French Apple Tart Recipe | An Easy French Dessert - Mon Petit Four (2024)

While I love creating beautiful cakes and darling confectionaries, it’s simple desserts like this Julia Child French apple tart (tarte aux pommes) that truly make me happy. It’s the uncomplicatedcombination of butter, sugar, and fresh fruit that’ll overwhelm your senses and reach the very deepest part of you.

French Apple Tart (Tarte aux Pommes)

Before winter arrives and citrus steals the show with desserts like my lemon ricotta cake or lemon tart, it’s important to embrace and give attention to apples, which are oh-so-deserving.

This rustic apple tart recipe carries the sweet scent of sliced apples glazed with fig preserves and will make anyone appreciate the art of baking with fruit.

I think this easy French apple tart is such a fantastic dessert when you’re looking for simple entertaining recipes.

It’s the first dessert I thinkof when someone asks me for an easy French recipe.

It doesn’t matter what level baker you are or how fancy you like to get in the kitchen, this French apple tart will impress without a ton of effort.

If you’re looking to go the quick and easy route, you can make this French apple tart with puff pastry bought at the store.

That makes this dessert a total cinch.

If you’re all about getting your hands a little messy, feel free to make your ownpastry at home.

Regardless of whether you go the homemade route or store-bought route, just be sure you’re using puff pastry instead of pie crust.

The puff pastry is a bit lighter, which is what we’re going for with this French apple tart recipe.

French Apple Tart Recipe | An Easy French Dessert - Mon Petit Four (1)

For the apple topping, you can use any kind of apple that you enjoy.

My love for apples is pretty evident here on the blog. I’ve got recipes like Chicken Normandy (which is a dish of chicken and apples), apple-glazed pork tenderloin, a frangipane French apple tart, and even apple jam!

Apples are wonderful for this tart because they bake really nicely, are naturally sweet, and they’re not super juicy, a.k.a. they won’t make your pastry soggy.

For this particular French apple tart recipe, I tend to use Gala apples or Honeycrisp apples.

If you wanted, you could do a mix of sweet and tart apples like you might with a classic apple pie recipe.

Tips for making this French Apple Tart:

A couple of points to take note of when you’re assembling this tart…

  • If you assemble this French apple tart recipe as instructed below, your pan is likely to get pretty messy from the apple juices that run off the tart during the baking process. Make your life easy by using a sheet of parchment paper underneath the tart for easy clean-up and to protect your baking sheet.
  • When the juices run off, they’ll quickly turn dark and burn early in the baking process – don’t fret. Your actual tart is fine and should continue baking.
  • If you want to prevent any run-off from the apple juices, you can assemble this French apple tart a little bit differently. Instead of layering the apple slices all the way to the very edges of the tart, you can leave a thin (about 1/2″ to 1″) border bare along the edges of the puff pastry square. This will create a border wall around the apples that prevent the juices from running off the tart edges.

Perhaps one of the most beautiful aspects of this French apple tart recipe occurs after the tart comes out of the oven.

Once the tart is fresh out of the oven and still warm, a simple brushing of fig preserves (or apricot preserves, marmalade, etc.) on top of the tart gives it a glamorous, shiny appearance.

Brushing sweet fruit preserves over desserts is an age-old technique many bakers and pastry chefs use to give their desserts that professional, glossy appearance.

The technique works really well for this dessert makes this French apple tart a total show-stopper!

After I set the tart down at the table, I’ll usually cut up the tart into smaller squares for my guests.

You can serve this French apple tart as is, or you can serve each square with a scoop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream for an indulgent touch.

French Apple Tart Recipe | An Easy French Dessert - Mon Petit Four (2)

French Apple Tart Recipe

Yield: 6

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

An incredibly easy and delicious French tart made with puff pastry and apples that will win over any crowd!


