Apple Tart Recipe

Apple tarts fresh from the oven

This classic apple tart recipe is light and not overly sweet. The pastry is flaky and practically melts in your mouth and the apples look so pretty fanned out on the top.

You can also replace the apple with fresh apricot, which is really amazing. Or you can do it with nectarines or peaches. I think they look particularly pretty with the lovely orange colour against the pastry cream.

We enjoy having these tarts in the autumn when apples are at their best. When choosing apples for this tart, choose apples that are quite small. It's easier to make a pretty pattern with smaller apples.

The characteristics you are looking for are firmness of flesh (so that it holds its shape) and sweetness.

If you can find them, Cox's apples are best. I found a website called Orange Pippin about apples that is truly wonderful. It has tasting notes, characteristics and photographs of hundreds of different apple varieties.

I prefer to make this apple tart recipe with classic puff pastry. However I do sometimes make them with rough puff pastry if I don't have any puff pastry in the freezer and I'm in a hurry.

Classic puff pastry takes about 5½ hours to make, rough puff pastry only takes 2½ hours to make from scratch. Both these times include lots of time allow the pastry to rest in the fridge.

You can make the creme patissiere in advance, but I find it easier to spread if you make use it straight away. I usually make the creme patissiere while the pastry is resting.

Apple Tart Recipe

Time: (not including pastry) 40 minutes
Level: Intermediate (if you make the pastry)
Makes 6 apple tarts

One third quantity of puff pastry
(or about 400g)
One quantity of creme patissiere
1 or 2 apples
40g (¼ cup) caster sugar Egg wash (1tbsp milk and 1 egg yolk

Fresh apple tarts
  • Roll out the puff pastry to about 2mm thick. If you used one third quantity of homemade puff pastry, folded at the sixth turn as I recommend, you only need roll the pastry out into one long strip. The strip will be just over 12cm wide. I allow the strip to hang over the edge of the worktop as I roll it.
Rolling puff pastry
  • If you do use bought pastry, try to roll it out in such a way that you can cut all six discs at one go. You don't want to re-roll puff pastry, or you lose the layers.

  • Cut into six circles about 12cm in diameter. I didn't have a cutter, and just cut round a yogurt pot lid with a sharp knife.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment and place the discs onto the paper. Sprinkle with a little water and put in the fridge for 20 minutes.

  • Make the creme patissiere at this time if you don't already have it.

  • Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 6, 400F, 200C.

  • Prick the pastry five or six times with a fork. Brush a little eggwash around the edge of the circles. Make eggwash with an egg yolk mixed with a tablespoon of milk.
  • Divide the creme patissiere equally between the discs and spread it out evenly, leaving a narrow egg washed margin all around the edge.

  • Peel the apples. Cut in half and remove the core and then thinly slice the apple. Place the apples, slightly overlapping, on top of the creme patissiere.

  • Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the caster sugar evenly over the tarts. Return to the oven and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Take out the apple tarts and lift them straight onto a wire rack to cool for about 10 minutes before they are ready to eat.

Serve with

We enjoy this apple tart recipe with a nice cup of Earl Grey. They are best eaten warm from the oven.

If I do serve them as part of an autumn afternoon tea spread, I often cut them into quarters and put them on a cake stand along with other warm little delicacies such as pikelets and cinnamon toast. The best cake in this case would be a lovely moist carrot cake. This whole menu would go well with English Breakfast or a smooth cup of Sencha green tea.

You can serve them cold, and they still do taste amazing. You could serve them along with any other delicacies on a cake stand - macaroons, chocolate eclairs, vanilla slice or mini pavlovas, to name but a few.

If you Absolutely Amazed by our Apple Tart Recipe, you might be Jolly Joyful with the Jam Tarts!!