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It’s the season for apple tarts, Fall, when the biggest bounty of apples shows up at the market. I’ve had to learn about all sorts of other varieties of apples since the ones available in France differ from the ones in the United States that I was used to. But it’s been a wonderful journey of discovery and I’ve found unusual varieties that were one day, abundant at the market, and the next week, all gone.

When I lived in California, we had some terrific apples, coming from places like The Apple Farm, which resurrected many varieties of “lost” apples, or what would be called in French – pommes oubliées. Thankfully most are as close as my local market.

A few months ago, I posted about an apple tart that had won accolades as the best apple tart in Paris. Judging how many requests I get to name “the best” macaron, croissant, baguette, or bistro in Paris, it’s a lot of pressure to name “the best” of anything. Fortunately, the best apple tart (and best baguettes in Paris) are decided by committees, rather than one individual, which takes the pressure to perform off for one single person to have to do the deed.

Home cooks also get a pass in France. In spite of magazines that promise to deliver the “crispest crust imaginable!” the search for superlatives, and “the ultimate” ends here. French home cooks and bakers cook without fear of reprisal for not reaching the same heights the local pâtissier does, and aren’t as obsessed with perfection. Guests are appreciative when their hosts bake something homemade, overlooking details like an uneven crust or a few overly burnished spots.

Many classics, like the tarte Normande, fit that bill. It’s meant to be a simple, unfussy dessert; apple slices baked under a buttery crust under a blanket of Calvados-spiked cream.

The crust on this tart is meant to meld with the fruit and custard filling, not be a completely separate entity. So it’s not pre-baked. (If you want to do it, you’re welcome to pre-bake the crust, lined with foil and pie weights, but I haven’t seen any home bakers do that in France.) So I follow their example and just go for it, without adding the extra step.

Apples in France are sold by variety, but they change based on region and season. At the markets, vendors list what qualities each apple has: Croquant (crunchy), à cuire (meant for baking), acidulée (tart), so you can decide. If you don’t have a local market, in the U.S., Braeburn, Granny Smith, Jonagold, and Winesap are flavorful apples that are good for baking.

The tart is called “Normande” because it uses heavy cream and Calvados, two staples of the hearty cuisine of Normandy. Notice there’s no cinnamon; the French don’t automatically put cinnamon on apple desserts, but if you feel compelled to add a pinch, I won’t tell.

French Apple Tart (Tarte normande)

Choose a full-flavored baking apple, and one that won't fall apart once baked. A trip to the apple stand at your farmers' market would be a good place to get advice about a local variety that's good for baking. You want one that's full-flavored, and to my taste, on the tart side. (If you like sweet apples, you could certainly use those.) I offered up a few varieties that are widely available in the post. To dial down the richness, you can swap out half-and-half for the cream in the recipe. Calvados is apple brandy from Normandy. You can substitute another apple brandy. If they're not available, you can use brandy, Cognac, or dark rum. If avoiding alcohol, omit the brandy and double the vanilla extract, although the tart gets its name, and flavor, from the brandy, so the taste will be different.
Servings 8 servings

For the tart dough

  • 6 tablespoons (3 ounces, 85g) unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (50g) sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 cup (140g) flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

For the filling

  • 4 medium apples, (see headnote), about 1 1/2 pounds, 700g
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar, plus 2 tablespoons granulated or raw cane sugar, for finishing the tart
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup (250ml) heavy cream, (or half-and-half)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons calvados
  • Make the tart dough by mixing the butter and sugar together in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on low-to-medium speed, until combined, about 1 minute. (But do not whip.) Add the egg yolk and mix on low speed for 30 seconds. Mix in the flour and salt on low speed, until the dough comes together. If necessary, add a sprinkle of water if the dough feels too dry. Don't overmix it. (I often stop the mixer before the dough is done and mix it by hand, to avoid overmixing.)
  • Shape the dough into a disk and place in the center of a 9-inch (23cm) removable bottom tart pan. Use the heel of your hand, and fingers, to press the dough across the bottom and up the sides of the pan, getting it as even as possible. Refrigerate or freeze the dough until ready to use.
  • To bake the tart, preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Peel and core the apples, and cut them in eighths. Place the slices in concentric circles in the unbaked tart shell.
  • In a bowl, whisk together the eggs and 1/2 cup sugar, along with the vanilla extract and salt. Whisk in the heavy cream and calvados, until the mixture is smooth.
  • Pour the filling over the apples in the tart dough. Sprinkle the top with 2 tablespoons of sugar and bake the tart until deep golden brown on top, about 45 to 50 minutes. (The tart should not leak but if you are concerned it will, bake it on a parchment or foil-lined baking sheet.) Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.


