Apple and Apple Sauce Tart

A couple of days ago, when I started to get bored with the umpteenth jar of Apple Sauce, I decided to look for a new light apple dessert recipe. I decided to make an apple tart from the famous Joël Robuchon’s cookery book (Le meilleur et le plus simple de Joël Robuchon). Imagine my surprise (and pride!) when I noticed that his idea was very similar to what I thought I had invented a couple of weeks ago when making a plum tart! For those who don’t remember, I was very proud of the result obtained with with a combination of plum butter and raw plums. Here, in Robuchon’s recipe, a layer of apple sauce is covered with thin raw apple slices.

This tart is what the French call “Tarte Fine”, i.e. very thin (mine was maybe 1,5 cm thick), with a very thin layer of fruit and usually without a border (I didn’t have a bigger baking dish, so my border was simply lower than usually). Thanks to the combination of apple sauce and raw apples, the flavours are surprisingly complex and the difference in three textures particularly enjoyable. (I also particularly liked this tart because it forced me to buy an apple core remover, one of the kitchen gadgets I didn’t own.)

The only arduous parts here might be cutting very thin apple slices and removing cores. Both can be very quick and simple if you have a mandolin and an apple core remover. If, like me, you have very good apple variety (I used here King of the Pippins, or “reine de reinettes” in French), you don’t need to add any spices. If your apples are slightly bland and lack aroma, add some vanilla. (The below recipe is slightly modified).

Special equipment:

apple core remover


Preparation: 1 hour 30 or 2 hours if you make the apple sauce from the scratch


1 puff pastry sheet (rolled out very thinly, e.i. about 3 mm)

7 apples (for the best aesthetic result they should have more or less the same size) + 3 tablespoons sugar , or 200 ml sweetened applesauce + 4-5 apples

2  tablespoons confectioner’s sugar

2 tablespoons caster sugar

a couple of tablespoons melted butter

(2 vanilla pods)

If you are making apple sauce, peel and core 4 apples, cut them into small pieces, add the grated vanilla grains, the sugar, 3 tablespoons water and let them simmer on a low heat until they fall into pieces and form a sauce.

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a greased (or lined with baking paper) baking dish with puffed pastry.

Pick the surface with a fork, cover with aluminium foil or baking paper covered with dry beans (so that the pastry doesn’t rise too much) and blind bake it (until the pastry is firm but still white).

Spread the apple sauce on the tart crust.

Peel the remaining apples, core them and slice very thinly with a mandolin or with a knife, but the slices shouldn’t be thicker than 2 mm.

Arrange the slices on the apple sauce, overlapping each other, so that both the apple sauce and the central hole are covered.

Brush the tart with melted butter, sprinkle with 2 tablespoons caster sugar and bake until the apple slices start browning.

Take out of the oven and just before serving sprinkle once more with confectioner’s sugar and put under the grill/broiler (watch it constantly since it’s very easy to burn!).

Serve hot  or warm (it tastes great with vanilla ice-cream).

37 Replies to “Apple and Apple Sauce Tart”

  1. I’ve never seen an apple pie that’s beautiful like this. I’m a HUGE apple pie/tart fan and realized I’ve never had this super thinly sliced French version. And the most surprising part? Pie sheet!!!!! Are you sure you made it with pie sheet?! I make something similar with just apple and sugar and honey on top, but I’m going to make your way with apple sauce. Really beautiful photo of apple tart!

    1. Thank you so much, Nami! This tart practically disappears in your mouth. It’s soft, very thin and the only crunchy part is the very thin crust.
      I did it with puff pastry sheet… I must buy a bigger baking dish so that I can make this tart without any visible crust next time.

    1. Thanks, Greg. Frankly it was really effortless, I had already the apple sauce, the mandolin and I bought my apple core remover in 5 minutes.

  2. This is the prettiest apple tart I’ve ever seen Sissi! You are so talented and I am amazed at how much I am learning from my foodie friends from all over the world. I don’t normally bake because we can’t resist eating the whole cake/pie when they sit there on the counter starring back at us, though looking at your photo makes me feel happy anyhow!

