apple tart recipe review

Marian Parsonsa slice of life, Food & Fitness36 Comments

My mom and I leave for Paris on Saturday and I have been a bit of a crazy person the past few days.  I’m pretty set when it comes to packing my suitcase, but it’s the backpack/purse I’m going to be carrying with me daily that has been causing all of the angst and I started to second-guess my plan.  In a nutshell, I ended up buying two anti-theft bags and one was too small and one was the right size, but very uncomfortable.  I’m returning both of them and sticking with my original plan!

Does anyone else turn into a maniac and change your mind a million times before packing for a big trip?!  I can’t wait until I’m all packed and out the door.  I feel like then I can settle in and just be excited.

Anyway, I decided I would try a French recipe before we leave, so I made an apple tart from The Cook’s Atelier cookbook for a labor day weekend gathering with friends…

MISS MUSTARD SEED TV

First of all, this whole endeavor was poorly planned on my part.  I didn’t have a tart pan, so I was running around town trying to find one just hours before the get-together.  I did find one and was able to get the tart put together pretty quickly.  I was racing around the kitchen like I was a contestant on a timed cooking competition, though!  Jeff told the boys to stay out of my way and then everyone needed a snack.

I was a little less-than-confident in my pastry making skills, so I took the easy way out and used a box of refrigerator pie dough.  I actually used two 9″ crusts and rolled them together to make the tart shell.  It was a “cheat”, but it turned out great and then I wasn’t worried about my crust being crumbly or chewy or overworked.

I had a few minutes to take some pictures just before I wrapped it up to take to our dinner.  It was a crowd-pleaser and went so fast that Jeff didn’t even get to have a piece!

My mom saw the picture of the tart on Instagram and thought I made it for them and she was sad to read it wasn’t.  Marshall got to have a piece, but he was begging me to make more.  So, with people I love wanting apple tart, I made another one.  And this time, I didn’t wimp out on the crust…

I followed their recipe and made a crust I was very proud of!  As I was cutting into the finished tart, I scratched the bottom of the crust with a knife, checking the integrity of the bake and I felt a little like I was having a Paul Hollywood moment.  (He’s a judge on the Great British Baking Show and he’s always poking and prodding baked goods.)  You could eat a piece like a slice of pizza without any sagging or crumbling and, beyond that, it tasted great.

I did have to add a little more cream than the recipe called for to bring it together.  That may have been due to the size of my egg yolks or something else.  I’m not an expert, but I do know there are lots of variables in baking, which is why so many pastry recipes will give a range for the amount of moisture you should add.

I also put the dough in the fridge overnight, as the recipe encouraged, and I think that helped it come together.  It was a little iffy even as I was rolling it out, but it worked!  I like the rustic look of the handmade crust and it did taste better than the boxed crust, of course.

The recipe called for two ingredients that I didn’t have and couldn’t pull together in time.  (Which was a cue to me that I should read through the cookbook and give myself time to prepare for the recipes I want to make.)  Anyway, one was vanilla bean seeds, scraped from a vodka-soaked bean.  I didn’t have fresh vanilla beans that have been hanging out in vodka for a few months.  I was just going to use extract, but I happened upon a bottle of bourbon vanilla bean paste when I was hunting for a tart tin, so I bought it and it worked great.  The flavor was rich and definitely better than plain vanilla extract.

The other ingredient I had to substitute was the vanilla sugar.  It’s sugar that has been infused with dried vanilla beans.  It’s another ingredient that needs to be hanging out for a while before use, so I just used cinnamon sugar.  It’s different, but again, it was fine.

I added a couple of things to the mashed apples – a squeeze of lemon juice and a pinch of salt.  I always add those two things to my apple pie filling, so it felt right to throw them into the pan.  Otherwise, I followed the recipe faithfully and it was so delicious.  I already have requests to make it once more when I get back from our trip.

I can’t wait to try more recipes from this book!  I wouldn’t say it helped me conquer pastry dough, but it’s made me more confident to try it again.

And it’s definitely made me excited to eat some French food.  Our time in Paris is now being planned by Paris Perfect (I’ll share all about that exciting development soon) and a part of that is a patisserie tour!  You had better believe I’m going to be sampling a bunch of tasty treats that day…

apple tart recipe review

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36 Comments on “apple tart recipe review”

  1. It’s beautiful Marian. Almost to pretty to eat. I’m so excited for you & your Mom and can’t wait for your trip pictures and updates. Have a wonderful time!! Soak in every moment!