Serving: Serve the tart warm or at room temperature. Normally tarts like this are served on their own but you can serve it with whipped cream or ice cream.
Storage: The tart is best enjoyed the day it's made. It can be kept up to 3 days but does not improve.



    • Joe Batch

    The picture makes me want a generous slice with my morning coffee.

    • Deborah

    This tart is reminiscent of one that I styled years ago for a magazine that featured recipes from Andre Soltner’s restaurant Lutece in NYC. Simple and delicious.

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      I’ve seen several recipes for tarts like this. Some use all crème fraîche, which would be insanely rich, but probably delicious. Hope Chef Soltner’s was a good one! :)

        • Deborah

        It was. I have continued to make it in the more than twenty years that have passed. In his recipe GD apples were thinly sliced and arranged over the dough then heavy cream mixed with egg yolk, sugar, and Armagnac were poured over.

          • Susan Cohen

          Would you mind sharing Andre Soltner’s tart recipe?
          It sounds amazing!

          • Josie

          I know it’s not French, but can I add plums? Apples and plums?

      • Thomas Kearney

      I read the magazine article in the 70s ( I think) and have used andres recipe since then. When I am lazy I just bake the filling!
      Use pears also flavoured with absolute pear vodka. Cheers from Australi

      • Mark Steele

      Deborah: Wish I could have been at that photo shoot. Tarte Normande recipes are
      all about the same, but having a Soltner version must have been special. Thanks to David for bringing back a classic!

    • Carol Charkow

    Is it correct that the butter in the crust is meant to be at room temperature and not cold?

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      Yes, it’s at room temperature and not chilled. It should be solid, but not warm and melting. If your room is very warm (which mine isn’t, in the fall and winter) you might want to take it out of the refrigerator only 15 or so minutes before using.

    • Jake Sterling

    Here is my two cents on American apples: While the variety of apple is important, equally, if not more important is the season. By far the best baking apples are the ones in September. Actually, the best apples for baking are the ones that are not quite ripe. At this stage the sugar has not developed so you get a very tart apple with lots of pectin. These apples are not good for eating “out of hand,” but when baked they deliver serious tart apple flavor. You will need to add slightly more sugar to your recipe to compensate for the sugar that is not in the apple. In the States, Cortlands are known to be good baking apples, but around this time, they start to be mushy from having been stored too long. Honey Crisps are excellent about now. Arkansas Blacks, which have very thick, tough skin, store very well, but are hard to find. By February, your best bet is probably the tried and true Granny Smith and by April, forget it. Bake something else. Heirloom apples are sometimes fantastic, but you have to judge them according to your locality. (I love apples and have been making a sort of dictionary of American varieties and their qualities for eating, baking, juice and cider, sauce, etc.)

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      Yes, apples do change based on storage and region. The U.S. is so vast, it’s remarkable the difference in apples between, say, New York and California. Interestingly, I once had some red Granny Smith apples in the States. The grower told me that they’re almost always picked underripe and green, for storage (and maybe flavor), but a Granny Smith is red when ripe. I did a little reading and the redness seems to be caused by how much light it gets, but someone probably knows more about it. Since you’re into apples, one we used to get that I liked a lot – and had a great name – was Ashmead’s Kernel, which are outstanding apples, but hard to get. I agree with you about Arkansas Blacks – they’re worth looking for.

        • Andrew Buchanan

        Hi David, Red Granny Smiths are news to me, and I grew up in an apple growing area in Australia, the home of the Granny Smith. They just become paler green, tending to yellow, when they ripen. The absolute best for eating, but impossible to find outside the area they’re grown are “Frosted Grannies”, Granny Smiths which have been left on the tree until after a few frosts. They get a waxy skin, but are so sweet.
        Totally love all your books and your blog!

          • gfy

          ooo those sound good! (frosted granny’s). Will try those one day!!

