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2 slices of apple tart on a square white ceramic plate

French Apple Tart with Puff Pastry

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A delectable, super easy French Apple Tart with Puff Pastry is perfect when you need a dessert in a pinch. No slaving away in the kitchen needed!

A couple of shortcuts will make this easy fall dessert one of your go-to recipes when autumn comes around! Store-bought puff pastry and an apricot jam glaze make this recipe a cinch!

Slices of French Apple Tart on a white ceramic tray

Easy French Apple Tart with Puff Pastry

This French Apple Tart with puff pastry is one of those speedy desserts that tastes phenomenal. I’m always asked for the recipe.  It’s wonderful in the fall at the peak of apple season, but it’s darn terrific all year long.

Made with puff pastry, you don’t have to mess with rolling out a pastry crust like in typical tarts. Sliced apples are arranged over the top, then a generous dose of sugar is sprinkled over the fruit. Dotted with butter and baked till the apples are tender, the warm tart is glazed with doctored up jam for another layer of flavor.

Easy, buttery French Apple Tart with Puff Pastry slices on a dessert plate

Tips for Making an Easy Apple Tart

  • With so few ingredients in this dessert, it’s imperative to use top-notch products. Look for the best puff pastry you can find. Pepperidge Farm will do in a pinch, but an all-butter variety like Dufour or Trader Joe’s brand will definitely produce a superior dessert. Definitely look at the back of the box and examine the list of ingredients.
  • I like using Granny Smith apples because they will hold their shape. You don’t want mushy apples for this Ina Garten apple tart. According to Bon Appetit, other good apples for an apple tart include Johnagold, Honeycrisp, Braeburn, Mutsu, Winesap, and Pink Lady.
  • This apple tart is best on the day it is baked, though I snacked on leftovers I found in the back of the fridge. Still tasty!
  • To bake this apple tart recipe, make sure to line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. The sugar and butter melt during the baking process and drain onto the parchment. These juices around the outside of the tart will burn and the parchment will help with cleanup. 
Overhead view of a platter of Easy, buttery French Apple Tart Recipe

Steps for How to Make an Apple Tart

Ina’s French Apple Tart was made with homemade tart dough. To make it super easy, puff pastry is a marvelous, pre-made substitute. I love puff pastry, so this was a no-brainer!

  • Defrost the box of puff pastry overnight in the refrigerator.
  • The next day, on a floured surface, roll the puff pastry into a 10 x 14 rectangle. Trim edges if desired.
  • Place in the refrigerator while peeling, coring, and slicing the apples. They may brown slightly, so don’t do this too far in advance.
  • Arrange apple slices over the surface of the puff pastry, overlapping slightly. You can make straight rows, diagonal rows, or whatever pattern works for you!
  • Sprinkle with the sugar, dot with the butter, and bake. Note that the juices most likely will burn around the tart, so use a rimmed baking sheet. If the edges of the dark start to get too dark, decrease the oven temperature for the last 15-20 minutes (see note in recipe).
  • Make the easy glaze recipe while the tart is baking. It’s just jelly and apple brandy. Use water instead of the brandy if you don’t want to use alcohol. Also, if you have apricot preserves, strain it make a smooth glaze.
  • Glaze the tart while it’s warm. Slice and serve. Store leftovers at room temperature for up to a day, then in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. 
  • PRO-Tip: Remember when working with puff pastry, it will puff best if the pastry is cold and the oven is very hot. So if your dough gets warm while working with it, pop it in the refrigerator to let it chill.

More of the Best Apple Dessert Recipes:

This recipe was first shared in October 2010. Photos and text were updated in 2020.

2 slices of apple tart on a square white ceramic plate

French Apple Tart with Puff Pastry

An easy apple tart recipe adapted from Ina Garten

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Yield 12 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 sheet of frozen puff pastry, defrosted in the refrigerator overnight
  • 4 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, halved and cut into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons cold butter, diced
  • 1/2 cup apricot jelly
  • 2 tablespoons cognac or apple brandy like Calvados

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400º. Line sheet pan with parchment.
  2. Roll the puff pastry out to about 10 x 14 inches. Put the pastry on the prepared sheet pan and refrigerate as you prepare apples. Place overlapping slices of apples in rows over pastry. Ina uses a diagonal pattern, but straight rows are fine, too. Sprinkle with sugar, then dot with butter.
  3. Bake 45 minutes or longer till pastry is browned and apples start to get a little color. Check the tart at 30 minutes and if you think it's getting too dark, decrease the oven temperature to 350º until the apples are tender.
  4. Heat jelly with your choice of liquor. Brush tart with the jelly mixture, and allow it to cool completely.

Notes

Beware, the edges and juices may burn. I've had to trim off burnt edges, but the tart will still be delicious. Watch your tart carefully towards the end of the baking time. If the apples are soft when you poke them with a knife and the crust is browned, it is done. If the apples need more cooking time, you may want to decrease the oven temperature to avoid the edges getting too dark.

If you have apricot preserves and not jelly, strain through a sieve before glazing to remove any apricot pieces.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 146Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 40mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 2gSugar: 18gProtein: 0g

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Apple_Tart 2

Photo Circa 2010

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