Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Baking with Bakertan - French Apple Tart ( Tarte Aux Pommes)

Yo folks! Bakertan will be doing a French Apple Tart (Tarte Aux Pommes) today. First of all, we need to prepare the tart base. The tart base we will be using is known as Pâte Brisée ( paht bree-ZAY ), the french version of an unsweetened shortcrust pastry, according to Maxine Clark. Pâte Brisée is a rather versatile tart base and it yields a rich, crumbly flaky texture.

Now, we need to sift the flour onto a clean work surface. Sprinkle a generous pinch of salt evenly over the flour. Make sure both your hands are clean, folks. Use the knuckles of one hand and make a well in the centre of the flour.

Dice some butter and soften it at room temperature. Add the diced butter to the well together with an egg yolk.

Use all 5 fingers of one hand and 'peck' the butter and egg yolk. You will want them to end up looking like scrambled eggs.

Ok, now that one of your hand is greasy, you have the other hand free to use. Grab a palette knife with the other hand and start turning the surrounding flour over the butter yolk mixture. Chop through the mixture like you are chopping nuts. Sprinkle iced water over the mixure. Repeat the chopping action and turning of flour until all the flour is combined with the butter mixture. You can see that the end result is some coarse and fine flour-coated butter crumbs.


Folks, we need to bring all the crumbs together to form a dough. So, gently gather the crumbs. Knead them gently so that they come together into a ball.  Make sure that you do not overknead the dough. We do not want the dough to be well kneaded and everything is evenly distributed. This is not cake making ~ Once done, flatten the ball slightly and wrap it up with clingfilm. Place the dough in the refrigerator for at at least 30 minutes.

So, once the dough is chilled, we can work on it again. Remove the clingfilm and let the chilled dough soften a while at room temperature. Meanwhile, we need to dust a clean work surface and a rolling pin with a little flour. This will prevent the dough from sticking to the rolling pin and the work surface. Roll out the dough evenly using the rolling pin. Dust the rolling pin every now and then to prevent dough from sticking.

How do we know when to stop rolling? Place the tart tin onto the rolled out dough. The rolled dough should be larger than the size of the tart tin. We want to have excess dough so that we can cover up the sides of the tin.

Next, remove the tart tin and place the rolling pin onto the rolled out dough. Slowly lift up the dough from one end and wrap it around the rolling pin lightly. You have to do this slowly so as to prevent tearing the dough. Remember not to roll the dough tightly onto the pin or else it will stick together. That will spell trouble, oops!...  

Once done, place the wrapped dough onto the tart tin. Starting from one end of the tart tin, slowly unwrapped the tart dough until the tart tin is covered. Press the dough down to fit the tart tin, ensuring that the dough adheres to the base and the sides well.

There will be excess dough over-hanging from the sides. How do we deal with that? We need a sharp knife. A small one will do. I am using a paring knife here. Simply run the knife through the sides to cut off the excess dough. Nevermind if the tart tin is not fully lined. We can do some patching up.

Use the excess dough a little at a time and patch up the bald areas. Tada! We have a nicely lined up tart base now. Thats all for preparing a tart base and lining a tart tin. Return the tart base to the refrigerator for another 15 minutes. We still have to prepare the apple fillings.... Wrap up the remaining dough with clingfilm and use it to make a small tart.

To prepare the apple filling, core and peel 4 or 5 baking apples. Golden Delicious or Granny Smith will be good choices. Slice the apples thinly and arrange them nicely on the chilled tart base in nice concentric circles, starting with the outer circle and followed by the inner circle. Arrange smaller pieces of sliced apples in the middle. Sprinkle sugar evenly and place cubed butter all over the apples. Place tart tin on top of a baking pan and bake the apple tart at 200 degrees C for an hour until the apples are nicely browned. We are not done yet... Warm some apricot jam in a saucer over low heat and spread it over the apple tart to give it a glossy look and added flavour. Voila! We now have a nice French Apple Tart.

Thats all for today, folks. Stay tuned to Baking with Bakertan. Cheers and have a nice day~  

Ok back to how I usually blog. I thought I would deviate from my norm since I do not have anything interesting to write. So I was thinking: "Hey, why not 'host' a baking demonstation here"? That should break the monotony.

After using up some of my Golden Delicious Apples for my previous apple-upside down cake, I had some leftovers and was planning to use them soon. Youfei's post on her apple tart movtivated me to do a French Apple Tart. There should be no more Golden Delicious apples by now. No, not really. I just caught hold of a new bag of Golden Delicious, without any hesitation! That means.. More baking with apples! It  takes a bit of luck to find it these days, so I am not going to take any chances by passing up the opportunity...

Two weeks ago, a visitor to my blog emailed me. I was delighted to know that we live really near each other, just five minutes walk away. She managed to find me here, all thanks to Edith's blog. I met up with her this evening and passed her some of my freshly baked French Apple Tarts. Really look forward to more baking exchanges and sessions with my newly found friend...