        • Thomas Kearney

        In Australia where granny smith apples originatrd they are always green. They may lighten with sge but are still green.

      • Stephan

      Jake, I grew up in southern California and my mother had an apple tree in our backyard. She told us not to eat them because they were baking apples only. I did manage to sneak one as a kid and she was right. Boy! It was tart but it made the most fantastic apple pies. I’m sorry that I don’t know the variety of apple. Sadly, after my mother passed, the house went to my sister and she had all the fruit trees removed. I look forward to seeing your apple dictionary published! Cheers.

    • Gail Janes

    I can’t wait to try this – it looks wonderful, particularly this (chilly) time of year. I still have not “sprung” for a regulation stand mixer (too big for my small in-city kitchen). Can I sub my food processor, or hand blending for the first step? I usually use the former for pie crust, a la Julia.

    • Vivian

    Can I use a food processor to make the crust?

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      I’ve not done it with this particular one but it would like work. If you have it, you might want to try the plastic mixing blade, rather than the metal one. If you do try it, let us know how it works out!

      • Linn

      I took a pie class last weekend at Sur La Table and the chef made the dough in a food processor. The recipe is from Kate McDermott’s Art of the pie. She pulsed the dough only a few times and then spritzed it lightly with a spray bottle when the dough wouldn’t come together after she removed from the food processor.

    • Guy

    ‘Lost’ is more ‘ perdu’…

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      Strictly speaking, you’re 100% right and I am completely wrong. However I think in English, the term “lost” is used for fruits and vegetables, more than “forgotten.” Although I may not as up-to-date as I should be on current expressions, so perhaps it’s changed. (Or it may be a difference in American English vs. English in other countries.) I hope you liked the post otherwise!

        • Margo

        Another “nitpicker”!

    • Tom Conway

    David, I had a similar tarte in Paris but it was crowned with and almond meringue. Does that sound familiar. Do you have a recipe for that topping? The best tart I’ve ever eaten. Thanks for sharing this and other wonderful recipes with us.

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      I’ve not made one but it’s called a Tarte aux pommes meringuée. I don’t have a recipe but I’ve seen several online. Perhaps someone here also knows of a specific recipe that works since so many recipe aggregation sites are online now, it’s hard to know where recipes come from, and if they work : – /

    • Carol Friedman

    . Several years ago you were doing a book signing in the
    Haute Marais. You had posted that you were frustrated trying to find the right French word for a door plate. I gave you a small visual French English dictionary. You were so ungracious. You said what am I supposed to do with this and threw it on a table.
    I have stopped following you and buying your books You insulted a dedicated fan

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      I remember that book and thought it was cute, but events are often very (very) hectic as I try to talk to several people at once, in a short period of time. But it can be a challenge for me to balance it all. I try to spend a bit of time with everyone; apologies if you felt slighted or I didn’t seem gracious.

      • Amy

      Yet here you are, Carol, reading his blog. Lol.

      David – Thank you for the recipe and your graciousness!

        • Ellen A.

        Yes, Carol,
        Everybody has a bad day or stressed moment once in a great while. It’s not all about you, for goodness sakes. Maybe he mistakenly thought you were trying to foist something on him with ulterior motives. Give the man a break!

    • Christina

    Dear David – I love this recipe and all of your recipes are very dependable. A note on short tart crusts. I used to bake professionally and have long used Lindsey Shere’s recipe – a cup of flour to a stick of butter (140 g to 114g). I make this sweet or savoury, in the food processor with metal blade, adding only enough liquid – usually and appropriate flavour – to have it start clumping together. I then put it in the tart shells by hand, as thinly as possible, and refrigerate the shells at least 4 hours or overnight. Docked and popped directly into a 425F oven, there is no need for the whole pie weight routine. I get minimum shrinkage, at most 1/8”. It is such a winning recipe when you have make one or a bunch of tart shells. Thank you for your wonderful blog – I just spent two delicious weeks in the Normandy countryside and experienced fresh Normandy butter thicker than any crème fraîche!

      • Rachel

      Hi Christina! I was wondering if you have any tips on gluten free crusts, my partner is a coeliac and I’m forever trying to perfect one!

        • Alison

        Hi Rachel, not sure if you got a response to this, but I have coeliac and I have had tremendous success with a method I read about on an old blog post.

