Baked in a snappy pate sucrée short crust, this French Apple Rose Tart is made of thin apple slices nestled in an almond frangipane filling. Layering the apple slices like a rose makes a stunning pattern on a simple, elegant dessert.
This apple almond tart is as beautiful as it is delicious. It looks like a fancy apple pie, but come apple season, it is the perfect dessert for autumn celebrations.
The thinly sliced apples are baked in a rich and custard like almond filling called frangipane. All of the different textures of the crust, filling, and apple topping meld together beautifully.
While the rose pattern takes a bit of patience, the extra effort is worth the ahh-worthy rewards. For an easy French apple tart, toss the slices straight into the partially baked crust for an equally delicious treat.
Ingredients in an Apple Rose Tart
Here is a quick glance at some of the ingredients needed beyond basic pantry staples. Find a complete list with quantities in the full recipe to follow.
- A variety of apples - Granny Smith, Pink Lady, and Honeycrisp work well for their sweet and tart qualities
- Unsalted butter - use softened butter for the filling
- Confectioners' sugar
- Eggs - egg yolks are used to make both the almond filling and pastry dough
- Lemon juice - don't skip it! lemon juice is needed to make the apple slices pliable
- Almond flour - look for blanched almond flour vs almond meal
- Almond extract
- Vanilla extract
- Honey - drizzled the baked tart with honey to give it some shine and a tad more sweetness
Tools and Equipment
These are the primary tools you will need to bake this tart:
- Large mixing bowl
- 9 to 10" tart pan (with removable bottom recommended)
- Rimmed baking pan
- Small food processor
- Sharp paring knife
- Offset spatula
- Pastry brush
- General kitchen tools (measuring spoons, cups, etc).
How to Make an Apple Rose Tart
This apple tart is actually much easier than you might think to create. First, use a sharp knife or mandolin to cut thin slices of apples.
Soak the apples in lemon juice as you go. This makes the apple slices more pliable so you can easily curve the slices around the tart and keeps them from turning brown.
Next, start placing the apple slices on the tart. Starting with the outer edge, slightly overlap the apple slices around and around in concentric circles. Keep the rounded, peel side facing up.
The slice should overlap and fit in fairly snug. Adjust the slices so the top edges look uniform in height.
Since they are so thin, there is no need to peal the apples. Using an assortment of apples, like Granny Smith, Pink Lady, and Honeycrisp, not only balances out the sweet, tart flavors, but the variety provides a beautiful ombré of autumn colors that swirls around the tart.
After the apple rose tart has been baked, a simple glaze of runny honey (or you could use strained apricot jam), keeps the tart looking fresh into the next day.
Steps for Making an Apple Rose Tart
- Make the tart shell dough
- Partially bake the tart shell
- Cut the apples: thinly slice the apples and toss with lemon juice to keep from browning and slightly soften
- Make the frangipane
- Assemble the tart: spread the frangipane in the bottom of the partially baked crust and place the apple slices in the rose formation
- Bake the tart
- Drizzle with honey
Rustic Apple Tart - Skip the rose pattern and place the apple slice on top of the filling before baking.
Serving and Storage
The apple rose tart recipe is best served the day that it is made.
Leftovers can be kept at room temperature for a couple days.
To get ahead, make and pre-bake the tart shell a day or two in advance. Make the frangipane filling and refrigerate in an airtight container the day before. Assemble and bake the tart the day it will be served.
French Apple Tart FAQs
Thinly slice apples and soak them in lemon slices until flexible. To create a rose pattern, start around the edges of the tart pan and overlap the apple slices in concentric circles.
Use an assortment of apples, like Granny Smith, Pink Lady, and Honeycrisp. They not only balance out the sweet, tart flavors, but the variety provides a beautiful ombré of autumn colors that swirls around the tart.
But Wait, What is Frangipane?
Frangipane is an almond custard that can be found in tarts (like this one and Bakewells), pastries, and cakes. It is used to coat bread to make bostock or fill flakey croissants - yum!
Frangipane is a mixture of ground almonds, sugar, butter, and eggs. A cross between a paste and a batter, it is often spread into tart shells before being topped with fruit. As it bakes, frangipane puffs up and cradles the cooked fruit. Pair it with apples, pears, and all the stone fruits.