French Apple Tart ( Tarte Aux Pommes) (Recipe adapted from Tarts: Sweet and Savoury by Maxine Clark)
Serving size: 8 to 10 slices
Texture: Buttery flaky and crumbly tart crust. Apple filling is sweet and moderately firm, not mushy with lended flavour and sweetness from apricot jam.
Equipment and Materials:
1) 24 or 25 cm tart tin with removable base
2) Rolling pin
3) Flour sieve
4) Measuring spoon set
5) Clingfilm
6) Baking tray
7) Palette knife
8) Wire rack

Pâte Brisée:
220g plain flour
a generous pinch of salt
110g unsalted butter, diced and softened at room temperature
15g egg yolk (I used a 55g egg)
3 tbs water

Making the Pâte Brisée:
Follow instructions as mentioned above.

Apple Filling:
4 or 5 baking apples, peeled and cored, about 400g of sliced apples (I used Golden Delicious)
2 tbs caster sugar (I used raw sugar)
40g unsalted butter, diced
2-3 tbs apricot jam, warmed  (I used IXL apricot jam. St Dalfour's Peach Jam would be a good choice too)

Making apple filling:
Follow instructions as mentioned above.

1) Do not be tempted to add more apricot jam. The sweetness will steal the focus from the apples.

Apples on FoodistaApples


  1. ZY, thanks for the tutorial. This comes handy for me since I have not bake any tart b4. The apple tart looks delicious, I like the golden yellow color.

  2. I am hopeless with the crust. Never able to do like how you did it. Mine is always too soft.

  3. Beautiful apple tarts. I would like to try it too. This reminds me that I've not baked apple tarts for a long time.

  4. HAHA! Now that I know what you meant by "different" ... This is a form of creative writing! Keep it up! In fact, in the post before this (on your family's Sunday lunch get-together), your opening is what I'd call "staccatos." It's one of the first few things I learned as a journalism student. =) ... Psss ... The only thing is beginning from para. 15, you sorta jolted me (the reader) for a little ... by taking me back to reality ... HAHA!

    Hmmm ... Mine is pate sucree. How I make my pate brisee is also different than yours, too. AND, I'm more disorganized/messier ... AND, rebellious. I tend to not follow the recipe for a little. LOL! Wait till you see mine ...

    Yea, now I know what you meant. It's not really French leh ... @@ ... Wait till you see mine.

    Btw, SO sweet of you to share your freshly baked tart with another fellow baker! Hope to hear more about your baking adventures with her! Have fun! =)

  5. bakertan your instructions are simply wonderful don't worry about nothing to write in your blog we will get the hang of it somehow somewhat somewhere and your apple tart looks so delicious i can never do such tart base i'm hopeless with tart crusts haiz.. i went to popular today in hope of buying Alex Goh magic bread book that you mentioned to me but alas there weren't any i guess i have to source again..

  6. I love the golden look of the tart...
    Oh, apples in bakes always make my knees weak

  7. That was a really nice write up and i love looking at step by step pictures, even more so when accompanied with "narration" =p

    You don't have to pre-bake this tart? I like how you arranged the apple slices I could not have done that nicely. Mine was so messy. -_-'''

    Oh! How you rolled the pate brisee dough over the pan is very much like how you would cover a fondant cake. hehe!

    Lovely tart!

  8. You are really detail ZY! Nice of you to write up this for others that wants to try this tart out. Glad you found new friendship in the most unusual way, guess you never know what you can get along the way. Have fun!

  9. Hahaha I like your very casual style instructions! Cute post. Btw the crust is the flaky kind? Looked more buttery type. So which is it?

  10. I like this new style - very nice! Maybe you can start your own YouTube channel one day... The step by step, detailed instructions with photos are great! Very helpful and sure does break the monotony of all words. Like they say - a picture speaks a thousand words.

    It's such a nice feeling meeting up with fellow bakers right? I always look forward to meeting my baker friend too, and we always have gift exchange :) Too bad we live too far from each other, otherwise I would have suggested meeting up. Well, if you ever swing by the east side of Singapore, let me know.

  11. Hi Jess,

    Tart making is quite fun. Should try making it one day.


    Hi Edith,

    Maybe the dough is not chilled enough? My dough is quite stiff when it roll it out. Then i try to work with it quickly.


    Hi Anncoo,

    Thanks =] I love making and eating apple tarts.


    Hey Pei-Lin,

    I can only do this kind of creative writing once in a while.. cos i will run out of ideas..

    Shall look forward to your french apple tart soon and see what is the difference


    Hi Jess

    Thanks alot! I am getting the hang of being clueless what to write. Somehow there will be something to write in the end. Dun give up on making tart crusts ya? I got it only after some practice.

