Tuesday, September 14, 2010

French Apple Tart with Crème Pâtissière


This past weekend I made my first 'fall-ish' dessert. Not that apple pies and tarts can't be made any time of the year but, for some reason, they taste better when the weather starts to cool and apples are at their freshest.

Since we were having friends over for dessert after dining out together Saturday night, I decided to make an apple tart made with the crème pâtissière that I used in the peach baluchons I made last year in September.   I'm always happy to have people to share a dessert since we won't be tempted to eat the entire thing ourselves!


The creamy vanilla filling was delicious with the apples!  As a shortcut, I used frozen puff pastry for my tart shell but you could make your own favorite pie crust recipe if you prefer.


French Apple Tart with Crème Pâtissière
Printable Recipe

For the Crème pâtissière:

1 cup whole milk
1 vanilla bean (I recommend using a vanilla bean but you could substitute vanilla extract)
¼ cup sugar
5 tablespoons cornstarch
3 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon butter

Place milk in medium saucepan over medium heat. Split and scrape the vanilla bean, and add bean to pan along with scrapings. Bring to a boil.

Meanwhile, in separate bowl, beat together sugar, cornstarch and yolks until mixture turns pale yellow. Gradually pour milk into yolk mixture while whisking constantly. Return mixture to medium heat and whisk continually until mixture thickens and just comes to a boil being careful not to let it get too thick. Remove from heat, and whisk in butter. Remove vanilla bean. Pour cream into a bowl, and place plastic wrap directly over the cream. This will prevent a skin from forming while the cream cools. Place in refrigerator to cool.

For the Apple Tart:

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed (or your favorite pie crust recipe)
3-4 Granny Smith apples, depending how their size
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Using one sheet of puff pastry dough, unthawed, gently roll it out on a lightly floured surface until it will completely fill a tart pan with removable bottom with enough to cover over the sides slightly. Pat to fit and trim off the excess. Prick the bottom of the tart all over with a fork and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes, or until golden and puffed. Set aside to cool. (If you have enough dough left, you can cut decorative shapes and bake them on another small baking sheet for about 5-7 minutes while the shell is baking)

Cut and core the apples. Using a mandoline or sharp knife, slice them into uniform slices about 1/4 inch thick. Fill the bottom of the tart shell with the cooled Crème pâtissière, spreading to smooth it out evenly. Place them in a mixing bowl and add the sugar and cinnamon and toss. Starting at the outside rim of the baked tart shell, start making a concentric circle with the apple slices, overlapping them slightly. The next row should overlap the first by at least 1/4 inch, keeping in mind that the apples will shrink slightly when they bake. Finish the center by cutting either one large round, thin slice of apple or three smaller ones - enough to fill the center. Brush the top of the apples with the melted butter. Alternatively, you could use apricot jelly or preserves, melted.

Bake the tart in a 375 degree preheated oven for 50 minutes.

Served with sweetened whipping cream (I added a little cinnamon to mine).

Enjoy!

40 comments:

  1. It looks beautiful Susan..i love vanilla beans too..have you ever tried the paste I see they sell now?
    C'est beau ma belle:)

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  2. ...and a delicious apple tart makes its Fall debut.

    Susan, I'm looking forward to the season almost as much as I'm looking forward to replicating your dessert!

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  3. It looks and sounds delicious Susan! I love apple tarts. I will get some apples when I go to the farmer's market this weekend so I can make this for dessert on Sunday. I was thinking along the lines of a peach pie, but I think I will put that on the back burner for now.

    Thanks!
    ~ Tracy

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  4. Delicious and beautiful, perfect start to Fall! I love this season!

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  5. Susan, it's beautiful! And I agree- I much prefer apple desserts made with fruit that's fresh and in season- the texture is so much better!
    xoxo Pattie

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  6. This is beautiful!! Perfect for company... And the fall :)

    Sues

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  7. Oh, I just love tarts and yours is GORGEOUS!! I'll bring the coffee :)

    Blessings!
    Gail

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  8. Susan, how beautiful. I think I can smell it....lucky friends to share in this delight. I will definitely be trying this creme of yours.

