The quintessential French apple tart. Flaky, soft, tender, and full of flavor. Love with each bite.
In France, we have a love relationship with apple tart. Plain-cut apples with a hint of sugar and butter baked to perfection. Or, Tarte de Pommes a la Normande, which has a velvety custard made of eggs and heavy cream with sugar.
And here is another version with hazelnut frangipane on a flaky pastry. Fresh hazelnuts that are roasted, then ground into fine pieces with sugar, butter, and egg. And I must say it is wonderful.
Do not be concerned if the bottom on the sides gets a bit burnt, that is a normal process of the juices of the apple and the frangipane.
However, do create a pattern with your apples. Here, I have two rows going in one direction, and one in the opposite. Be creative and put your flair to this apple tart.
What is Frangipane?
In essence, frangipane is an almond filling, almost like a thick cream. Not to be confused with marzipan, which is an almonds sugar paste that is so dense and used to decorate cakes.
Frangipane is a mixture of butter, eggs, ground almonds, sugar. Not as attractive in color, but super savory with all your baking tarts.
With this recipe, we will be using hazelnuts which gives more of a nutty rich flavor to your apple tart/
What is a Tart?
A tart can be a savory or a sweet baked dish that consists of a pastry on the bottom, filled with either fruit and sometimes with an egg custard.
Usually presented on a round form with an open top.
Sometimes you will see them be referred to as “Tartalette”. It is the same however smaller in size, or as an individual serving.
Always make it short-walled.
Some recipe tips and notes to help you along:
Remove as much as the outer thin brown shell of the hazelnuts as possible before placing them in the food processor. You can achieve this by rolling the hazelnuts back and forth n between a paper or cloth towel. Repeat when removed from the oven.
Sweet and unsweetened butter are interchangeable if you do not have sweet butter on hand.
When you place the peeled and cut apples in a bowl while finishing up all the other ingredients, you may want to squeeze a small amount of lemon over it so they will not turn brown on you.
I use parchment paper over your cookie sheet. Silpat It will work beautifully as well here. With the parchment, you can actually leave it on it and present it to your guests.
Spread the frangipane cream with a pastry knife leaving a border so the pastry can puff well and keep the apples in place.
Arrange the apples in a pretty pattern.
You can do an egg wash for the crust to give it that beautiful glazed look. Optional as we will be using the Calvados at the end.
Cool on a wire rack. The rack will allow the tart to cool off uniformly and faster as air circulates underneath.
The Calvados and orange marmalade mix is so delicious over it. It binds all the flavors well together and gives it that beautiful glazed shiny look.
Do serve it at room temperature. The hazelnut frangipane when hot can scold you when not cooled off.
What to serve with this apple tart?
Vanilla ice cream is always the favorite of course. Whipping cream or Chantilly is just as delicious.
Have it tea or coffee for an afternoon snack. What a small glass of Brandy or Cognac sitting by the fire? Make it a romantic evening with your loved one.
Slice it into squares, easy to handle. Just remember it is a flaky pastry, therefore, you will have to serve it on a plate.
Can I use another type of apple?
Jonagold and Braeburn are the perfect amounts of sweetness and they keep their texture well when they are baked.
Honeycrisp and Cortland, are other wonderful apples that you can use with this tart.
Unfortunately, Red Delicious, is not the favorite of baking, as they fade in taste and when baked will not hold the shape and your tart will fall apart.
A great holiday dessert, light and full of flavor.
Place the hazelnuts on a cookie sheet and roast in the hot oven for 7 to 8 minutes. Transfer the nuts to a food processor, add the ¼ cup sugar, egg, butter, and vanilla extract. Process until creamy paste forms.
Roll out the puff pastry to 15 inches long by 10 inches wide. Transfer it to a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Spread the frangipane on the dough stopping about 1 ½ inch away from the edges.
Arrange the apple slices over the frangipane on an overlapping pattern to cover well the frangipane underneath. Fold the edge of the dough over the apples to make a 1 to 1 ½ inch border.
Sprinkle 2 to 3 tablespoons sugar over the apples letting some of the sugar sprinkled over the border dough. Break the 2 tablespoons of sweet butter and scatter them over the apples. Bake for 1 hour the dough should be nicely crystallized all over.
Remove the finished tart from the oven and cool on a wire rack until still a bit warm to the touch. Mix together the orange marmalade with the Calvados and glaze the surface of the tart spreading it carefully on the apples and the border crust. Use the back of the spoon to easily spread.
Serve at room temperature cut into small wedges. Serve with whipping cream or ice cream.
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