French Apple Tart Recipe
1 1/4 cups flour, plus more for dusting
1 tablespoon sugar (optional — this is my addition. I love a little sugar in a tart shell.)
12 tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed and chilled, divided
1/4 tsp. table salt
7 Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, and halved*
1/4 cup sugar
frangipane (optional, recipe below)
1/2 cup apricot jam, optional (see note above)
Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, for serving
*I used Pink Lady apples, and I needed about 5 for my 9-inch tart pan.
Making the tart:
1. Combine flour, sugar, 8 tbsp. butter, and salt in a food processor and pulse until peasize crumbles form, about 10 pulses. Drizzle in 3 tbsp. icecold water and pulse until dough is moistened, about 3—4 pulses. (Do not pulse so much that the dough forms a mass — see the photo above with the food processor. It will clump together when you form it into a disk.) Transfer dough to a work surface and form into a flat disk; wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. (Note: This can be made up to three days in advance.)
2. Unwrap dough and transfer to a lightly floured work surface. Using a rolling pin, flatten dough into a 13″ circle and then transfer to a 11″ tart pan with a removable bottom; trim edges; chill for 1 hour. (Note: My tart pan was 9 inches, but I still rolled it out to about 13 inches.)
3. Heat oven to 375º. If you’re using the frangipane, spread a thin layer (about 2 tablespoons) of it across the bottom surface of your tart shell. Working with one apple half at a time, thinly slice into sections, keeping slices together. Press sliced apple half gently to fan it out; repeat with remaining apple halves. Place 1 fanned apple half on outer edge of the tart dough, pointing inward; repeat with 7 more apple halves (or as many as you are able to fit — with a smaller tart pan, you won’t be able to fit as many). Separate remaining apple slices. Starting where the apple halves touch and working your way in, layer apples to create a tight rose pattern. Fill in any gaps with remaining apple.
4. Sprinkle with sugar (I did not use the full 1/4 cup. Use as much or as little as you like. If your apples are really sweet, you won’t need a full 1/4 cup; if you’re using a 9-inch tart pan, you also likely won’t need a full 1/4 cup.) Dot with remaining butter — this seems like a lot of butter, and you certainly could cut back, but I think it adds flavor. Bake until golden brown, 60—70 minutes. (I did 70.)
5. If you’re doing the apricot glaze: heat apricot jam in a small saucepan until warmed and loose; pour through a fine strainer into a small bowl and set aside. Transfer tart to a wire rack; using a pastry brush, brush top of tart with jam. Let cool completely before slicing and serving with whipped cream.