I have a big thing for any kind of apple dessert, but a French Apple Tart just might be my all time favorite. What is a French Apple Tart? It’s kind of like what you might imagine a fancy restaurant’s version of apple pie to be. Except the top of the pie crust is missing.
I grew up eating deep dish style Apple Pie baked in a cast iron skillet (with crust on top!) but I had my first French Apple Tart in 7th grade when I went to Europe with my parents. Maybe I had eaten one before in the States, but it certainly wasn’t memorable like the European version (food always tastes better in Europe, sigh…)
Anyway, for year and years I wanted to learn how to make a real French Apple Tart. Intimidation is what held me back. That and butter….
How to Make a French Apple Tart (Minus the Butter)
Although it may seem or even look more complicated than apple pie, making a French Apple Tart is actually much easier. First of all, you don’t have to bother with trying to make a pretty looking pie crust topping. All you really need to do is shape out a rustic rectangular pie crust-like bottom and top it with paper thin apple slices. You’ll need to use a mandolin (see photo left) to get the apples super thin, by the way. Slicing the apples with a mandolin rather than chopping them is not just easy as pie, it’s MUCH easier!
As far as the butter goes…you don’t need it. Turns out extra virgin coconut oil makes the perfect crust for the tart bottom.
How to make a French Apple Tart without butter, refined flour or refined sugar.
- 1 cup spelt flour (I like sprouted spelt flour by One Degree Organic)
- 3/4 cup brown rice flour
- 6 tablespoons organic, extra virgin coconut oil
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 egg yolk (Note: I always buy pasture-raised eggs such as Vital Farms)
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 4 apples, sliced paper thin with a mandolin (note: keep the skins on for extra fiber!)
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 2 tablespoon coconut palm sugar
- 2 egg whites (again, I use pasture-raised eggs)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- To make the pastry, add the spelt flour, brown rice flour and coconut oil to a food processor and process until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add the maple syrup, egg yolk and vanilla and process until a soft dough forms. Turn out the dough and bring together to form a flat disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes, or until firm.
- Roll out the dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper to form a very thin rough rectangular shape. Transfer the dough to a large cookie sheet and remove the top sheet of paper. Bake for 10 minutes, or until light golden.
- Add the apple slices to a large bowl and toss with cinnamon and coconut palm sugar. Arrange the apple slices on top of the pastry crust and brush lightly with egg whites.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the pastry is crisp and the apples are soft. Serve warm with coconut whipped cream.