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French Apple Nougat Tart

Some of you saw a few photos of this Apple Nougat Tart recently. A promise is a promise, as I said I’d post the recipe on le blog, didn’t I? So, voilà – here it is, even if a bit later than I was hoping! I didn’t have my kitchen for a couple of weeks as it was getting a few licks of paint – and I finally have a new oven!

Now this makes three apple dessert recipes in a row here but we can never have too many apple desserts, can we? Besides, I need to keep making tarts to help extinguish that lingering odour of fresh paint.

French apple almond walnut tart

Apples with Almonds

Like the previous Quick Apple Tart recipe, it pairs almonds with apples and, while I used ground almonds in the base with a splash of Calvados, this tart uses slivered almonds as a crunchy nougat topping with just sugar and egg whites.

On another occasion, I tried to camouflage apple nougat tart leftovers next day for goûter in the hope I’d get the rest all to myself. Och! It’s always better to share.

French Apple Nougat Tart Slices

I discovered the recipe for Apple Nougat Tart in Jacquy Pfeiffer’s cookbook, The Art of French Pastry. If any of you have seen the 2010 video on The Kings of Pastry (this link is a trailer), he’s the prime subject and I thoroughly recommend you watch it. Hailing from Alsace, this outstanding pastry chef co-founded the French Pastry School in Chicago.

French Apple Nougat Tart

Sweet Pastry Recipe

The chef’s sweet tart base is prepared the day before. Shame on me but, instead of waiting 24 hours, I adapted the Sweet Tart base recipe in Teatime in Paris (there’s a whole chapter on Tarts in the book) by replacing some of the flour with ground almonds (almond flour). The result worked really well and so I’ve posted this alternative pastry base recipe below.

As in Teatime in Paris, the method of making the tart base is all explained, step-by-step using a tart pan or a tart ring.

Best Tart Apples

The chef’s secret to preparing the apples for this French Nougat Tart is to cook the apple chunks on a high heat in butter quickly until the apples are seared, then cool them off on baking paper. It’s a cracker of a pastry tip for making this. Braeburn apples are good for this; so are a mixture of Pink Lady and Granny Smith.

However, lately I’ve been experimenting without using lemon juice with apples.  If you peel, core and chop your apples quickly enough and immediately throw them into a hot pan, there is no need to go through soaking them in lemon juice.  Good news if you’re in a hurry.

Apple Nougat Tart Topping

The recipe calls for just slivered almonds for the topping but I also experimented using a mixture of sliced almonds, fresh walnuts, hazelnuts and pecans too.  The result is deliciously fabulous.

However, in my humble and honest opinion, there’s nothing to beat the original recipe using just almonds to let the apples shine through. Chef Pfeiffer adds a touch of cinnamon to the topping, although I like it also without, sticking with the vanilla. Simplicity is key!

This year we’re seeing Christmas figurines from the Nutcracker all around Paris.  I particularly love seeing them at each entrance to the Tuileries Gardens.

Inspired by chestnuts around Paris, add a few marron glacés (candied chestnuts) on top to complete a Parisian Christmas touch. I love this tart on its own but serve with vanilla ice cream, chestnut & vanilla ice cream, spiced chai crème anglaise or a dollop of crème fraîche.

French Apple Nutcracker Tart

Apple Nougat Tart Recipe

5 from 5 votes
French Apple Nougat Tart
Prep Time
25 mins
Cook Time
50 mins
Resting Time
1 hr
Total Time
2 hrs 15 mins
 

A delicious sweet tart with apple chunks in vanilla and topped with a crunchy almond nougat, inspired by French pastry chef, Jacquy Pfeiffer. Sweet pastry dough from 'Teatime in Paris'.

Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: French
Keyword: apple almond tart, apple nougat tart, apple tart
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 338 kcal
Author: Jill Colonna
Ingredients
Sweet Pastry
  • 125 g (4.5oz) unsalted butter softened
  • 75 g (2.75oz) icing (confectioner's) sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt (fleur de sel)
  • 1 medium egg (organic)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla powder or extract
  • 200 g (7oz) plain, all-purpose flour (type 45)
  • 50 g (1.75oz) ground almonds (almond flour)
Apple Filling
  • 3 Organic apples (Braeburn, Pink Lady, Granny Smith) peeled & cored
  • 30 g (1oz) butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla powder (or 1 3/4 tsp extract)
  • 2 tbsp cane sugar (or Turbinado)
Nougat Topping
  • 55 g (2oz) organic egg whites
  • 55 g (2oz) sugar
  • 55 g (2oz) slivered almonds (or mix of sliced almonds, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts)
Instructions
Sweet Pastry Base
  1. For more complete instructions, follow the recipe on pages 106-109 in my book, 'Teatime in Paris'. Mix the butter and sugar in a stand mixer until creamy. Add salt then other ingredients until just mixed, then stop. Form the dough into a ball, wrap in cling film or in a bag and chill in the fridge for at least an hour.

  2. Take the pastry out of the fridge. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/360°F/Gas4. Roll out the pastry on a very lightly floured surface to 4mm thickness. Press into the pastry ring or pan. Roll over the rolling pin on top to trim then push the pastry again into the ring to ensure it's straight against the sides. Set aside the remaining pastry, returning it to the fridge or freeze for making another tart.