        I use Cup 4 Cup flour, which already has xantham gum in it, so I don’t add extra. Adding an egg into the dough as well as the egg wash during blind baking are important steps. I have used this shortcrust pastry recipe for lots of sweet tarts (including David’s fabulous French Apple Tart). And I’ve used it for savory recipes as well, by leaving out the icing sugar in the dough.

    • Christina

    I meant to say Normandy cream! It is unbelieveable.

    • Siobhan

    I was just looking at half a dozen apples in my crisper drawer which I bought on impulse at the local LeClerc. I think I know now how to use four of them… Thanks!

    • Sharon Wichmann

    Î bought a tart pan in Paris the last time I was there (a perfect souvenir). The removable bottom is perforated, I suppose to allow the bottom of the tart to crisp, but I discovered the first time I used it that the fat of the crust leaks out! Am I supposed to line it with parchment paper, or what? Since then I’ve put the tart pan on another pan, but that doesn’t solve the “leaking.”

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      I’ve never seen (or used) one of those tart pans. The only perforated pans I’ve seen are for pizza. My take is that if it leaks, it might be better just to buy a regular pan with a standard removable bottom, and use that.

    • Niamh

    I follow you almost religiously both here and on instagram, own your books, love your writing, and swear by your recipes. But I’ve never left a comment until today, prompted by the woman who has apparently waited years to come online and chastise you for an ostensible slight on a completely unrelated blog post. Clearly, she had reached breaking point, David! What a bizarre and terrifying place the internet is.

    • Diane

    In Northport, Michigan in the northern lower peninsula, we are fortunate to have access to an amazing variety of antique apples (including many varieties from France) at Christmas Cove Farms. This region is also well known for it’s phenomenal white wines and it’s natural beauty. Please check it out next time you’re in Michigan!

    • Kerrie

    That pie looks sensational and I will try soon. It is great reading about all the apples. Whilst we have some heritage (short 200 years) orchards our shops sell a very short variety so Granny Smiths (I think a Aussie adaption) will have to do.
    Here, at this time of year it is a weird mix of Plum pudding with all the trimmings or pavlova with beautiful berries.
    Wishing you and Roman a Christmas filled with love and good food.

    • Pamela Downs Feiring

    Long ago I tested a similar recipe at Gourmet Magazine. Instead of blind baking the crust, the apple slices were placed in the pastry and baked at 425 degrees F until the apples’ edges were browned. Then the custard was added and the tart was baked at 325 degrees F until it was just set.

    • Jay

    This is a great simple tart. My wife told me about the post, we had some apples….. we both just had two slices after it cooled (a bit) :)

    • Ruchita

    I had this apple tart at the same place you recommended… It was indeed one of the most memorable experience. I’m so glad to have this recipe :) Thank You

    • Fruzsina

    David, the tart looks absolutely delicious ! Question, which heavy cream would you recommend to use in France ? Thanks :-)

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      I use crème entière, which is the same as crème fluide, which is sold at 30% butterfat. (If there’s a difference between those two, no one’s told me about it.)

      I get it at the supermarket. It’s invariably UHT (unsterilized), and I prefer non-UHT, although it’s tough to find. To simulate half-and-half, which is lighter, you can mix it 1:1 with whole milk.

    • vrinda bhalla

    love the plate

    • Janice Brown

    Do you use a stainless steel tart pan? I have been avoiding aluminum pans. Merci!

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      The one I used here is made of tin. It needs to be dried after washing, but they’re also available in non-stick finishes, which I don’t use since the sides of tart doughs can collapse a bit in non-stick pans.

    • karen

    David, So happy you’re successful! But the overwhelming adverts have overwhelmed me…
    Best wishes…

    • Amy B

    Thanks for a great post, David. I can almost taste the tart the way you describe it and share your photography. I also appreciate how your approach is to assume we can all be successful bakers. Thank you. That’s how my mom taught us to make pie crusts – practice and roll with the failures. (Pun intended, maybe?)

