The Art of the Tart: How to Make a Beautiful French Apple Tart

Moulton buys seven Golden Delicious apples, her favorite variety for baking.
Moulton buys seven Golden Delicious apples, her favorite variety for baking.Todd Coleman
After peeling the apples and cutting them in half lengthwise, she removes the cores with a melon baller.
After peeling the apples and cutting them in half lengthwise, she removes the cores with a melon baller.Todd Coleman
Working with one apple half at a time, she makes thin crosswise slices, keeping the heel of her knife slightly above the cutting board with each downstroke so the slices remain connected at one end
Working with one apple half at a time, she makes thin crosswise slices, keeping the heel of her knife slightly above the cutting board with each downstroke so the slices remain connected at one end.Todd Coleman
She trims the bud and stem ends, then stands the apple half on end to cut a thin layer from the cored side so that the slices fully separate but remain stacked together
She trims the bud and stem ends, then stands the apple half on end to cut a thin layer from the cored side so that the slices fully separate but remain stacked together.Todd Coleman
She returns the half to its flat side on the cutting board and covers it with her hand, pressing down until the mass of apple flattens into a neat row of overlapping slices
She returns the half to its flat side on the cutting board and covers it with her hand, pressing down until the mass of apple flattens into a neat row of overlapping slices.Todd Coleman
Working with one row at a time, she slides a metal spatula under half the row and transfers it to an unbaked tart shell
Working with one row at a time, she slides a metal spatula under half the row and transfers it to an unbaked tart shell, ultimately arranging eight of these around the perimeter of the tart to form the outer "petals" of a "rose."Todd Coleman
She then takes six or seven slices from the remaining apple and spreads them out lengthwise to form a narrow row of overlapping slices, which she arranges in an arc in the tart shell
She then takes six or seven slices from the remaining apple and spreads them out lengthwise to form a narrow row of overlapping slices, which she arranges in an arc in the tart shell over the points where the bases of the "petals" meet.Todd Coleman
She places more arcs in the same way, overlapping them tightly to form concentric circles.
She places more arcs in the same way, overlapping them tightly to form concentric circles.Todd Coleman
Finally, she fills empty spaces between the outer "petals" with rows of overlapping slices cut to fit snugly into the gaps
She continues until the tart looks like an open "rose," filling in the center with smaller pieces until all of the dough is covered. Finally, she fills empty spaces between the outer "petals" with rows of overlapping slices cut to fit snugly into the gaps.Todd Coleman
Once baked, the "rose" effect is enhanced by lighter and darker areas of caramelization.
Once baked, the "rose" effect is enhanced by lighter and darker areas of caramelization.Todd Coleman