    Sometimes some outlets do not have certain books. I think it should not be difficult to find. Look for to good results from the book =]

  12. Hi Wendy,

    Thanks! I totally agree with you, apples in bakes always make me yearn for more.


    Hey Youfei,

    Thanks =] I think I will do more of this in future. Hope I have the mood to take step by step pictures.

    I forgot to include the baking temp and state that the tart tin baked on top of a baking pan. Dun need to pre-bake the tart. It doesnt get very soggy. The bottom layer is crisp while the layer in contact with the apples is soggy, due to the juices.

    Haha, you reminded me about that. Saw it in some fondant books. But need a tool to smooth the surface for fondant.


    Hi Bee Bee,

    Thanks! I suddenly got the mood to do step by step description. Hope I can do it more often, depends on the type of bakes oso. Ya, I am so glad to have new found friends who are so supportive via blogging, you ladies included.


    Hi Ronni,

    Thanks =] The pastry is buttery, quite flaky yet crumbly too. Shortcrust is purely crumbly on the other hand. Haha, you will know when you try it.


    Hey NEL,

    Thanks, I cannot start my youtube channel. No one to help me take videos, cos I will be the one baking. Unless I have a video stand.

    Its definitely a nice feeling to meet up with fellow bakers/bloggers. Ya I thought of initiating a meetup up too. Dun worry, I am sure we have plenty of chances to meetup =]

  13. I like the way you post your bakes step by step. It is very useful to novice baking enthusiasts. Perhaps you should think of writing a bake book.

  14. WOW! Thanks for sharing the pictures with the process of making French apple tart. It's very nicely baked!

  15. Excellent illustrations with your pics. Delicious looking & appetizing french apple tart! *^_^*

  16. Hello!
    I've been a loyal reader of your food blog. And just a few weeks ago, I bought a tart tin because I wanted to bake myself some tarts! I've been searching for a nice french apple tart recipe the past week and I haven't been able to find a lovely one! When I saw your new post on the french apple tart, I was really pleased because your apple tart looks so good, just the kind of apple tart I wanted to bake! I love the pictorial tutorial too! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SHARING! :)

    Love, Rina

  17. Hi Bakertan,
    Your step by step guide looks really pro, like those published in recipe books! I don't have the patience to do a step by're really good. Thanks for sharing the recipe too. Baked apples is my favourite. :)

  18. Hi Busygran,

    I don't think I can write a book yet. Hahah, not qualified to do that. Probably in ten years time maybe, haha


    Hi Grace and Cathy,

    Thanks for the kind words =]


    Hi Rina,

    Thank you and you're welcome! I am so honoured to have a loyal reader like you. This french tart isn't exactly french according to one of my blogger friend. Most of the french tarts I googled uses cooked apple fillings while this one does'nt. Nevertheless, I am quite pleased with the outcome. Let me know how your apple tart turns out.

    cheers =]


    Hi Jane,

    Thanks alot for the support! I don't think I have reached that level, haha. I guess doing step by step depends on my mood, and it so happens that I was in the mood to do that. Maybe I should do this more often


  19. your step by step photos are very clear and useful for total noob like me :)

  20. What a wonderful tutorial. I love your attention to details.This would be very helpful for anyone who wants to try making this themselves.I saw your blog from the foodie blog roll and I like what you have here.if you won't mind I'd love to guide Foodista readers to this post.Just add the foodista widget to the end of this post and it's all set, Thanks!

  21. What a great step by step presentation!! I love apple tarts, and yours looks so very very good!
    Welcome to food buzz!

  22. Hey thanks for the tutorial.. i always can't get a nicely dough drape on the tin. It always breaks into pieces. haha.

    Hey there's another baking lover staying near us? Maybe can count me in next time if time allows. :P hehe

  23. Hi Wiffy,

    thanks. glad it will come in handy for you =]


    Hi Alisa,

    Thanks, I have added the widget.


    Hi Chef Dennis,

    Thanks for the compliments =]. I need some time to figure out what food buzz is about as I am still new to it.


    Hey aimei,

    Thanks! I guess I am lucky with my tart base, haha.

    Ya, there is another baking lover near us! Yup, will ask you along if we do meet up for baking sessions =]

  24. Wow! This looks extremely delicious. I love tarts but kinda hate to roll the dough and stuff cuz they get all messy in the kitchen but nevertheless you inspire me to try it out sometime soon..

  25. Hi Sheryl,

    Thanks! I lover tarts too. I hate it at first cos it is quite time consuming but soon got the hang of it . I guess practice makes perfect =]


Dear readers, thanks for visiting my humble little blog. Feel free to leave a message so that I can learn and be a better baker. Its a great feeling to share our culinary experience and adventures in the kitchen.

Thank you and have a nice day! Cheers =]

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