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  9. You are so right, there's just something about apple tarts this time of year. I'm so eager to start cold weather cooking!

    :)
    ButterYum

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  10. I can imagine that your wonderful pastry cream is perfect with sliced apples. I love the smell of apples baking.

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  11. This looks wonderful. The Apples look perfect!!=)

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  12. It is 11 at night , I had a tough day and now I crave a piece of this delicious tart!!!

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  13. This looks like a great recipe and one I'll have to try when I can get back in the kitchen!

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  14. This looks fabulous! Thanks for sharing!

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  15. Looks really good. Wish I could have a slice with my tea now! Thank you for sharing!

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  16. I was only just thinking the other day about making an apple tart. This looks divine and I bet it tasted fantastic.

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  17. wow this looks truly amazing save me a slice, thanks so much for coming with me on my travels Rebecca

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  18. With Spring just around the corner, I better get moving and enjoy the last of the cooler weather puds. Love the creamy filling.

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  19. This pie looks marvelous, Susan! I like the idea of using puff pastry
    AND a filling with those delish vanilla beans!
    I'm ready for a fall recipe! You've done a perfect job on your apple pie.

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  20. Beautiful! I've never thought of using the frozen puff pastry as a tart shell but certainly will now. Thanks for the heads up and this delicious recipe.

    Best,
    Bonnie

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  21. Good golly Miss Molly, it sure does look great and full of fall. I should use creme patissiere more often, I always forget how delish it is! A perfect pie, great job, m'lady!

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  22. It's much more fun to cook with foods that are in season...they taste so much better! And to eat the food with friends. I think that also has taste enhancing properties. This looks fantastic Susan! Artistic and delicious all at the same time.

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  23. Hello Susan, I just found your blog and I really, really like it! I love to cook & I'm new to blogging! I'm going apple picking this weekend and I think I now know what I'll be making! I think you'll like my last post, when you have a moment please stop by for a visit and if you like what you see please "Follow" - it's very exciting to get new Followers! Thank you, I enjoyed my visit today!

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  24. Delicious! A favorite of mine too!

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  25. God, that is beautiful. This makes me want to throw open the windows and put on a sweater.

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  26. This is a perfect apple tart- I'd like a piece with my coffee please!

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  27. I know your guests must have been thrilled with this beautiful dessert! Really sounds great. I should pick up some fresh picked at the farmer's market and give it a try. Randy likes apple pie.

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  28. Well if that isn't the most beautiful thing! wow. I have been thinking of making an apple tarte tatin and now you've made up my mind. (I'm pregnant with my second child and I can crave anything from apple tarts to ice water at the drop of a hat:)
    Thanks!

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  29. Apples is one of the reasons I love Fall. Your tart looks very sophisticated.

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  30. Yes, it's sad to know that fall is on our doorsteps but I love fall recipes and cooking too.

    Thank you all for your generous comments!

    Monique, I have not seen the vanilla bean paste yet! I will look for it - thank you!

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  31. Wow! This looks so beautiful, and the pastry cream would make this a favorite tart :)

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  32. I was just telling someone about how beautiful tarts can be with puff pastry and apples, and here yours is as proof! It is a lovely fall dessert.

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  33. Beautiful!! I love Fall desserts!!

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  34. Beautiful dessert. I love Fall and apple time!

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  35. ciao Susan!!questa torta è veramente splendida e golosa!!

    grazie del tuo gentile commento...appena passerà un pò questo periodo mio marito acquisterà una nuona macchina fotografica Reflex...la vita continua!!!

    un abbraccio...a presto!!ciao!

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  36. You can make me desserts anytime! All the apples are sliced so evenly and perfect!! Looks simply delicious...

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  37. Oh wow!!!
    Any apple recipe is always welcome in my table.
    I will have to try this, this looks heavenly.
    I'm so glad I found your blog.
    Your photos are fabulous!
    I'm a follower now. I'm not as talented as you but would love it if you Come visit me at my blog.

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