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      I always remember when my friend’s Norwegian grandmother was teaching me how to make pie dough, and said, “If it doesn’t break when you roll it out, it won’t taste good!” One thing French home cooks understand is that they can’t compete with the pros at the local pastry shop, and don’t stress out about it. It’s a good lesson, especially around the holidays! : )

    • witloof

    I was planning on making ye olde tried and true tart Tatin for dessert on Monday, but am sorely tempted to attempt this instead. {No Calvados in the house, but I bet some dark rum would work.} Thank you so much for a gorgeous, festive recipe! I have beautiful apples from the Union Square market all ready to go.

    • Jen

    I’ve been making a Tarte Normande recipe that I found on another blog a few years ago, and I never knew it’s supposed to have calvados in it! (The other blogger, come to think of it, is Muslim, so it makes sense she’d omit the alcohol.) Anyway, it’s a delicious tart, even without the alcohol, though now I’m curious to try it with. The recipe I’ve been using does bake the crust blind, but then also sprinkles it with a nice layer of ground almonds, to soak up any apple juices. Will have to try the no-blind-bake, no almonds, calvados-flavoured version to see which I like better!

    • Kathleen

    I’m so happy to see a dessert recipe with custard — eggs and cream — because I don’t use sugar in any form. Custards are very good with stevia, so I will try this recipe. Dorie Greenspan’s Custardy Apple Squares work fine with stevia, and this should too. Thank you for all your interesting recipes and stories, David.
    Joyeux Noël! ~ Kathleen

    • Cheryl

    David, for many years I have enjoyed you blog, books (I have them all) and instagram. Thank you!

    Question. are there other tarts that can be made with this dough? I’m a terrible roller and love that this dough does not have to be rolled.

    Happy Holidays!

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      Yes it can. I use it for many tarts. For some, you can pre-baked lined with foil and filled with pie weights. (The recipe is from my book Ready for Dessert, and there are more details, and ideas for using it, in there.) Enjoy the recipe!

    • Larry

    If I don’t have a stand mixer, or a paddle attachment, is there an alternative?

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      I’ve not made it by hand, but you likely cook in a mixing bowl with a sturdy utensil for stirring.

    • Deb

    Made today as I couldn’t wait any longer. It is fantastic, best dessert in a long time. The crust was full of flavor and flaky being the perfect compliment to the custard and apples.
    Thank You

      • Deb

      Forgot to say I made in a pie plate with no problem. Looked just like the picture.

        • David
        David Lebovitz

        Glad to hear it, and thanks for letting us know that it works well in a pie plate – nice for people that don’t have a tart pan :)

    • Chris Williams

    We received a gift of fresh pears for the holidays so I adapted this recipe with 3 kinds of pears and poire liqueur in the custard. Yummy!

      • Inga

      This sounds wonderful… I will try as I have poire on hand.

    • Inga

    I made this tart last night for a holiday dinner and we loved it. I used red-flesh mountain rose apples which added beautiful color! A guest requested recipe to make it for Christmas dinner tomorrow.

    • Annette Barnes

    Thank you for the nice recipe, David! I made this yesterday. It was my first time making a tart. The crust was so light and cookie like! My kids loved it! I’m sure your wife is a happy one with all that delicious baking!

    Merry Christmas, David! I wish you and your family all the best, best wishes!

    • Andrew

    This is a completely perfect recipe. But, then, that pretty much sums up all your recipies. Though I only spent about a month in Normandy, this tarte recipe is both spot on and better (if such a combination is possible) than anything I had there. Thank you!

    • Lara Starr

    This recipe has changed my live! I made it verbatim with garden tomatoes over the summer, and since have used the crust and basic idea to make mushroom, caramelized onion, ham & cheese and even apple.

    My new thing is to halve the dough and make two small crostadas and cut them up for appetizers – so easy and they are a hit!

    • Monica Meade

    I made this with Belle de Boskoop apples – delicious! Made it again four days later – it leaked badly this time – but I realized I had used 8 tablespoons of butter, not six – so that was why.

    • Karen Albro

    I made this for Christmas and it was excellent! I will make again and try not to eat it all myself!

    • Magda Sanchez

    I am so happy to have found your blog….! Going through the Amazon cookbook dessert section I stumbled upon my The sweet life in Paris and ordered it. I just could’d put it down…so, I decided to check your blog and will definitely be trying to make that Tarte Normande! Thanks for all the recipes and all the Paris tips from your book!

    • David
    David Lebovitz

    Monica: I like Boskoop apples a lot too. I don’t know how available they are outside of France, but they’re very good apples.