  3. Blind bake the pastry by topping with parchment paper and fill with baking beans, washed coins, rice or dried beans. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes, then set aside to cool on a wire rack, removing the baking beans.

Apple Filling
  1. Prepare a sheet of parchment paper on the side.

    Heat a large frying pan over high heat and add the butter. Meanwhile, chop the apples into large dice (cut them quickly and there's no need to use lemon juice). When the butter is golden, fry the apples in sugar and vanilla for at least 5 minutes until seared a golden brown on one side. Turn the apples, cooking on high still for another 2 minutes then transfer to the parchment to cool.

Nougat Topping
  1. In a bowl, whisk the egg whites with a fork until loosened up then stir in the sugar and sliced (or other chopped) nuts.

  2. Evenly spread the cooled apples into the pastry base and top with the nougat. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

Recipe Notes

Best served on the day but can be kept refrigerated until next day. Also freezes well (double wrap).
Serve with vanilla ice cream, a dollop of crème fraîche or chestnut ice cream.

Jill Colonna

MadAboutMacarons.com

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French Apple Custard Tart – An Easy Yolk Recipe you HAVE to try!

The last time I made this French Apple Custard Tart, I earmarked the recipe and put it aside in a special file called “Best egg yolk recipes: must re-make for le blog”.  That was last autumn.

Luckily this delicious custard tart and I were reunited with me falling on the stairs – there’s always a silver lining! A forced foot-rest due to ankle sprain and torn ligaments has had me rather house-bound and frustrated at cancelling my pastry and chocolate walks in Paris but an office clean-out has meant that the tempting yolk recipe file has resurfaced from the back of the cupboard!

Alsacian French Apple Custard Tart Recipe

This French Apple Custard Tart recipe is also ridiculously easy – especially if you cheat and buy ready-made pastry.  However, I do urge you to make your own sweet pastry here, as adding that extra touch of cinnamon in the base had even my cinnamon-avoiding husband ask for a THIRD slice.

Techniques such as blind-baking the pastry beforehand is also cleverly replaced by simply laying out the apples and baking them before adding the filling. For macaron, meringue, and financier lovers, then you’ll appreciate having another egg yolk recipe up your sleeve and the good news is that this filling uses 4 egg yolks!  The filling couldn’t be simpler – just whisk the whole lot together and pour on top of the apples.

Easy best recipe for French apple custard tart

French Apple Custard Tart

Recipe adapted from ‘Tarte aux Pommes à l’Alsacienne’ in France the Beautiful Cookbook by the Scotto Sisters – with extra cinnamon and reduced sugar in the filling. If you make tartlets, either butter tartlet moulds or use 6 tartlet rings.

Serves 8

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes

Makes one 25cm (10 inch) tart or 6 tartlets

300g sweet pastry (with 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon)
2-3 apples (Golden Delicious or Cox’s Pippin)
4 egg yolks
75g sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
200g double (heavy) cream

Alsatian apple cinnamon tart

1. Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan/425°F (gas 7). Butter a 25cm tart tin (no need to butter if using non-stick moulds) or tart ring. Roll out the pastry dough larger than the tart tin (about 4cm larger) and press into the tin. Chill in the fridge.

2. Peel, quarter and core the apples. Cut each quarter into 4 slices and arrange them evenly over the pastry, starting from the outside and overlapping the slices slightly in the form of a rose.  Bake for 15 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, using a hand whisk, beat the egg yolks, sugar, cinnamon and cream.  Pour over the apples and bake for a further 30-35 minutes (20-25 minutes for tartlets) or until the apples are tender.

Apple cinnamon French custard Tartlet egg yolk recipe

No need for any ice cream or cream; just enjoy on its own served warm with a cup of your favourite tea for the perfect Sunday teatime treat.

French apple custard tart

French Apple Custard Tart

French Apple Custard Tart
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
22 mins
Total Time
37 mins
 
Recipe adapted from 'Tarte aux Pommes à l'Alsacienne' in France the Beautiful Cookbook by the Scotto Sisters - with extra cinnamon and reduced sugar in the filling. If you make tartlets, either butter tartlet moulds or use 6 tartlet rings.
Course: Dessert, teatime
Cuisine: French
Keyword: apple tart, custard tart, egg yolk recipes, French apple tart
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 350 kcal
Author: Jill Colonna
Ingredients
  • 300 g (10.5oz) sweet pastry  with 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2-3 apples Golden Delicious or Cox's Pippin
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 75 g (3oz) sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 200 g (7oz) double cream
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan/425°F (gas 7). Butter a 25cm/10" tart tin (no need to butter if using non-stick moulds) or tart ring. Roll out the pastry dough larger than the tart tin (about 4cm larger) and press into the tin. Chill in the fridge.

  2. Peel, quarter and core the apples. Cut each quarter into 4 slices and arrange them evenly over the pastry, starting from the outside and overlapping the slices slightly in the form of a rose.  Bake for 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, using a hand whisk, beat the egg yolks, sugar, cinnamon and cream.  Pour over the apples and bake for a further 30-35 minutes (20-25 minutes for tartlets) or until the apples are tender.
Recipe Notes

Jill Colonna

MadAboutMacarons.com

French apple custard tart

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