Don’t confuse this almond paste with marzipan. Marzipan is a confection that can be added to baked goods or eaten straight away.
What is Pate Sucreé?
Pate sucreé is a sweet pastry dough. Unlike its flaky pie crust cousin, this dough is short and sandy when baked. It is perfect for making fruit tarts.
Like pie dough, keep the butter cold and try to handle the dough as little as possible. An egg yolk and splash of water brings the dough together.
Instead of rolling out the dough, press it into the tart pan. Use the bottom of a straight-sided drinking glass to press down on the dough and in the corners of the tart pan to make sure it bakes in an even layer.
Baker's Notes for Apple Tart
- If you’d like the skip the rose pattern and make a rustic apple tart, slice the apples into ¼ to ½-inch slices and fan them out onto the frangipane. Bake until apples are tender.
- The best apples for baking this tart are Granny Smith, Pink Lady, Gala, and Honeycrisp
- Dry beans, rice, and even granulated sugar work as great substitutes for pie weights. Whichever you use, make sure they completely fill the tart pan to keep the sides from slumping during baking.
- Instead of pressing the dough into the tart shell, it may be formed into a disk, wrapped in plastic, and chilled. After chilling 20 minutes, roll out the pastry dough before fitting it into the pan. This is our preferred method for a more even tart shell, but it does require an extra step. Chilling the dough also works for when you want to make the dough in advanced. Use within 3 days or freeze for up to a few months (thaw in the refrigerator).
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Apple Rose Tart
French Apple Rose Tart
- 1 partially baked tart shell
- juice of one lemon
- 3 to 4 apples Granny Smith, Pink Lady, Gala, and/or Honeycrisp
- ⅓ cup + 1 tbsp granulated sugar divided
- ½ cup almond flour
- 3 tablespoon unsalted butter divided
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 pinch salt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon almond extract
- honey for drizzling
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup confectioner's sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- zest of ½ a lemon
- 9 tablespoon unsalted butter diced and chilled
- 1 large egg yolk stirred
- 2 to 3 teaspoon ice water
French Apple Rose Tart
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Juice the lemon into a mixing bowl. Slice the apples as thinly as possible and place them in the lemon juice as you go. Sprinkle them with ¼ cup granulated sugar.
- Place the almond flour, 2 tablespoons butter, egg yolk, 1 tablespoon sugar and salt in a small food processor. Pulse to combine. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and pulse until it forms a smooth paste.
- Spread the almond frangipane paste in the bottom of the par baked tart shell. Starting at the inside edge of the tart shell, place overlapping apple slices in concentric circles on top of the frangipane. The first row of slices should sit upright - at the same angle as the inside of the tart shell wall. The apples slices should fit fairly snuggly in the tart, the top edges as close to the same height as possible.
- As the apple slices approach the center, take a few soft slices and spiral them together to create the center of the rose. Place this bundle in the center of the tart and fill in the gaps with any remaining apple slices.
- Dot the top of the tart with the remaining butter. Place the tart on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until the crust is golden brown.
- Once slightly cooled, brush the top of the tart with a small about of runny honey.
- The French Apple Rose Tart is best served the day it is made or the day after.
- Place the flour, sugar salts and lemon zest in a mixing bowl. Gently stir to combine.
- Toss in the butter. Cut the butter intro the flour mixture by smearing bits of butter between your thumbs and fingers (or use a pair of forks or a pastry cutter) until the butter pieces are similar in size as peas.
- Stir in the egg yolk. Adding a teaspoon at a time, stir in the water until the dough just comes together. Evenly press the dough into a 9 to 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom.* Reserve a small amount of dough to repair any cracks during baking. Chill the tart shell in the refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Prick the bottom of the tart shell all over with the tines of a fork. Line the tart shell with parchment or foil and fill with pie weights. Place on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove the baking sheet (with the tart shell) from the oven. Carefully lift the parchment or foil and pie weights out of the shell. At this point, fill in any cracks with the reserved tart dough.
- Return the tart shell on the baking sheet to the oven and bake an additional 5 to 10 minutes, or until the bottom of the tart shell feels dry to the touch, but before the shell begins to take on too much color. Allow the tart shell to cool before filling.