If you’ve followed this blog for any amount of time you know that I’m more than a little excited about today’s post. I’ve long been a teensy bit of a Francophile, and today I’m sharing a delightfully fancy, all-too-beautiful French apple frangipane tart. It’s the kind of treat that feel effortlessly elegant, simple and complex all in one bite, and after we dive into it I think you’ll feel the same way.
Frangipane is decidedly French and particularly traditional around the Christmas holiday. Made with butter, sugar, eggs, and ground almonds, frangipane is a sweetened filling often used in a variety of French tarts, cakes, and pastries. I often see the filling paired with pears, but with the abundance of beautiful pink apples I’d been seeing at the store, I decided an apple frangipane tart was entirely necessary.
This whole idea of an apple frangipane tart came from working with Millesima USA, an online European fine wine retailer. They specialize in rare bottles and have an extensive selection of premium wines. I made my first order with them just before Thanksgiving and decided to create a dessert that would pair well with one of their many beautiful French wines. With the help of a friend, I ended up selecting two white wines from Chateau Fuisse, and let me tell you- they were DELICIOUS. The ordering process was incredibly simple and the bottles shipped to my local ABC store for free. In my small town of Selma, AL, I had gained access to Europe’s most extensive online library of wines. Talk about feeling fancy.
So here it is: my fancy pants French dessert that just begs for a seriously good glass of wine. To make this apple frangipane tart for yourself, we’ll start with the crust. Traditionally, frangipane tarts use a press-in pastry crust, but I decided to opt for my favorite pie crust. I love the extra butter and flake it lends this dessert. To make it, combine flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl before cutting in butter and shortening. Add ice water to the mixture until a shaggy dough comes together that you can chill until you’re ready to bake. Roll out of the dough on a floured surface and lay into a fluted tart pan. I used one with a removable bottom, but that’s totally optional here. Par-bake the crust briefly to allow the bottom to cook, and in the meantime you can whip up your filling!
Softened butter and sugar are combined in a large bowl. Eggs, vanilla, and almond extract come next followed by the salt and almond flour. While the pie crust continues to bake, you can set your filling aside and slice the apples. I used 3 medium-sized pink lady apples, primarily because they bake well and have a beautiful pink skin. You can peel the skin off if you prefer, but I just couldn’t miss out on that color! Just thinly slice the apples and keep the little sections of slices together so that they’ll arrange pretty in the tart. When the crust is done baking, remove it from the oven and spread the frangipane inside. Gently lay fanned out sections of apples in the frangipane, pushing down just a tiny bit. Pop the apple frangipane tart back in the oven to bake for another 45 minutes. The filling will puff and turn golden by the time its done.
Allow the apple frangipane tart to cool slightly before cutting and serving. You can certainly make this a day in advance and barely re-warm slices to serve. The crust is ridiculously flaky and the filling is perfectly sweet. The apples definitely taste best on the day of baking, but you can revive any dried out fruit by heating a bit of apricot or orange marmalade and brushing it on the fruit. It’s like an instant pick-me-up for a day-old dessert, and it adds a little sticky shine to the fruit too. This dessert is an elegant treat to serve at your upcoming holiday suppers, and you better believe it tastes splendid with a quality bottle of wine as well. I’ll link to the ones I picked out from Millesima so that you can try them for yourself. Whether for holiday parties or New Year bashes, Millesima is my new go-to source for special bottles worthy of celebrations. Check out there retail space online and don’t hesitate to ask questions if you’re new to the online ordering! My experience was seamless, and I’m happy to brag on them a ton.
Give this apple frangipane tart and try and let me know what you think! Tune in later this week for a pepperminty treat and a last-minute holiday gift guide for the special gals in your life. Happy Baking!
If you like this apple frangipane tart you should try:
This post is sponsored by Millesima USA. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting brands that make Wood & Spoon possible.
Apple Frangipane Tart
This apple frangipane tart is a classic French almond tart with a flaky pie crust and beautiul apples on top! Serve as a fancy sliced treat this holiday!
- Prep Time: 30
- Cook Time: 30
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: 10 1x
- Category: dessert
For the crust:
- 1–3/4 cups (240 gm) all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup (70 gm) chilled vegetable shortening, cut into pieces
- 6 tablespoons (85 gm) unsalted butter, ice cold
- 6+ tablespoons ice water
For the filling:
- 6 tablespoons (85 gm) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2/3 cup (135 gm) sugar
- 2 large eggs, plus one for the egg wash
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- 1–1/2 cups (145 gm) almond flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Approximately 3 medium-sized baking apples (I used pink lady)
- 3 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted, optional
- Powdered sugar, optional
To prepare the crust:
- Combine the all-purpose flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Use a pastry cutter or the backs of two forks to cut the shortening and butter into the dry ingredients until pea-sized clumps exist throughout. Add about ¼ cup of ice water and use a fork to bring the dough together. Add additional water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to get the dough to come together. The dough should be tacky but not sticky wet, and should pack together without dry pieces flaking off. Press into a round disk being careful not to overwork the dough and wrap in plastic wrap. Allow the pie dough to chill at least two hours or up to a week prior to baking.
To prepare the tart:
- Preheat the oven to 375. Remove the chilled dough from the fridge and allow to sit out for 5 minutes. Using a floured rolling pin on a floured surface, roll the dough out into a flat, 1/8” round that is about an inch larger than your tart pan on all sides. (I use a 9” metal tart pan with a removable bottom.) Roll the dough back up on the pin loosely and move it into the tart pan, gently pressing the dough into the edges of the pan. Leave and inch excess on all sides and trim off any excess. Fold the lip of the dough under and keep pressing the dough into the sides of the pan. The dough may shrink in the oven, so build the edge up 1/8-1/4” above the lip of the pan. Line the pan with a sheet of parchment and fill it with pie weights or dried beans. Par-bake the crust in the oven for 15 minutes. In the meantime, prepare the filling.
- Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl on medium speed until combine, about a minute. Add 2 eggs and the extracts and stir to combine. Add the almond flour and salt and stir to combine. Prep the apples by washing and quartering them. Make thin slices throughout each quarter and keep the sections together to arrange in the tart. Whisk the extra egg in a small bowl with a little bit of water.
- When the pie crust is done par-baking, remove it from the oven and use a pastry brush to whisk a layer of egg all over the crust. Spread the filling into the crust and then arrange the apples on top. I like to take small sections of apples, fan them while in my hand and then place them where I want on the tart. The filling will puff while baking so there is no need to press them in deep. Fill the top of the tart with apples and then place the tart back in the oven. Decrease the heat to 350 degrees and bake for approximately 45 minutes, or until the crust and filling have bronzed. Remove the tart from the oven and sprinkle the almonds on top. Allow to cool slightly before dusting with powdered sugar, if desired. Tart is best served the day it is made, but if you’re heating it up a day later, consider warming a small bit of orange or apricot jam in a bowl to brush on top of the apples. The apples will dry out oven time and can be revived with a little brush of melted jam.