French Apple Tart: Ooh La La!

Fresh ripe apples are everywhere from supermarkets to the farmer’s markets and orchard stores. This French apple tart is an old favorite of mine, been making it for years. I have no idea where I got the original recipe from so I can’t give credit for it, I lost my copy and had to replicate it. Plus, I had to change it a bit to make it gluten free but it tastes just as good as before. The cinnamon and lemon topping are what makes it so tasty.

applesIt should be made with an apple that keeps its shape; Granny Smith is the best choice in that regard. But Golden Delicious also works fine. Don’t use one that goes all squishy like Empire or Macintosh. You only need 3 large apples or 4 small ones. It should give you about 6-8 slices of tart. Lesser amount of slices if your family is piggy, the full eight slices if they are not big dessert eaters.

french apple tart

I use my favorite GF tart shell crust which is from Annalise Roberts’ book; Gluten-Free Baking Classics. It is very easy; hand pressed into your tart pan. I would say that this is a cookie crust; sweet, buttery and shortbread in texture, very yummy.

I rarely have any of this tart left over for more than 24 hours. It is very popular with everyone. I like it for how easy it is to make, how handsome it looks and that I can throw it together quickly with only 3 apples and a lemon.

apple tart 001

Crust
1 cup brown rice flour mix
¼ cup sugar
1 tsp. xanthan gum
5 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, in 5 chunks
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Mix the dry ingredients in a stand mixer, cut in the butter by mixing it at a med low speed until crumbly. Add vanilla and mix well. If it is really dry looking add a tbsp. of water. I don’t often do that; when you press it lightly in the pan it does stick together enough. Press (not too hard) into the bottom and up the sides of your tart shell as evenly as you can make it.  Too hard and it gets a bit concrete-like in hardness.

For this recipe I use an extra large 10 inch tart pan. Mine is ceramic so it doesn’t have a removable bottom. Bake it at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. If you have a bottom heat oven like I do you can skip that step.

Filling
3 large Granny Smith apples; peeled, cored and sliced – not thick or too thin. If small use 4 and cut them each into eight slices
2-3 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. GF flour

Lay the apple slices in concentric circles in the tart pan over the crust. Mix the sugar and flour and sprinkle over the apples. Cover loosely with foil and bake 25-35 minutes until the apples are soft if pricked with a fork. Do not bake until they collapse; should still hold their shape.

While the tart is just finishing its baking make the topping.

Topping
In a small heavy sauce pan place
2 tbsp. sugar and 1 tbsp. cornstarch and mix them.
Add ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. lemon zest (grate the zest and then juice the lemon)
½ cup water
½ tsp. cinnamon
Cook over medium heat, stirring it constantly with a small whisk or a spoon, until it boils and seems thickened and is no longer opaque. This should take less then five minutes. Remove from heat and pour the hot gloppy topping carefully over the hot apple tart taking your time so you cover pretty much the entire surface of the apples.

Let cool before serving.

This tart is perfect with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side. Don’t put it on top or it will not look so nice because of the French cinnamon topping.

Brown Rice Flour Mix (for the crust) FYI: this is the same as King Arthur’s gf blend.
2 c brown rice flour (finely ground)
2/3 c potato starch – Not potato flour!
1/3 c tapioca flour

Originally published in this blog in September 2014.  It is such a great recipe I knew I wanted to share it again this fall.

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