How to make a French apple tart at home with this easy and delicious recipe. This traditional tarte Normande recipe is delicious with only 2 preparations, a homemade shortcrust pastry and a creamy filling of apple slices and sour cream, perfect for any occasion.
This French apple tart recipe, better known as tarte Normande aux pommes, is a classic French dessert, originally from Normandy, this tart is a delight in the mouth, creamy and flavorful.
There are many apple tart recipes, like the regular apple tart recipe, but this version of French apple tart is a creamier version with a thick, melt-in-the-mouth filling.
Much loved also for its simplicity of preparation because the apples in this recipe are not shaped into a rosette, but are simply incorporated into the filling, which makes it a much quicker recipe than most of the other apple tarts.
Made with only 2 ingredients, a shortcrust pastry dough (French pate sablee) and a delicious and not overly sweet Filling made of almond meal and sour cream (creme fraiche) with fresh sliced apples and optionally flavored with calvados which is alcohol coming from Normandy in France.
We make this classic French apple tart for all occasions, for a teatime, as a dessert for a family meal, served with a bit of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream and a drizzle of salted caramel sauce.
Ingredients and Substitutions
Here is an overview of the composition and ingredients to make this delicious French apple tart at home, scroll down the page to see the quantities and go straight to making the pie.
I like tarts with a shortcrust pastry shell, the French pate sablé is perfect with fresh or cooked fruit with a sandy and rich buttery texture that melts in the mouth.
You can replace it with a more crunchy shortcrust pastry like this pate sucrée or use a store-bought tart shell.
- Eggs: Use room-temperature eggs, take them out in advance or let them sit in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes.
- Sugar: Preferably flavored sugar such as cane sugar or other brown sugar.
- Vanilla: A pure vanilla extract is essential to flavor the filling, you can also add a little ground cinnamon to flavour or lemon juice.
- Calvados: Optional, in the traditional recipe we add 1-2 tablespoons of calvados that you can substitute with apple brandy.
- Almonds: Optional, but I recommend adding almond meal for a flavorful filling.
- Sour cream: Full-fat sour cream (crème fraîche), which can be replaced by heavy cream.
- Apples: Choose mature apples with juicy flesh such as Jonagold, Golden Delicious, Granny smith apples, or Pink lady. Peel apples and cut into large pieces or if you prefer thin slices, the apple juices from the cooked apples will make a delicious filling.
⚠️ You will find the quantities and complete instructions in the recipe card at the end of the page.
How to make the French Tarte Normande Recipe
Materials: You can make the dough by hand as I show you here, or use a food processor and mix all the ingredients together.
1 - Shortcrust pastry
- Place the dry ingredients in a large container, flour, powdered sugar, ground almonds and a pinch of salt.
- Add the chopped and cold unsalted butter and mash it into the dry ingredients until you have a sandy mixture.
- Add egg and mix with your fingers until the dough comes together and forms a ball without overworking it.
- Cover the dough with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes.
- Roll out the dough on a floured work surface or between 2 sheets of parchment paper to a thickness of 3-4 mm.
- Line a tart ring or a tart pan with the dough and prick the bottom of the dough.
Tip: Place the tart shell in the freezer while preparing the filling. If it is cold, the crust will not collapse during baking.
2 - Filling
- Place eggs, vanilla extract and brown sugar in a large mixing bowl and mix with a hand whisk until fluffy and smooth.
- Add the sour cream and almond meal and mix again to incorporate them.
Tip: You can mix the apple pieces directly into the filling or place them directly in the bottom of the tart pan over the tart shell and pour the filling over them.
3 - Baking
- Place the apple slices in the bottom of the tart crust previously placed on a baking sheet and pour the filling on top until it fills all the corners.
- Sprinkle the top of the tart with cane sugar.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 350°F / 180°C for about 35-45 minutes until golden brown.
- Allow the French Normandy tart to cool in the pan before removing from the pan and placing on a wire rack or on a serving dish.
- Serve the tart warm or well cold with sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
Tip: You can sprinkle flaked almonds on top of the tart before baking or dust with powdered sugar before serving.
How to serve this tart
The French apple Tart is a delight on its own, but you can add a delicious topping to make a fabulous dessert:
- Vanilla ice cream
- Salted caramel sauce
- Chocolate sauce
- Chantilly or whipped cream
- Crushed nuts, pecans, almonds etc.
In the fridge: This French apple tart recipe should preferably be kept in the fridge under plastic wrap or in an airtight container box for about 4-5 days.
In the freezer: Once it is completely cooled, place it whole or cut into slices in a storage box or storage bags in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Let it defrost gently in the fridge overnight or use the defrost function on your microwave.
More tart recipes
- Apple galette
- Strawberry and pastry cream tart
- Lemon meringue tart
- Chocolate caramel tart
- Rhubarb and almond tart
- Frangipane tart
- Pear frangipane tart
- Puff pastry apple tart
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