    Karen: Thanks! Glad you liked it.

    Magda: Happy you found…and liked!…my book so much. Appreciate your kind words. Enjoy the recipes!

    • Linda Baldwin

    I have a question which might or might not be related to this tart although you do mix butter and sugar at the beginning. So many American recipes call for creaming butter with sugar until fluffy. For Christmas I made Brandy Butter to go with a Christmas Pudding. I was supposed to cream the butter with the castor sugar. I used several electric appliances and could not get the butter to cream with the Bretonne butter (my absolute favorite in France) no matter how soft the butter was. Are there any hints to get French butter to cream?

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      I have not had problems creaming French butter. When you say you couldn’t get the sugar to cream with the butter, I don’t quite understand. Does that mean they didn’t combine? Or mount? Basically what you’re doing is trapping air in the butter when you whip it with sugar. If that’s not happening, perhaps there is too much humidity in there somewhere or else the butter/fat was too warm and couldn’t support the sugar. Over on Serious Eats, Stella Parks did a good tutorial on creaming butter and sugar with some troubleshooting tips.

        • Tony Odlum

        Really enjoyed this tonight! Thank-you so much. Great pastry Did anyone have lots of cream mixture left over? Do I need a deeper pan? (Could only fit about 200 mls). The pastry wouldn’t have stretched much further!

          • Carolyn McCord

          Yes, I too had way too much cream mixture! Probably about 1/2 cup, maybe a bit more. I quickly grabbed a couple of ramekins, threw in the several slices of apple I also had too much of, poured over the extra cream sauce and baked on a small tray in the oven alongside the tarte. I wish there were notes on filling the tarte… I sat mine on a pizza tray and poured in the cream filling once it was on the oven shelf (so not to spill/slosh out). I had too much, but it was sooo delicious didn’t want to waste…filled right level with the top of the crust and about 5 min into baking it was oozing overflowing the crust. Luckily the extra pan was there to catch it. End result was marvelously beautiful and delicious!!! Hubby and I kinda tempted to eat the whole thing (‘cause it’s thin, ya know)! Thank you David

    • Anne Larocca

    I made this yesterday for New Year’s eve. There were moans of pleasure and seconds requested. Thanks and happy 2019!

    • Chris K.

    I made this twice and it turned out well both times. For the second one, I sliced the apples into sixteenths, as when they were sliced into eighths, they were still a little hard, and I wanted them softer. I used Fuji apples and found that 3 were enough.

    • Natalie

    I love French apple tart – it’s certainly one of my favorite desserts. Looks amazing!

    • Linda

    I am amazed at some of these comments. People bake with love and some of these nasty people should not be baking but trying to get a life. Keep up your good work David you are never going to please everybody in life! Stay the way you are.

    • moonhei

    I enjoy reading your blog. Although, your stories with pictures attract me I never tried the recipes. However, the French apple tart looked really good. I challenged (I am a novice in baking) and it was a great success. The tart is now in my dessert list.
    I followed the recipe but the amount of sugar. Even though you did not recommend to reduce sugar I used half amount of sugar (2 tablespoon for dough, 1/4 cup for filling, and 1 tablespoon for finishing) and the sweetness was perfect for me and my guests. I also used a pie plate and it worked very well. Thank you for sharing your excellent recipe.

    • Brandon J. Li

    For a dessert that is supposed to be simple and unfussy it sure looks picture perfect to me. Absolutely gorgeous and I can’t wait to give it a go. Though I think that we will make 2 and add a bit of fresh cranberries to one of them. Lovely job and thank you :-)

    • Margaret (Margo) Thomas

    I first made this delectable Tarte Normande recently and served it to my good French friends who live in Portland, Oregon. They loved it! It definitely will be in my “favorite recipes list”! Have been making your Giant Bean/Sausage/Kale recipe often (Smitten Kitchen adaptation) and it is all a big hit. Actually, I have never had a recipe of yours that was less than perfect! Thank you, David!

    • trish

    Oh, my! This tart is amazing! Probably my favorite apple recipe ever. Thank you, David, for another winner!

    • Rachel

    Hi David,
    Thank you for the recipe! I was wondering, are Bramley apples ok to use? I have so many from the garden!(In Ireland)

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      I don’t know those apples so can’t say but any apple that tastes good cooked (and doesn’t get too mushy) should work!

    • Rosie

    Itching to make this…..but will the whole tarte freeze so I can keep for Christmas? I have bought Crème Fraiche d’Isigny… that going to be too thick….many thanks for the recipe.

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      It could probably be frozen whole but I’m afraid that you’d miss that wonderful cozy, holiday smell of baking butter and apples, and crème fraîche, if you freeze and defrost it. Personally, I’d suggest making the dough and freezing it in the pan then defrosting that and baking the tart before serving.

        • Rosie

        Oh…thank you…..and the Crème……is that okay to use ?

          • David
          David Lebovitz

          Yes, a pretty sure that crème fraîche would work in the tart (although I haven’t tried it.) It’s quite thick so you may need to give it a few brisk stirs to make it more malleable.

    • Carolyn McCord

    Sorry for the double post, I was responding to Tony Odlum’s fairly recent question but just noticed it was threaded under a comment from over 1 1/2 years ago… so if it helps anyone currently undertaking this recipe, here goes:
    Yes, I too had way too much cream mixture! About 1/2-3/4 cup, maybe a bit more. I quickly grabbed a couple of ramekins, threw in the several slices of apple I also had too much of, poured over the extra cream sauce and baked on a small tray in the oven alongside the tarte. I wish there was more detail on filling the tarte… I sat mine on a pizza tray and poured in the cream filling once it was on the oven shelf (so not to spill/slosh out). I had too much, but it was sooo delicious didn’t want to waste…filled right level with the top of the crust and about 5 min into baking it was oozing overflowing the crust. Luckily the extra pan was there to catch it. End result was marvelously beautiful and delicious!!! We were kinda tempted to eat the whole thing (‘cause it’s thin, ya know)! Thank you David

    • Brisa1355 (san francisco)

    I really enjoyed this pastry crust. I found it to be very forgiving as I fumbled to press it in the pan. It didn’t shrink – something with which I often struggle – and it was delicious with a great texture. I would like to use this crust for filled tarts such as Tarte au citron and chocolate pudding tart. What would be your recommendations on blind baking this crust, or would you suggest a different formulation for that?

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      I’ve not baked it with pie weights and it doesn’t need them as it browns nicely without them. But if you do give it a go, let us know how it turns out!

    • Michelle

    Thank you for this recipe David! I had a tarte like this in Switzerland last year, and had been looking for a recipe to recreate it. I cheated and used puff pastry but it was still so good! It tasted more egg-y the next day so I’ll make sure to gift it the day-of next time.

    • karin bolcshazy

    this is a beautiful tart which I have made before and it always comes out perfect.

    • ziva

    I love this. My son just ate half out of oven. I used Cortland apples from our local farm but waiting for the Winesap maybe better not sure.

    • Reba

    I’m excited to try this, thank you David!
    I’m a little confused about the removeable bottom pie tin though – I don’t have one. Is it essential to the tart coming out well? Do you remove the bottom after baking? I don’t quite understand why you need it… Thanks!

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      Most home cooks in France have solid tart pans but if you want to get it out easier, a removable bottom tin (which professionals and some home bakers use) works a lot better. But if not, you can use a regular tart or pie tin.

    • Alex Moriarty

    Hi David,

    I am going to try and make this for tomorrow morning’s breakfast.

    Wondering why you have to peel the apples — I mean it changes the texture of the tart, but is there a chemical/cooking/browning reason to peel them? I will be using a mix of Gala and Jonagold apples, which is what we had in the farmshare box this week. I’m from apple country (upstate NY) but live in Alaska and these are the best apples we can get here; at least they smell like apples instead of nothing!

    Also the only rum I have is spiced and I fear it would overwhelm the apple flavor. However I do have rum extract/flavoring. Should I use 3/4 tsp vanilla and 3/4 tsp rum flavor, chance the spiced rum, or just double the vanilla extract?

    Also could you make this with pears instead of apples?


      • David
      David Lebovitz

      You don’t need to but in France, people at home and those who work in bakeries, almost always peel apples.

    • Alex Moriarty

    Thank you for your reply! I made this with peeled apples and the vanilla and rum flavoring, and it was really truly excellent.


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