Friday, March 13, 2009

rustic apple tart

when i lived in paris, i frequented poilâne, the ever so famous and tiny boulangerie on rue cherche-midi.

my pastry of choice was always either the pain au chocolat (chocolate croissant) or the tartlette with apples...

tartlettes thru the window @ poilâne

in the last season of top chef, when carla made her apple tart, it reminded me of those from poilâne. the other day i was at the market and they had the most lucious looking granny smith apples so i snatched them up, knowing exactly what i would make.

i adjusted carla's original recipe a little to my own liking. i have to be honest, it's not the easiest thing to make. not that it's that hard, it just requires some work (ie, peeling, coring and dicing 6 apples!!) but the reward is well worth it. the crust is fantasically buttery and flakey. need i say more?

rustic apple tart
makes 4 tarts

for the crust
2 cups all purpose flour
2 sticks (8oz) chilled butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/3 cup ice cold water
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar

in a cup, stir together the water, salt and sugar. it is important that the water is ice cold. if needed, keep the cup in the fridge until ready to use.

put the flour and butter in a large bowl. using your hands, sablage* the flour and butter together until the butter pieces are about the size of peas. put the flour and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment. with the mix speed on low, slowly add the water mixture and continue to mix just until the dough comes together. DO NOT over mix. divide the dough up into 4 discs (i weighed them), wrap each with plastic film and chill for at least 30 mins.

*sablage is a french term and i'm not quite sure how to translate it into english. basically, you use your hands to rub the flour into the butter. does this make sense? (if you have a food processor, you can pulse the flour and butter together)

apple filling
6 granny smith apples (approx. 2 lbs), peeled & diced
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup water

in a large skillet, melt the butter. add the apples and sautée for about 3 mins. add the salt, sugars and cinnamon. mix well and cook for 5 mins. in a cup, combine the water, cornstarch and vanilla. add the water mixture to the apples and stir in quickly. lower the heat and simmer for approx 15-20 mins or until the apples become tender and caramelized. removed from heat and let the apple mixture cool completely.


1 egg
1 tablespoon water
raw sugar or mixture of equal parts sugar and brown sugar

preheat oven to 375 degrees.
in a small bowl, whisk together the egg and water.

lightly flour your surface and roll out pastry disc to a 6" circle. put 1/4 of the apple filling in the middle, leaving approx. 2" border. fold the dough in, making pleats around the filling, leaving the center open. see pics below.

brush the tart generously with the egg wash, making sure you get in the folds. sprinkle with sugar. bake for 25-30 mins. or until the crust is golden brown.

bon appétit~!


  1. 'Sablage' sounds like what an english recipe would refer to as 'cutting in'...

  2. *gasp* why didn't you tell me about this blog before?! i immediately subscribed and added it on my favorites :D now that i have a kitchenaid, i'm totally going to make some of these! i'll let you know how it turns out~

  3. I love apple tarts! Yours looks divine

  4. The tarts are gorgeous. Just found your blog. Love it!

  5. I made these this morning. They were delicious and pretty straightforward to make. Thanks for the great recipe!

  6. thanks everyone for all the nice comments!

    anonymous - i'm so glad you made them too!

  7. Mmmmm! These look delish! As do all of your other recipes, of course. :)

  8. I made this a few days ago! they look nothing like yours though... your galettes are so pretty!

  9. You said it, food is love. I love apple tarts will definately use your recipe next time.
    Paris must be the mecca of tarts and desserts!!


  10. My husband is trying to make this and not doing well. Dough is sticking and cracking. He's having a fit!

  11. I've eaten different tarts but I've never eaten a tart like this, because I like the ingredients it has, what a delicious recipe I want to make it at home.m10m

  12. hello i would like to read more about this interesting topic.

  13. sablage stems from the French word "sable" which is French for sand. Therefore Sabler, the verb, is to abrade, or wear down. In this instance (in the culinary sense) it is to knead the dough so that it comes together.

  14. I tried this recently here it was divine! YUM

  15. we tried this recipe and it turned out amazing.. pastry was flaky and easy to do, apples mixture wasn't overly sweet. it took some time to make but well worth it.

  16. Come on this issue isn't that serious, just think about!