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New and Improved EASY Apple Tart Recipe

Apple Tart after baking
It's baking time again. Or as dessert lovers and avid bakers say, "It is always baking time, and there is always time to bake!!" Ok, that is actually my quote... But if you like to bake, I bet you agree with me.

This made from scratch apple tart recipe was originally published in 2010 (and it has been a while since I've made it). This fall season, I was in the baking and experimenting kind of mood so I decided to revisit my recipe. After a few baking sessions, and a couple of tweaks, it is new and improved for you.

This EASY apple tart is simpler and faster than the traditional apple pie. Old-fashioned covered apple pies call for lots of sugar, take an extra layer of pie crust (= higher calorie count and more time getting the dough just right), and require a bigger clean up from the syrupy overflow while baking. What? Less calories to burn off, a faster clean-up, plus, a fresh tasty dessert that looks great AND can travel well? I'm in for at least a slice or two! This is a good choice to bake and bring to someone's house because it isn't messy to transport.

From the dough to the completed dessert, this is a simple but impressive treat... Do not be put off by the amount of text I write when I share my recipes. If you are a regular Here We Are reader, you know that I make all of my better, brighter, easier tips and hints as clear as possible for you.

The Apple Mixture:

  • Approx. 6-7 large baking apples, peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch half-moons. NOTE: They can be half-moons, circles, or both -- nothing has to be perfect here
  • 1/4 cup sugar 
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup or handful of frozen cranberries (optional) NOTE: They may look burned, but they aren't. The cranberries add a very nice tartness in contrast to the sweet apple flavor.

The Dough:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 5 Tbsp. unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
  • 6 Tbsp. cold water
  • 1 large egg white reserved for brushing the dough before baking

Kitchen Items:

  • 9 - 10 inch shallow tart pan (or a shallow pie plate)
  • Food processor
  • Plastic Wrap
  • Rolling Pin
  • Cookie Sheet
  • Basting Brush (I like this silicone basting brush: longer lasting than a boar bristle brush - it doesn't "shed" & it can be sterilized in the dishwasher)
  • A large dinner plate about the size of your tart pan
  • Wire cooling rack
  • NOTE: I've listed baking products you may need at the end of this article

🍎 Set up the food processor. Add the flour and salt, pulse 2 times. Add the cubed butter and pulse 5 times or so. The mixture should look like coarse meal, do NOT over pulse. Add the cold water through the chute with the processor running; combine well but do not let dough form into a ball (be sure to watch carefully, the dough comes together quickly).

🍎 Remove dough from the mixer and gently pat it into a 5 inch disk; cover with plastic wrap. Chill in fridge for 15 minutes or so.

🍎 Preheat oven to 425℉ (see last 🍎 note below).

🍎 Stir the vanilla into the sugar and mix well, set aside.

🍎 While the dough is chilling in the fridge, begin peeling and slicing the apples. Arrange in a circular pattern on the dinner plate instead of tossing into a bowl. TIP: Doing it this way helps you to see how much apple you've sliced, and how much more you'll need. The apples cook down, so a little extra apple will make a fuller tart.

🍎 Working on a clean surface, overlap 2 pieces of plastic wrap so that you have a large square on which to roll out the dough. Unwrap the chilled dough and put it on the plastic wrap set-up. Using 2 more pieces of plastic wrap, cover the dough (the dough should be covered top and bottom). Roll it into a 14 inch disk while keeping it covered in the plastic wrap. The dough should be very thin, but not cracking or transparent in areas (don't worry if it isn't a perfect circle). Slide the entire dough circle, still covered in the plastic wrap onto a large cookie sheet and place into freezer for 10 minutes.

🍎 Whisk the egg white, set aside.

🍎 Remove the dough from freezer and peel off the top layer of plastic wrap. Take your tart pan and invert it - centered - over the exposed dough. Using the bottom layer of plastic wrap, keep the dough and the tart pan together and turn both upright. Peel away the plastic wrap and GENTLY press the dough into pan allowing the edges to hang over. This maneuver helps to avoid handling the dough disk at risk of cracking it. TIP: If you are using a porcelain pan, no need to grease it. Same for non-stick metal pans.

🍎 Arrange half of the apple slices into the tart pan overlapping them in a circular pattern. Sprinkle with half the sugar mixture. Repeat using the rest of the apples and sugar mixture. The tart pan should be filled with apple slices. Wrap any dough edges over the apples, and brush the visible dough with egg white.

🍎 Sprinkle the cranberries on top.

🍎 If desired, place the tart pan on a cookie sheet. Bake at 425℉ for 40-45 minutes or until the apples are tender (not mushy) and the crust is golden brown. Cool on a wire cooling rack. NOTE: Depending on your oven, 400℉ will work, too, it may require a few more minutes of baking time. Either way, be sure to check it at the 40 minute mark to avoid over-baking.

Here is the tart before baking:

Apple Tart before baking
Do you like to bake with a particular variety of apple? I used Macoun apples in the past, BUT I experimented with FUJI and liked the result more. TIP: The sweeter the apple, the less sugar you need to add, check out my list of The Best Baking Apples for when you are shopping. I used it each time I was in the store to narrow down the selection of apples to choose from. ENJOY!

For your convenience, as an Amazon Associate, I am sharing similar or same items to the ones I use in my own kitchen: