French Apple Tart with Pastry Cream

Recipe by The Spruce Eats

This apple tart is really lovely. The crust is amazing and the pastry cream is delicious. The apples with the cinnamon is so nice and brings the whole thing together beautifully. I really love this french delight. It will take a bit of time to make so I suggest planning ahead of time. The recipe suggests 3-4 apples however I only needed 2. The recipe also had an apricot glaze to finish it off, however I didn’t incorporate it.


Pastry Dough
  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold, cut into cubes
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • Ice cold water
Pastry Cream
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Apple Layer
  • 3 large or 4 small apples
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, optional
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter


To make the pastry dough; combine flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter and work it into the flour mixture with your fingertips. Work in the egg yolk until combined. Use a fork to stir in ice cold water 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough can be gathered together. Shape and fatten the dough into a smooth disc shape, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.

To make the pastry cream; whisk together the egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl until combined. Whisk in the flour and cornstarch until smooth; set aside. In a saucepan, heat the milk with vanilla bean until almost boiling. If using vanilla extract add in later. Remove vanilla bean the slowly whisk the milk into the egg mixture. Strain the mixture back into the saucepan, bring mixture to the boil, whisking or stirring constantly until thickened. Continue cooking for another half minute while stirring, then remove from the heat. whisk in the vanilla extract, if using. Cover pastry cream with plastic wrap and leave to cool down n the fridge.

Preheat oven to 200°C. Peel, core and thinly slice the apples. Place the apple slices in a bowl and toss gently with the sugar and cinnamon. If apples start to brown you can toss in a tablespoon of lemon juice.

Roll out the pastry into a circle and fit into a 9 inch tart pan, trimming the extra dough. Give the chilled pastry cream a good whisk before spreading it across the bottom of the pastry shell. Arrange the apple slices in a pattern over the pastry cream and dot the apples with tiny bits of butter. Wrap strips of foil around the edge of the tart to protect the crust from burning.

Bake the tart for 40 minutes then remove the foil and continue cooking for another 10 minutes or until the apples and crust are slightly coloured. Cool the tart on a wire rack.

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