Rustic Ombré Apple Tart with Honey Frangipane
I hosted Thanksgiving dinner for the first time this year. I did it all, and I went traditional. Turkey. Stuffing. Sweet Potato Casserole. Apple Pie. The apple pie was in fact a salted apple cider caramel apple pie, with a fancy herringbone lattice crust. It looked great, and people *said* it tasted good, but, to be honest, I wasn’t thrilled.
A couple of days after Thanksgiving, however, I pulled some more apples out of the crisper and made another pie. Okay, really a tart. Or maybe a galette? Regardless, it had a flaky all-butter crust, a layer of honey-almond frangipane, rainbow-hued apple slices, and a sprinkling of cardamom sugar. It was awesome, and came together much more quickly than my fancy lattice-topped pie. I wish I’d made it for Thanksgiving.
I call this a “rustic tart” because it’s baked in a tart pan (which helps support the crust and the very intense amount of apples), but the crust is just folded over, as in a galette. You can use any kind of crisp flavorful apples you like, but using varieties with different colored skins and arranging the slices from darkest to lightest with give you a very pretty rainbow/ombré effect. I used the old Smitten Kitchen “all-butter, really flaky” pie dough, but feel free to use the crust recipe of your choice, keeping in mind that we’re going for flakiness!
Rustic Ombré Apple Tart with Honey Frangipane
A semi-free-form tart filled with honey-almond frangipane and a rainbow of apple slices topped with cardamom sugar.
- all-butter pie dough of your choice – enough for a single crust pie (I used the Smitten Kitchen recipe)
- 56 g (1/2 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
- 35 g honey
- 25 g sugar
- a pinch salt
- 1 large egg lightly beaten
- 60 g blanched almond flour
- 5-6 large apples
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- large pinch ground cardamom (preferably freshly ground)
- 1 egg lightly beaten
Preheat the oven to 400 F.
In a small bowl, mix together 1 tablespoon of sugar and the ground cardamom.
On a large, lightly floured piece of baking parchment, roll out your pie dough into an 11-inch square. Use the parchment to transfer the dough to a 9-inch square tart pan, carefully removing the parchment and gently easing the dough into the tin. The dough should extend about a 1/2 inch over the edge of the tin. Place the tin in the refrigerator or freezer so that it will stay chilled while you prepare the filling.
In a medium bowl, use electric beaters to cream together the butter, pinch of salt, 25 g sugar, and honey until light and fluffy. Use the electric beaters to mix in a bit of the almond flour, then a bit of the egg, alternating between almond flour and egg until both are fully incorporated.
Halve and core the apples, and cut the apple halves into thin slices. (You can slice the apples lengthwise or crosswise–you're going for slices that will be between 2.5 and 2.75 inches in length.)
Remove the tart pan from the refrigerator, and scrape in the honey frangipane filling, using a spatula to smooth the frangipane into an even later. Top with the apple slices, arranging the slices in tightly packed rows. For an ombré effect, start with the apples with the darkest skin, and end with the lightest colored apples, as shown here:
Fold the the dough over the apples, the brush the dough with the lightly beaten egg.
Sprinkle the cardamom-sugar mixture over the apples (and over the crust, too, if you want!).
If you have time, place the pan in the freezer for 5 minutes. If not, you can just place it straight in the oven.
Bake the tart at 400 F for 50-60 minutes, until the frangipane is puffed and brown and the crust is golden.
Allow the tart, still in the pan, to fully cool on a wire rack. Once cool, remove the tart from the tin and serve.
- For the crust, I used a 1/2 recipe of this all-butter pie dough from Smitten Kitchen, in other words, enough for a single crust pie. But I know different bakers tend to have strong views about the best way to make pie crust, so feel free to use your favorite recipe. Just make sure that the dough has chilled for at least 2 hours before you roll it out.
- To maximize the crispness of the crust, there are various additional steps you can take: (1) bake the tart on a rack in the lower third of the oven, and/or (2) place the tart pan in the oven on top of a preheated pizza stone or upside down sheet pan.
- The easiest way to cut the apple slices for this recipe is to cut the apple first lengthwise on either side of the core/stem. (You can also just slice the apple in half and then core the halves.)
- Make sure to allow the tart to fully cool before removing it from the tin–there’s a very high ratio of filling to crust and the crust is rather delicate.
- If you don’t have a square tart pan, you could bake the tart in a 9-inch round tart pan, though you’ll have to be a bit more creative in your arrangement of the apple slices! You could also try baking this as a free-form galette on a parchment-lined baking sheet. If you go that route, however, you’ll want to use fewer apples and leave an unfilled edge at least 1.5 inches wide (and preferably 2 inches) all around, to fold over the apples, making a tart/galette that’s smaller than 9 inches.