Saturday, March 20, 2010

Julia Child's Tarte aux Pommes

We are a slightly apple-obsessed family. What can we say? We live in the great state of Washington, and apples here are not only plentiful, they are delicious! It seems that the French also enjoy their apples. This recipe is Julia Child's, and it is fast becoming a family fave.

Serves 8
10-inch partially cooked pastry shell*
4 pounds cooking apples (Golden Delicious)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/3 cup apricot jam/preserves
1/3 cup Calvados, rum or cognac (or 1 tablespoon vanilla)
2/3 cup granualted sugar for topping
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

*I use my regular pie crust recipe, and bake it as an empty shell for about 10 minutes.
1) Preheat oven to 375F. Quarter, core, and peel the apples. Cut enough to make 3 cups into 1/8-inch lengthwise slices and toss them in a bowl with the lemon juice and sugar. Reserve them for the top of the tart.
2) Cut the rest of the apples into rough slices. You should have about 8 cups. Place in a pan and cook over low heat for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender.

3) Beat in apricot jam, Calvados, sugar, butter, and cinnamon. Raise heat and boil, stirring, until applesauce is thick enough to hold in a mass in the spoon.
4) Spread the applesauce in the pastry shell. Cover with a neat, closely overlapping layer of sliced apples arranged in concentric circles, as illustrated below:

5) Bake in upper third of preheated oven for about 30 minutes, or until the apples have browned lightly and are tender. Slide the tart onto a serving dish and paint over it with a light coating of apricot glaze.

Apricot Glaze
1/2 cup apricot preserves, forced through a sieve
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
Stir the strained apricot preserves and sugar over moderately high heat until thick enough to coat the spoon with a light film, and the last drops are sticky as they fall from the spoon (225-228 degrees on a candy thermometer). Do not boil past this point or the glaze will become brittle as it cools.
Serve warm or cold with whipping cream or a scoop of ice cream.

Bon Appetit!


  1. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! It turned out great when I made it for my French class. I used rum and it tasted fantastic!

  2. Thank you for this recipe. One thing I'm not clear about at stage 2, when one cooks the roughly cut apples, do you add water?