Elegant French Apple-Cinnamon Tart


One piecrust, purchased or homemade

3 medium Granny Smith or Honey Crisp apples 

4 tbsp. granulated sugar

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

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4 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch pieces and kept cold

¼ c. apricot or apple cider jelly

Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, for serving (optional)


Heat oven to 400 degrees. 

Position a sheet of parchment paper, large enough to line a standard baking sheet, on one side of your counter.

Lightly flour the other side of your counter and roll pie dough ¼-inch thick into a rough 10-inch circle.  Using your rolling pin, drape part of the dough over rolling pan and place your hands under the rest of the dough; transfer dough to the center of the parchment paper. Turn a 9-inch cake pan or tart pan over dough and use it as a guide to trim the edges so that you have a perfect circle; remove pan.

Carefully lift parchment-lined dough onto the baking sheet. Using your fingers, crimp the edges of the outer rim of the dough as you would a pie. Transfer pan with pastry into refrigerator or freezer while preparing topping.

Peel, core and slice apples, horizontally, as thin as you can. (If you don’t have an apple corer, cut apples in half and use a melon baller or spoon to remove core and seeds. Cut each apple half, horizontally, into thin slices.)

Beginning on the outer edge of the circle, arrange apples, one overlapping the next one, until your circle is complete. Repeat with another circle of apples, tucking these apples edges just under the first row of apples. Fill in the center of the circle with remaining apples, one overlapping the other.

In a small bowl, whisk together sugar and cinnamon. Evenly sprinkle mixture over all of the apples. Dot the top of the tart evenly with the butter pieces.

Transfer pan to preheated oven and bake tart for 30 to 40 minutes (rotating pan halfway through), or until edges of pastry are golden brown and apples are just beginning to color at the edges. Transfer pan to cooling rack.

Melt jelly in a small cup in a microwave oven and, using a pastry brush, gently brush melted jelly onto hot apple tart. Let tart cool before slicing. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream, if using. (Tart may be made eight hours in advance. Let it sit at room temperature. Once completely cooled, lightly tent tart with aluminum foil).

Make 8-10 servings.


*Perfect Pastry Crust

(You will probably end up using three-quarters of this dough for the apple tart. Excess pastry can be rolled thin, brushed with melted butter and sprinkled with sugar, and baked on a piece of aluminum foil in a 400-degree oven for about 10 minutes. Yummy snack!)


Pastry Crust:

1/3 cup ice water

½ tsp. table salt

1½ c. plus 1 tbsp. unbleached all-purpose flour 

½ c. plus 3 tbsp. unsalted butter (one stick plus 3 tbsp.) cut into ½-inch pieces, placed on a plate and refrigerated until needed


Pastry Crust:

Stir together water and salt in a small bowl until salt is fully dissolved. Keep mixture refrigerated until needed.

Place flour in the work bowl of a food processor. Sprinkle cold butter pieces evenly over flour and pulse machine only until coarse crumbs form. (You should still have small pieces of flour-coated butter.)

Remove water/salt mixture from refrigerator. While pulsing machine, drizzle water mixture through food tube until everything is evenly moistened and mixture begins to get cohesive. 

Turn contents of food processor bowl out onto a lightly floured counter. Gather mixture together with your hands to form a smooth ball, working dough as little as possible. 

To mix dough by hand, place flour in a large bowl. Evenly distribute butter over dry ingredients. Using fingertips or a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle cold water/salt mixture over flour, quickly blend together with a fork. Gather dough together, place on counter top, and press it against counter top until a smooth ball can be formed.

Place ball of dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Bring sides 

of wrap loosely over ball and press into a flat disk. Make sure disk is completely wrapped in plastic. Refrigerate pastry for at least two hours or overnight.  (At this point, pastry may be placed in a freezer bag and kept frozen for up to a month.  Allow bag of dough to sit overnight in the refrigerator before continuing.)