Nothing is as comforting as an old-fashioned apple tart. When warm, gooey, and fresh from the oven, a dessert of this magnitude has the ability to alter moods and capture hearts. There are a million different recipes available and it's easy to find one that suits your experience level as a home cook. Whatever recipe you use, don't forget to serve the tart with vanilla ice cream! For two recipes for the classic dessert — both highlight the simple and pure flavor of apples —

Beginner Rustic Apple Tart
From Real Simple magazine

1/2 15-oz. package refrigerated piecrust (1 crust, not the pie-plate version)
2 10-oz. packages frozen cinnamon apples, partially thawed
1 tsp. grated lemon peel
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tsp. sugar

  1. Heat oven to 375°F. Lightly coat a baking sheet with vegetable cooking spray.
  2. Unfold the piecrust and place on sheet. Place the cinnamon apples in the center of the crust and mix in the lemon peel.
  3. Fold the edges over the filling, making pleats as you go. Brush the edges with the egg; sprinkle with the sugar.
  4. Bake 20 minutes or until the crust is golden. With a spatula, transfer from baking sheet to a platter. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Serves 6.

Expert Rustic Apple Tart
From Roya's Tea Garden

For Crust:
3 egg yolks
Pinch of salt
Pinch of ground vanilla bean or 1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. water
5 oz. butter at room temperature
1 cup confectioner's sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
For Apples and Topping:
2 lbs Apples (any kind except for Granny Smith or Red Delicious)
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
Pinch of ground vanilla bean or 1 tsp. vanilla extract
25 oz butter (1/2 stick butter)
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. confectioner's sugar for dusting
3 Tbsp. Apple Jelly or Apricot Preserve

  1. Make crust: in a large bowl, mix together egg yolks, salt, vanilla, and water.
  2. Add in the softened butter in small chunks. Gradually mix in the flour.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, knead dough briefly, about 3 times. Using the palm of your hand, press the dough out and with the help of a scraper gather all the dough pieces together. Repeat this process until dough can be easily formed into a smooth ball.
  4. Form the dough in to a ball, wrap in wax paper and let stand in refrigerator for at least two hours, ideally overnight.
  5. On a lightly floured surface using a rolling pin, roll dough flat to 1/8” thickness. Use a floured silpat or wax paper on the work surface for easier handling. Roll dough large enough to fit your tart pan.
  6. Using the rolling pin, place the dough lightly on the pin and place it onto pan carefully centering it at the same time. Once on the pan, press the sides to the edge of the pan. Use the rolling pin and roll it once on top of the tart pan to separate all the extra dough. Make sure the dough is upright and tight against the sides of the pan. You can use any size pan up to 12-in. for this amount of dough. You may need to increase the apples by one or two for a larger tart.
  7. Using a fork, puncture holes in the dough covered pan. This facilitates the baking and the prevention of air bubbles in the crust. Place the pan in freezer or refrigerator for about one hour.
  8. Heat the oven to 350°F and place pan in oven for about 30 minutes to bake halfway. Then take it out of oven and let it stand to cool.For the filling: while the dough is in the oven start peeling the apples. Leave 3–4 apples for the top but peel the rest, cutting them into quarters disposing the core and seeds. Apply the lemon juice to prevent discoloring while peeling.
  9. Place the peeled apples in a 2-qt. sauce pan and add the water, vanilla and sugar. Cooking stirring occasionally for about 40–50 minutes. Cover saucepan halfway and let stand on medium low heat for the apples to cook. This will form an apple sauce for the interior. Stir this mixture from time to time until thick. The sauce should be dry with most of the water evaporated.
  10. Once apple sauce is made into a thick soft mixture, put aside to cool. Peel the remainder of the apples (about 3–4), into halves and gently dispose the core and seeds making certain the shape of the apples is well kept. Then slice the apples into thin wedges. For best results, sprinkle of lemon juice to prevent discoloring.
  11. Place cooled apple sauce in cooled tart crust. Even it out on tart and decorate the apple sauce by the apple wedges as in the picture.
  12. Melt the butter and spread it over the apples. Dust the apples with the confectioners sugar and place in the 350°F oven.
  13. Bake tart in oven for about one hour. The apples should be nicely crisp and brown on their edges.
  14. Once baked, take tart out of oven and let stand to cool. Once cool, loosen the tart-pan sides and take tart out of pan. At this point, you can either loosen the bottom of the pan using a long spatula or large knife and then sliding the tart onto your serving dish or simply use the bottom of pan for support and slide it onto the serving dish together with the tart.
  15. For the top gloss, add a few drops of water to the apple jelly or apricot preserve in a small saucepan or microwave bowl. Heat on stove or in microwave (30 seconds) until jelly/ preserve is melted.
  16. Brush jelly or preserve on the apples adding a beautiful gloss to the pastry. Instead of the gloss, you can also dust the tart with confectioners sugar if you prefer a more rustic look.

Serves 6–8.