  2. Lovely tart! I’m heading out for a tart pan today! Thanks for the inspiration and ingredient tips.

  3. We leave on Saturday for 2 weeks in Tasmania (a southern island of Australia) and I have been shopping online for cold weather gear as we have a pretty temperate climate where we live and don’t own much in the way of winter woollies. Although it will be early spring there, the weather is still very much in the Winter zone. We don’t fly until the afternoon, so I have my store returns all parcelled up and ready to be dropped at the post office tomorrow morning. My wardrobe tends to expand quite a bit just before we head off on a new vacation.
    Have a wonderful time away. I look forward to your updates and photos.

    1. Love Tassie. We went in Winter and it wasn’t too bad, did snow up in Mt Field National Park but otherwise was fairly good.

      If you haven’ t been before try to do the night time ghost tour at Port Arthur out of Hobart if you enjoy some ‘atmosphere’ on your holidays, well worth it.

      A walk around Dove lake at Cradle Mountain was also a highlight for me, that area is so wild and rugged – really beautiful.

  4. “Does anyone else turn into a maniac and change your mind a million times before packing for a big trip?! ”
    Absolutely! My husband now knows to keep his distance prior to our departures.

    I’ve figured out that most of that angst comes from my former life when we moved every two years to a lot of places in the developing world. If you didn’t pack it, you might not have it for 2 years! Now, my current husband reminds me (in the US) that there’s a Target and Walmart most places near an airport etc. However on European etc trips it may take you a long time to find a bra that fits right or the specific kind of whatever you need/like when suitcases go missing. That happened to my husband once and he was a cranky man worrying about his shoes mainly as he has very large feet. We had an extra day in Madrid waiting for a suitcase to arrive from Paris. I kept my distance from him at that time and plied him with food. 🙂

    But you will survive and will have your Mom for mutual support. I hope!

  5. Lovely tart, makes me hungry just looking at your pretty pictures! Au revoir Marian! Have the best trip and send us lots of pretty pictures! And stay safe!

  6. My mom, sister and I were in Paris in the spring. Whatever you do, please do NOT leave there without having some French hot chocolate. There’s a chain called Paul’s in France, and I highly recommend theirs. I don’t even like hot chocolate, but French hot chocolate is like liquid ganache. It’s life changing!

  7. Beautiful looking tart,,, Have a wonderful and safe trip! Packing is the most stressful thing for me when I go on a trip and once I get that over with I can enjoy the adventure.

  8. Yes, I get a bit nutty when packing for trips as well. I say I’m “packing challenged”! 🙂 Have a super time over there!

  9. Have a wonderful time. Maybe you will bump into that American Adrian realitor who shows Parisian real estate on HGTV. Quite a character and always wears something bright red, maybe a barret. Best to you and your mother.

  10. Hi Marian. I think you’ll be in Florence? In addition to seeing David and the Ufizzi don’t miss the Duomo Cathedral Works Museum just behind the cathedral. They redid it a few years ago and it is a stunner, one of my favs anywhere. You will be glad you saw it. It has the original panels from the baptistery and is just wonderful. Enjoy your trip. Sigh. I so wish I were going!

  11. My sister and I are Great British Baking Show fanatics. Every time I bake bread I stick my finger in a slice like Paul does; I flip pastry upside down and scrape the bottom like Paul does; etc. I’m always concerned about what Paul would say! It has ruined me LOL

  12. Marian,
    Your relationship with your Mom sounds much like mine was. We went everywhere together. We did a lot of short trips together, but never too far.
    She passed at 64, was the picture of health before cancer showed its ugly evil ways. This trip will provide you with such wonderful memories of your Mom.
    Cherish every moment of this trip, do things she wants to do as well. I admit I was selfish on our trips, always doing what I wanted and I do regret not doing things she would mention. All this to say, this is a lifetime chance to let her know how much you love and cherish her, as well as a wonderful and great adventure together. There is nothing like the bond between a Mother and Daughter! ENJOY HER too! 😊

  13. Such a great looking tart, a beautiful daisy. I served a tarte normande two evenings ago, also a success but not as photogenic as yours.
    You may find vanilla sugar in grocery stores in France in the patisserie section, it is called: sucre vanillé and it is
    sold in small individual packets, several of them in a cellophane bag.
    Yes, PAUL has very tasty breads and pastries although it is a chain, in Paris, go for the top addresses, more pricey but the experience is worth it.

    From Burgundy, I wish you both un bon voyage!

