Rustic Apple Tart

rustic apple tart
I have been dying, dyyyying I tell you, to share this recipe, this Rustic Apple Tart.

And why have I waited until now to share?  Honestly, I was waiting for apple season to come back around. 

Why, Becky, what's the deal here?, you may query.  I'm probably going to wax poetic.

Years ago, before I met Mike and as I've mentioned, Saturdays were spent prone on the couch watching cooking shows on PBS all damn freakin' day long. 

And, as I'm sure I mentioned, it definitely did not turn me into a master chef by any remote stretch though maybe it helped.  Maybe.  Don't ask Mike. 

Anywhooo.  Watching any show with Jacques Pépin was the highlight of the afternoon therefore, of course, as any right-minded individual would, I grew to respect the daylights out of the man and his craft.

One of the things I took away from his shows which not only applies to cooking but in life too:  simplicity.

He takes a handful of simple ingredients and with a few flicks of the wrist, swirls in a steaming pot, creates the most approachable yet dazzling dishes.  He excites in bringing out the best of every single element.

Simple is king.

closer view rustic apple tart
Good Heavens to Betsy.  Oh my word I can practically smell this.
From then on, I've tried my darndest to keep things simple.  I may not always succeed.  It may never seem that I'm really honestly trying to do that (see my other blog) and while there's zero wrong with going over the top, just on the conscious side of the back of my mind, simple is my aim.

One day I came across this Rustic Apple Tart somewhere somehow online, unearthed on the Food & Wine website.  Upon reading it I thought, hmph, really, six ingredients.  That seems mind-bogglingly bare-bones.

But, it's Jacques Pépin, I chided myself and saved the recipe. 

Post fall trip to Michigan, oodles of apples in hand, out I whipped this recipe.

Trust me, it was tough to reign tendencies.  But stick to it as written, do not veer, do not add a single thing.  It's Jacques Pépin, Becky, stick to the recipe.  Boy I'm glad I did.

Let me tell you a few things about this recipe. 

First, oh my freakin' word what an utter joy to follow this recipe.  Everything is precise, every step thoroughly spot on, every single aspect of this recipe was exact, correct, true, and accurate.  What a freakin' joy, holy cow.

close up of rustic apple tart
If you've tried recipes found on the internet (other than on this site I mean c'mon), you know there are a lot of bad ones.  Aaaahh lot.  I know you're nodding.

Sheer.  Utter.  Joy. 

Second, there was zero reason to veer, to add, to augment, to change a single thing (though I used apple jelly in place of apricot preserves as that's what I had).  None.  The recipe and resultant tart were perfect.  Fool-proofing-ly perfect.

The recipe is easy breezy, carefree, straightforward, effortless -- just a magnificent, out of this world, earth-shatteringly delicious Rustic Apple Tart. 

You don't even need ice cream.  Yeah.  Right?


So please, I implore you, follow the recipe exactly as written.  You'll see.

Start much the same as any pie and make the crust.  If you have a food processor,* it's a snap.  If not, by hand with a pastry cutter* is great too.

flour and butter in food processor
Here's a great tip:  recipes will tell you to get the butter down to pea-sized bits which is true, but hold off on going that far at first. 

Process it, chunk the butter up, it literally only takes about five or six pulses, add your water then pulse to reach pea-sized.  If you pea it first, it only gets smaller as you add remaining ingredients, compromising your flaky layers.

Ok, so a little light kneading to get a ball shape, then roll it out onto a baking sheet* that is lined with a piece of parchment paper.* 

prepping the dough
Mix up a smidge of flour with some sugar, sprinkle that around the dough and then it's apple time.  Don't forget my apple tip:  use two to three different types of apples for best flavor and texture.  I used three here.

sprinkling flour and sugar on dough
You can lay out your apple slices any way you prefer but the few extra minutes to make it pretty is worth the self-esteem boost.

laying out apples atop dough
Munch up the dough to the edges of the apples, it doesn't matter how, rustic ya know, then brush* with melted butter.

rolling and tucking crust dough
Chill the whole thing briefly then off to the oven it goes.

brushing prepared tart with melted butter
Don't forget to brush with melted butter.  Haha, like that's something to forget.
Out comes this eye-poppingly glorious, gorgeous Rustic Apple Tart, oh my, and to gild the lily and gloss this baby up, brush it with preserves or apple jelly.

brushing tart with apple jelly
Serve it warm and seriously, you'll wonder how you existed in the world without this tart.

slice of rustic apple tart plated

finished rustic apple tart
Thank you, Jacques.

Rustic Apple Tart

Rustic Apple Tart

8 slices
Prep time
45 Min
Cook time
1 Hour
Total time
1 H & 45 M
Simple is king here: a mere six ingredients, easy-breezy instructions, and the result is the very finest in Rustic Apple Tart thanks to Jacques Pépin.


  • 1 1/2 cups (180 g) plus 1 tablespoon (7.5 g) all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks (170 g) unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, plus 2 tablespoons (28 g) melted (14 tablespoons total)
  • 1/3 cup (79 ml) ice water
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons (43 g) granulated sugar
  • 4 large apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4" slices**
  • 2 tablespoons (43 g) apricot preserves (or apple jelly or preserves of choice), melted; strain as necessary


  1. Place 1 1/2 cups (180 g) of flour in a food processor.  Add the salt and cold butter cubes.  Pulse the food processor about 5 to 6 times to break up the butter.
  2. Scatter the ice cold water over the flour mix and pulse the food processor about 3 to 6 more times, until the butter is the size of peas and the flour has dampened.  Pinch a small portion of the mix together to ensure it mostly holds together.  If not, add a tiny bit more water and pulse a couple more times.  Avoid overprocessing.
  3. Flour a work surface and pour out the contents of the food processor onto it.  Lightly knead the dough 2 to 3 times until it mostly comes together into a ball shape.  Lightly flour a rolling pin and roll out the dough to a 16 to 17 inch round shape, about 1/4" thick.
  4. Prepare a large rimless baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper.  Gently roll the dough up onto the rolling pin and then unroll onto the parchment lined sheet.
  5. Combine the remaining 1 tablespoon (7.5 g) of flour with the granulated sugar in a small dish and spread evenly over the rolled out dough, leaving about a 1" edge clear.
  6. Place the apples atop the dough either in a circle or in a pattern as desired, leaving about a 3" edge free of apples.
  7. Fold, roll, or tuck the dough edge up freely to the apples and brush with the remaining 2 tablespoons (28 g) of melted butter.
  8. Place the sheet in the refrigerator for 10 minutes and begin preheating the oven to 400° F (204° C).
  9. When the oven is ready, place the sheet in the oven and bake for 1 hour.  The apples will be tender, golden and lightly browned while the crust edges will be deeply golden.
  10. Remove the sheet from the oven and gently brush the melted preserves across the apples.  Cool the tart on a rack and serve slightly warm.


**Choose 2-3 different types of apples for best flavor and texture.

Adapted from Jacques Pépin's recipe on Food & Wine.

Nutrition Facts



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Please see the "info" section for nutrition details and information about gram weights.

tart, apple, rustic, apple tart
French American

*The food processors, pastry cutters,  baking sheets, parchment paper, and pastry brushes are Amazon affiliate links.  Happy baking, thanks!  Please see the "info" tab for more, well, info.

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