    1. Thank you so much, Jeno. I know that feeling when the cake or a dessert stares at you and begs you to finish it. I must admit this tart is so thin, it disappears in no time at all.

  3. This sounds really unusual, no eggs, no cream etc. When I think of it, it is basically puff pastry filled with apples and sugar, but done in a way that results in different textures and flavours. Amazing. Wish there was apple butter in my refrigerator.

    I see this time you did not write how long this recipe takes to prepare. I am curious how long it took you to arrange those slices apples so beautifully.

    1. Mr. Three-Cookies, I should employ you as my personal proof-reader. Thank you so much for noticing one more very important detail!
      Thank you for the compliments. French-style fruit tarts are mostly very thin, don’t contain any cream or eggs. The easiest and funniest part is arranging the apples (I thought it would be difficult, but not at all! it took me 10 minutes with mandolin slicing) and I had so much fun with my apple core remover. I am impatient to use it again (I love kitchen gadgets).

  4. Sissi….would you look at that tart?!! It’s exquisite – or should I say ‘exquis’ (love that word) – with its thin layers of apple – I’m so impressed by your dexterity and patience 🙂 (I do not own an apple corer nor mandolin…). Your crust is very different from the oversized, thick ones that I’m accustomed to – it just seems like the right amount and looks so light and crispy gorgeous. I have to try the fruit and fruit sauce combination. It sounds like an absolute winner. BEAUTIFUL tart Sissi.

    1. Kelly, thank you so much for all the compliments. I would have never thought someone would put such words “dexterity and patience” while commenting on my baking results 😉
      In France most fruit tarts are very thin, especially the crust part: it is rolled out to about 3 mm. Even those filled with pastry cream are not always high… It means more fruit and less butter+flour, so why not? Do try sauce and raw fruit combination. It’s the second time I test it and the second delicious result.

    1. Thank you, Sylvia. I am not patient at all! I still have to work on being more precise with the spaces between the slices…

  5. So pretty and surely extremely delicious! I love to bake with Boskoop apples, but reine de reinettes apples are delightful too.



    1. Thank you, Rosa. Reine de reinette has been my favourite for apple sauces for years, so I used it also in raw slices. I have never baked with boskoop, but they are easier to get than king of the pippins, so I will try them next time.

  6. Lovely looking tart, Sissi! So golden, so perfectly lined. I have a bottle of homemade apple sauce left and running out of ideas to use it. Thanks for sharing this.

  7. Looks pretty delicate Sissy and I like the way that you have fanned it out beautiful. Incidentally, I’m working on a recipe today that requires that “fanning out” to work properly 🙂

    1. Thank you! Really it was very scary at the beginning (I don’t have your skills and dexterity), but actually it proved very easy! I am very curious of that “fanning out” recipe.

  8. Beautiful tart Sissi – I know you said above you weren’t, but you look way more patient than I – After carefully spending time arranging the slices I get annoyed and just end up slinging them anywhere… kind of ruins the effect 🙁

    I love that you used puff pastry – it’s not something I use much myself to be honest, opting instead to go for shortcrust. I think I’ll try something like this again soon, with shortcrust at all!

    1. Thank you very much, Charles. I almost always use puff pastry in fruit tarts (unless I make my own “pâte brisée”). It’s lighter and crunchier. Here, Joël Robuchon suggested it anyway.

  9. Sissi, oh I prefer thin tart with more fruits. I think I’m slow today, but I have re-read this post 3 times 🙂 What kind of baking dish do you use? What do you mean without border?
    I do not have a tart pan and once I try to use my round baking tray to make flourless tart base. The base got stuck to the tray, was a sad disaster trying to remove it from the dish.
    I consider myself a tart ‘virgin’, so it takes me a long time to understand instructions 🙂

    1. Shannon, I’m sorry I have sometimes difficulties with “technical” explanations.
      I meant the tart should be without the border (visible cruts), it should be completely flat, like a pancake, covered with fruit on the whole surface, but unfortunately I don’t have a baking dish big enough for my whole pastry sheet, so I had to make a small border.

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