Maman’s Apple Tart

This dessert comes from the chef Jacques Pépin, who learned how to make it from his mother.Todd Coleman

Jacques Pépin learned to make this rustic tart from his mother. To form the crust, he suggests covering the dough with plastic wrap to more easily press it into the pan.

Equipment

Maman’s Apple Tart
The crust for this easy, impressive French apple tart is the pat-in-the-pan type that puffs up just slightly around the simply cut apple wedges.
Yield: serves 8
Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tbsp. sugar, divided
  • 1¼ tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 5 Tbsp. chilled, unsalted butter, cut into ½-in. cubes, divided
  • 3 Tbsp. vegetable shortening
  • 2 Tbsp. whole milk
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 large Empire or Cortland apples (1 lb.), peeled and cored, each cut into 8 wedges
  • 2 Tbsp. apricot preserves, warmed slightly in the microwave to soften

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven (with its rack positioned in the center) to 375°F. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, the salt, and the baking powder. Add 3 tablespoons butter and the shortening and, using your fingers, rub the fat into the flour mixture to form coarse, pea-size pieces. Add the milk and egg, and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined. Press the dough together with your hands and transfer it to a 9-inch glass pie plate. Press the dough evenly along the bottom and sides of the pie plate. Refrigerate until firm to the touch, 30–35 minutes.
  2. Retrieve crust from the fridge, then arrange apple wedges side by side, overlapping slightly around the bottom of the crust, like the spokes of a wheel, pushing gently into the dough as you go. Halve any remaining apple wedges and place them in the center of the tart. Sprinkle with remaining sugar and dot with remaining butter, then transfer to the oven and bake until the crust is golden and apples are tender when poked with a knife, 35–40 minutes. (If the edges begin to brown before the fruit is tender, cover them with strips of aluminum foil.) Remove the tart from the oven and use a pastry brush to carefully brush the apricot preserves over the apples; return the tart to the oven and continue baking until the preserves melt over the fruit in a thin, glossy layer, 4–6 minutes more. Set the tart aside to cool at room temperature for at least 15 minutes before serving.