - just place the sugar in the bowl of the food processor and run the food processor for about 30 seconds to pulverize the cane sugar. This will do nicely.
  • Add the flour and salt and pulse a few times to combine.
  • Add butter and toss quickly with a spoon to coat each cube with flour.
  • Pulse approximately15 times; the butter should be no smaller than small peas.
  • With the motor running, add the ice water all at once through the feed tube. Process about 10 seconds, being sure to stop before the dough becomes a solid mass.
  • Place the dough into a clear plastic food storage bag. The dough will still be loose and granular. Use your hands to compress into a flat round disc.
  • Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 2 days.
  • This dough is enough for two 10-inch tarts. You can divide the dough into two equal pieces and wrap and freeze them separately. The day before you intend to make a tart, thaw the dough in the refrigerator.

Preparing the filling

  • Peel the apples, and cut each into four equal pieces.
  • Remove the core, seeds and stem and discard the trimmings into the compost bin.
  • Slice the cleaned apple segments into 1/8 inch slices.
  • Toss the apples slices 2 tablespoons in the fresh lemon juice (this helps keep them from browning and especially important if you are preparing your apples ahead of time - which I highly recommend).
  • Store the apples in a quart container in the refrigerator.

Assembling the tart

  • Preheat the oven to 425 1/2 hour prior to baking the tart.
  • On a floured work surface (cold is best) roll the dough out to about a 10-to-12-inch round. This process involves several steps and turns of the dough, dusting with flour each time – and making sure the dough is not sticking to the work surface.
  • Roll the dough onto the rolling pin, and then roll back down onto a baking pan lined with a piece of parchment paper.
  • You can pause at this step if you are preparing ahead (which I recommend for dinner parties with a warm dessert), cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate the rolled-out and ready pastry.
  • Just before baking, put the fruit in the middle – leaving ample dough to roughly fold back over the fruit – leaving about 4 inches in the middle of exposed fruit.
  • Dot with butter, sprinkle with sugar, and a dash of cinnamon, and bake for about 20 – 25 minutes.
  • Allow the tart to cool for about 10 minutes before serving.


You can serve this alone, or with some vanilla ice cream. You can gild the lily with some caramel sauce. Or just a dusting of powdered sugar and for some nice crunch - some crushed candied pecans. Baker’s choice!
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