In this Caramelized Apple Tart recipe, the apples are baked into a shortbread tart shell with a brown butter custard. The result is a delicious fall pastry dessert.
Autumn is an awe-inspiring, beautiful season in most parts of the US. Brightly-colored leaves cover the trees, and we begin to see hints of crimson, yellow and orange dotting the landscape as winds clear the branches bare. We don’t really see it at all when we’re in Arizona, but at our house in Oregon we can definitely see the change in seasons. And whenever possible, we visit the East Coast in the fall too.
Fall is prime time for apple picking. So if you’re lucky enough to have access to some great fall apples, make this delicious caramelized apple tart! Crisp, Granny Smith apples are sautéed in bubbling butter and sugar until properly golden and covered in a drippy, caramel syrup. Apples are the star in this tart!
Ingredients needed for an apple tart:
- all purpose flour
- white sugar
- baking powder and salt
- unsalted butter
- whole eggs and egg yolk
- Granny Smith apples
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
How to make a tart shell:
The complete, printable recipe is at the end of this post.
How to make a Caramelized Apple Tart:
The tart crust is buttery and flaky. The custard wraps itself around the caramelized apples and firms up when baked.
This tart can be made in a regular 11-inch-round tart pan. I thought it might be more interesting to make it in my rectangular tart pan, and it was easier (when chilled) to cut into bars for serving. You can’t really go wrong with browning butter. It seems to make everything taste way more amazing than expected (same goes for caramelizing.)
Slices of this apple tart are delicious on their own…
…or you can top slices with a little whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!
The Best Tart Recipes:
- No Bake Berry Almond Tart
- Blueberry Raspberry Tart
- Lemon Tart
- Blueberry Lemon Tart
- Chocolate Glazed Chocolate Tart
Caramelized Apple Tart
- 1⅓ cups all purpose flour
- ½ cup granulated white sugar
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature (cut into chunks)
- 1 large egg yolk, mixed with 1 tablespoon water
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 1 cup granulated white sugar divided
- 5 large Granny Smith apples (peeled, cored and cut into wedges)
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ cup all purpose flour
PREPARE THE TART SHELL:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray an 11-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom with cooking spray (can also use 8x11-inch tart pan). In a food processor, pulse the flour with the sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the butter and egg yolk mixture and process just until the pastry comes together. Remove the pastry dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead 2 or 3 times. Press the dough evenly into the pan and refrigerate until chilled, at least 30 minutes.
- Line the tart shell with parchment paper and fill loosely with pie weights (or beans). Bake for about 20 minutes, until the edge is set. Remove the parchment and weights and bake for 10 to 20 minutes longer, until the tart shell is lightly browned all over.
PREPARE THE FILLING:
- While shell is baking, prepare the filling. In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add ½ cup of the sugar; cook over high heat until lightly browned. Add the apples, season lightly with salt and pepper and cook over moderate heat, turning once or twice, until caramelized, 10 to 12 minutes.
- In a small saucepan, cook the remaining stick of butter over moderate heat until milk solids brown and butter is fragrant, about 7 minutes (stirring often). In a medium bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the eggs with 1/2 cup sugar- until thick and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Beat in the flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt, then beat in the browned butter, scraping the milk solids into the custard mixture.
- Pour the custard into the shell; arrange apples in a single layer, slightly overlapping in a decorative pattern. Bake in the center of the oven for 35 to 45 minutes, or until custard is puffed and richly browned. Transfer to a rack to cool before serving. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream, if desired.
- *I find that many of the apples sink into the custard and disappear from sight, so I save a few apple slices, then bake the tart for about 15 minutes, then open the oven and add a few more apple slices along the top (when the custard begins to set but is still soft)- it works perfectly.
- *I make this tart the night before, covered it with plastic wrap and refrigerate it. The next day, it's easy to slice with a bread knife when cold and firm, and then it can be served at room temperature