This fabulous French Apple Tart employs a store-bought pie crust for easy convenience. With ribbons of cinnamony apples and sweet cream cheese plus a magic trick for a crisp crust, this dessert is beyond delicious!
I never thought this blog would be anything more than a hobby and/or that anyone other than my kids, sisters and perhaps a few (really) good friends would read it. Consequently, I used to write the craziest (kind of embarrassing now) posts back in those early days. One of them was for a delicious German dessert that my mom would make called Kuchen. Kuchen is probably one of my favorite desserts ever, well… until this French Apple Tart came along. Now I think it might just be a toss-up now between the two!
This French Apple Tart is super easy to put together. Start by lining a tart pan with a store-bought, refrigerated pie crust. Pop the crust-lined pan in the refrigerator to chill while you prepare the layers of deliciousness that will fill the pie crust.
Make the sweet buttery crumb topping next by melting butter in the microwave (or stovetop). Add flour and sugar and stir with a fork until large crumbs form. The topping will firm up a bit as it sits and you prepare the other layers.
There’s a delicious cream cheese layer that’s made from softened cream cheese, sugar, egg and vanilla. Just whisk them all together and you’re good to go. All that’s left is peeling and slicing the apples and combining them with sugar and cinnamon.
Putting the tart together is the fun part. Layer the tart shell with the cream cheese mixture followed by the cinnamon sugar apples and then the crowning glory, the buttery crumb topping. You’re now done with your part, the oven will do the rest!
No soggy pie crust!
Without parbaking a pie crust (which is time-consuming and a royal pain for lazy people like me), it’s difficult to get a nice crisp crust. BUT with one little magic trick and pretty much no effort on your part, you can ensure this French Apple Tart has a beautiful golden crisp crust (even the bottom).
How does it work? Simply preheat your oven with a sheet pan on the lowest level. I like to line mine with foil for easy cleanup. When you’re ready to bake, simply bake the tart right on the hot sheet pan. That bottom crust will get a nice head start and when this beautiful, crumb-topped tart emerges from the oven 30 minutes later, the crust will be perfectly done. See what I mean? Pretty much no effort on your part!
What kind of apples are best for baking?
You can use your favorite baking apple for this French Apple Tart. What kind are the best? I really like Golden Delicious and Jonagold apples for baking, but Honeycrisp, Braeburn, Cortland, Pink Lady, Mutsu (a new apple similar to Golden Delicious), Fuji, Empire and Gala are also good. Granny Smith apples are wonderful for baking, but won’t soften up much in the short 30-35 minute baking time of this dessert.
This is really the perfect fall dessert and, though it’s easy to put together, it looks and tastes like it came from a fine French patisserie. Put this on your “must make soon list”! I’m pretty sure it will become a frequent flyer in your recipe arsenal – it sure is in mine!
Café Tips for making this Easy French Apple Tart
- This recipe calls for a refrigerated pie crust. That’s the kind you’ll find in a long rectangular box, in the dairy case at most grocery stores. I really like Pillsbury, although I’m sure there are other good brands as well. The crusts come two in a package but you’ll only need one for this tart recipe. I like keeping a box of these convenient crusts stashed in the fridge as they make it a breeze to whip up an easy dessert like this French Apple Tart, this Easy Berry Galette or even a delicious quiche.
- If you want to prep this tart in advance:
- Line the tart pan with the pie crust, cover and refrigerate
- Make the cream cheese filling, cover and refrigerate.
- When ready to bake, simply peel and slice the apples and proceed with the recipe. Don’t forget to preheat the oven with a sheet pan on the lower rack!
- You’ll need a 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom for this recipe. These tart pans are super handy and can also be used for quiche and savory tarts. They’re relatively inexpensive and would make a nice gift for someone who enjoys cooking. I’ve got my eye on this pretty copper set with three different size pans.
- If you’re wondering how to remove the outer shell of the pan from the tart itself after it’s finished baking, it’s quite simple. First, loosen any edges of the crust that might be stuck with a small, thin-bladed knife (a little paring knife works great). Then simply set the pan on a can from your pantry. Any kind of can will do, green beans, tomatoes, pie filling… The outer ring will fall off and you’re left with a lovely golden-crusted French Apple Tart, woohoo!
- This recipe calls for almond flour. Almond flour is adds a delicious layer of flavor to the crumb topping of this French Apple Tart. It’s available at most larger grocery stores in the flour section or in a specialty section that features flours other than just wheat flour. Almond flour is made from ground, blanched almonds (no skins). It’s different than almond meal in that almond meal is coarser, being made from ground almonds with the skins on. I prefer almond flour for this recipe although, almond meal will also work.
- No almond flour? No problem! You can substitute additional all-purpose flour for the almond flour.
Thought for the day:
Seek the Lord while he may be found;
call on him while he is near.
7Let the wicked forsake their ways
and the unrighteous their thoughts.
Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them,
and to our God, for he will freely pardon.
What we’re listening to for inspiration:
Draw Me Close
If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It’s so helpful to other readers to hear other’s results and ideas for variations.
- 1 crust refrigerated pie crust I like Pillsbury
- 8 tablespoons butter (I use salted butter)
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup almond flour
- ¾ cup sugar
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 large egg
- 3 medium apples peeled and thinly sliced (see the post for best types of apples)
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350°F with a foil-lined sheet pan on the lowest rack. Spray a 10-inch tart pan with cooking spray. Line the tart pan with the refrigerated pie crust, pressing it into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Trim off any excess crust with a sharp knife. Refrigerate the crust as you proceed with prepping the other ingredients
Place the butter in a medium-size microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high power for 1 minute or until butter is melted. Add the flour, almond flour and sugar and stir until large wet crumbs form. If the mixture seems too wet, add an additional tablespoon of flour and stir to form wet crumbs. Set aside.
For the cream cheese layer:
Combine the softened cream cheese and sugar in a medium-size bowl. Whisk until smooth and creamy. Add the egg and vanilla and whisk until well-combined. Set aside.
Combine cinnamon and sugar in a medium-size bowl and stir to combine. Add the apples and toss to coat the apples with the sugar mixture.
Remove the crust-lined tart pan from the refrigerator. Pour the cream cheese filling into the pie shell and smooth with a spoon to cover the bottom. Add with the sliced apples in an even layer. Grab handfuls of the crumb topping and sprinkle over the top, mounding slightly in the center. Cover the apples completely with the crumbs.
Place the filled tart pan on a heated cookie sheet and bake the tart for 28-35 minutes on bottom rack in oven, until the crumb topping is light golden brown.
Cool on cooling rack about 15 minutes then remove the outer ring of the tart pan (see Café Tips above in the post). Serve warm or at room temperature with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream.
See Café Tips above in the post for more detailed instructions and tips as well as substitutions.
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