Craving a scrumptious fall holiday dessert that will delight your family and dinner party friends? Instead of the expected apple pie, this rustic apple tart deliciously surprises your holiday guests with a flaky crust and tender apple slices.
At heart, a rustic apple tart is an apple pies without the pie pan. What makes rustic apple tarts better than traditional apple pies? They are less bothersome to prepare because you free-form the dough around the fruit filling on a baking sheet — no shaping or fluting the dough in a pie pan required. Another tasty bonus is that this rustic apple tart is brushed with warm, generously spiced apricot preserves for a glazy sweet finish.
Never made a rustic apple tart before? Soon you’ll be a pro, and we’re convinced you’ll start making rustic tarts as your go-to fruit dessert for every occasion.
When it comes to pies, the filling is often the focal point. With rustic tarts, the golden flaky crust gets the attention. Round up the sweet-tart red apples. The best apples for baking offer a delicious balance of sweet and tart flavors and can hold their shape when baked. Our favorite baking apple picks are Jonagolds, Honeycrisps, and Braeburns. Red Delicious apples make an appealing raw snack, but in baking, they pale in taste comparison and will turn to unappetizing mush.
Free-form apple tarts are more fun than apple pies! If you get stressed about evenly pressing pie dough into a pie plate and perfectly fluting the dough edges, you’re going to love making this rustic apple tart. You simply fold the generous border of dough over the apple slices without worrying about fancy edges.
Combine sugar and flour
In a small bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons of sugar with 1 tablespoon of flour. Set aside. This mixture will get sprinkled on the dough when you roll it out.
Make the dough
Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the flour, salt, and butter on low speed for 2 minutes. Slowly add ice-cold water until the mixture forms a dough and becomes a ball.
Form the dough into a disk and refrigerate
On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough just 2 to 3 times and form the dough into a disk. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Roll the dough out
On a lightly floured surface, use a rolling pin to roll the dough out to a 16- to 17-inch round that is about 1/4-inch thick. Roll the dough around the rolling pin. This will help you transfer the dough to the baking sheet.
Place the dough on a baking sheet
Unroll the dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Make the tart
Sprinkle the reserved sugar mixture over the dough. Arrange apple slices in overlapping concentric circles, leaving a 3-inch border of dough.
Form and bake the tart
Fold the edges of the dough over the apples in a free-form fashion. Brush the apples with melted butter and sprinkle the tart with the remaining 1-1/2 tablespoons of sugar. Refrigerate the unbaked tart for about 10 minutes. Then, bake at 400 F for 1 hour or until the apples are tender and the crust is golden brown. Remove the tart from the oven and let cool slightly.
Warm the apricot preserves and spices
In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, stir together the apricot preserves, cinnamon, and nutmeg until melted.
Glaze the tart
Using a pastry brush, brush the warm apricot preserves over the apples.
3-1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided 1-1/2 tablespoons and 2 tablespoons
1-1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
1-1/2 sticks (6 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, plus 2 tablespoons melted
1/3 cup ice water
4 large red apples, peeled, cored, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 tablespoons strained apricot preserves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons sugar with 1 tablespoon flour. Set aside.
Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the flour, salt, and butter on low speed for 2 minutes. Slowly add ice-cold water until the mixture forms a dough and becomes a ball. Do not overmix.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead 2 or 3 times, just until it comes together. Pat the dough into a disk and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough into a 16- to 17-inch round about 1/4-inch thick.
Carefully roll the dough around the rolling pin and then unroll it onto the prepared baking sheet.
Sprinkle the sugar mixture evenly over the dough.
Arrange the apple slices on top of the dough in overlapping concentric circles to within 3 inches of the edge.
Fold the edge of the dough over the apples in a free-form fashion. Brush the apples with the melted butter and sprinkle the tart with the remaining 1-1/2 tablespoons of sugar.
Refrigerate the unbaked tart until it is slightly chilled, about 10 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400 F.
Bake the tart in the center of the oven for 1 hour, or until the apples are tender and the crust has turned a deep golden color.
Remove the tart from the baking sheet and allow it to cool slightly.
Heat the preserves in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir in the cinnamon and nutmeg.