  14. Hi Marian!
    Yes!! I turn into a total crazy person when I travel and I travel a lot for work but manage to turn it into a lot of me time when I travel overseas 🙂
    A good handbag is a must!! I have a canvas waterproof cross body handbag and I literally take it everywhere I travel! it has been through Asia Pacific as well as all over Europe, (I’m in London every other month)! My go to bag, it’s cute, has lots of pockets and I can easily slip receipts into one of the pockets if I need to. The cross body bag allows me to not lose my handbag which is also a must because I always leave clutches everywhere… Plus it is not easy to be stolen. Good handbag and comfy shoes and you are all set!! Save room in your luggage, there is wonderful shopping in France and I am sure you will find some beautiful items over there, maybe even the perfect handbag!!
    Safe Travels and thanks for your posts!
    Mary (fellow Minnesotan)

  15. I would travel a lot more frequently if only someone would pack for me! Have a wonderful time with your mom!

  16. I was in a bit of a panic trying to find the right carry on baggage for our big trip to London and South Africa. We leave on Monday!
    I changed my mind numerous times on the because I’m bringing my camera and two extra lenses for the safaris but don’t need all of that for London, where we will mostly be shopping and doing all the silly tourist stuff.
    In the end I settled on a sling type camera bag (prevents theft but also has easy access for you) and a separate backpack type purse that I can put my tablet in along with travel pillow and a good book.
    Hope to hit a couple of antique markets while in London too.
    Hope you have a great trip with your Mom. Looking forward to hearing your stories and seeing your pics.

    1. Yes, my camera was one of the heaviest things I am bringing, so I debated about the lens and if I should just use my phone, but I knew I would regret not having my DSLR with me. So, it’s heavy, but it’ll carry some of my best souvenirs. 🙂

  17. I hope you get out into the French countryside a bit. Sooo very charming with each little town having its own boulangerie(bakery). Now that you’re into baking French tarts, you’ll just love them. Paris is fabulous though if you don’t get to the countryside and you’re going to love it all. Enjoy!!!

  18. It looks delicious but, i do like apples anything. You and your mother have a wonderful memorable time and be safe.

  19. Oh, yummy!!! Is there a way to share the recipe?? I am simply not able to purchase that lovely looking cookbook…Do enjoy your trip…My trip to Paris several years ago was magical…took the boat ride as you have planned and of course the Louvre was beyond wonderful..I mostly remember going through a doorway and their was “DAVID” at the bottom of the steps landing….it took my breath away. Loved Versailles…but had too little time to see it all…Diane

  20. Please be very careful in touristy spots in Paris; they are filled with highly skilled pickpockets who really know their stuff. Many of them are teenagers and younger. Some person will cause a ruckus that makes people look and the pickpockets use that moment to sneak out the wallet or unzip the purse. It happens frequently, especially to people who are obviously tourists and gobsmacked by everything about them.

    1. Yep, we’ve been warned and I feel like we’re ready. I’m carrying a backpack, but that will have my art supplies, water bottle, umbrella, etc. My valuables will be in a neck wallet that slips under my dress.

  21. How spectacular! I am going out tomorrow to buy a tart pan try making this!
    Have a marvelous time in France and Italy. I can’t wait to read all about it and see the photos.

  22. Wow, don’t know how you found time to make that tart look so beautiful with a few hours before the guests arriving! Good job.

    One tip for travel we always use, keep your passport and credit card not in use in one of the under shirt holders you hang around your neck if you are not keeping them in the hotel safe (much easier than the belts as you don’t need to lift your clothes for access), then you just need to pull it up to access & it takes away the stress of having everything valuable in the bag.

    In Florence we found the pickpockets also used knives to cut the bottom of a bag, my friend put her hand back & it landed on top of the pickpockets who was taking the weight off her bag slightly so she wouldn’t feel him cut the bottom. Scared the beep out of her but luckily she managed to interrupt him before he cut her bag open.

    Shame these people create added concern when your holiday should be fun and stress free, but better to be a girl scout and be prepared than not.

  23. Marian, you really could have been a pioneer woman,what with all your can do spirit and energy. Also, the way you can substitute for ingredients etc that u don’t have without stressing is wonderful . You just make do and make the best of everything. That is the most beautiful apple tart I have ever seen! Inspires me to try making one myself.

  24. The tart looks delicious! My mother-in-law was an expert pie crust maker and of course I learned how to make pie crust because my husband grew up with fresh homemade pies almost daily! I have taught several of my friends how I make them and would be happy to teach you. I live in Rochester so let me know if you are interested in a free lesson.

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