  • 1 sheet of puff pastry
  • 1 1/2 large crisp apple, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup fig preserves


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place a large sheet of parchment paper over a baking sheet. Unroll your puff pastry sheet (or if you've made your own, roll it out on a lightly floured surface to 10 1/2" by 15 1/2”). Use a fork to pierce all over the puff pastry.
  2. In a large bowl, very gently toss the apple slices with the lemon juice and brown sugar. Layer the apple slices on the puff pastry square however you prefer, diagonally or straight down. Just make sure you slightly overlap the apple slices.
  3. Bake the tart for approximately 40 minutes, until the edges of the apples and puff pastry begin to brown. The apple juices that stream off the tart will burn quickly on the parchment paper - do not worry, this is OK.
  4. Immediately loosen the tart from the pan using a metal spatula. Transfer the tart to your serving plate. Warm up the fig preserves in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Use a pastry brush to brush the fig preserves all over the tart. Enjoy warm or room temperature.


adapted from Barefoot Contessa

Nutrition Information:

Yield: 6Serving Size: 6 Servings
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 329

French Apple Tart Recipe | An Easy French Dessert - Mon Petit Four (2024)


What is French apple tart made of? ›

This French apple tart recipe is simplicity at its best: buttery pastry dough + unpeeled, thinly sliced apples + a sprinkling of sugar + a few pads of butter. That's it! It's so easy, so pretty, and so delicious.

Are macarons petit fours? ›

Petit fours are bite-size decorative cakes, typically of the sweet variety. The term petit four is French and also includes savory bite-sized appetizers and other small pastries like French macarons and meringues.

What kind of apples are best for apple tart? ›

Here are 11 of the best apples for apple pie.
  • Belle de Boskoop. ...
  • Northern Spy. ...
  • Pink Lady. ...
  • Granny Smith. ...
  • Golden Delicious. ...
  • Honeycrisp. This 20th-century apple variety is super sweet and super crisp (hence the name). ...
  • Jonagold. Another 20th-century apple variety. ...
  • Braeburn.
Jun 4, 2021

What is a substitute for Calvados in apple tart? ›

Calvados is apple brandy from Normandy. You can substitute another apple brandy. If they're not available, you can use brandy, Cognac, or dark rum. If avoiding alcohol, omit the brandy and double the vanilla extract, although the tart gets its name, and flavor, from the brandy, so the taste will be different.

What are the 4 types of petit fours? ›

There are several types of petit* fours: petit* fours salé (“salted,” or savory appetizers), petit* fours sec (“dry” as in cookies and macarons), petit* fours frais (“fresh,” referring to highly perishable items like éclairs and madeleines which must be eaten that day when kept at room temperature), and petit* fours ...

Why are petit fours so expensive? ›

Petit Fours are, and are perceived to be, a gourmet product, a luxury. They are bite-sized pieces of art, crafted with meticulous attention to detail and ingredients of the highest quality. This perception of value allows a premium pricing, justified by the craftsmanship and quality involved.

What is the French word for petit fours? ›

A petit four (plural: petit* fours, also known as mignardises) is a small bite-sized confectionery or savory appetizer. The name is French, petit four (French pronunciation: [pə.

What are the facts about French tarts? ›

Tarts have a long history, and their origins can be traced back to ancient Rome. The word “tart” is thought to derive from the Old French word tarte, which itself is derived from the Latin word torta, meaning “twisted bread”. Tarts were initially made with a variety of fillings, including meats, fish, and vegetables.

What is the French drink made of apples? ›

Calvados is an apple brandy with Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) status. It can only be produced in Normandy, much like Cognac is a specific brandy that can only be distilled from white wine made within a particular region from certain grapes.

What is the difference between apple pie and apple tart? ›

The main difference is that tarts only have a bottom crust, and the crust is much thicker than a pie crust. Galettes – This is basically a pie made without using a pie dish, but because that would be too simple galettes can be made with any type of pastry dough.

What is a French puff pastry tart called? ›

In France, Galette des Rois is traditionally baked for the Epiphany (the day the three kings visited the baby Jesus).


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