French Apple Tart Goes Gluten Free

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I have a confession, French apple tarts are one of my favorite desserts. I have always made them using an almond frangipane filling nestled in a flaky tart crust. In this recipe, the tart is filled with applesauce accented with the tang of lemon juice and topped with thinly sliced apples. In an effort to bring some some of that rich almond flavor to the tart, I added almond flour to the crust.

French Apple Tart (makes one 9″ tart, 8-10 servings)

Tart Crust

  • 1 stick (8 oz.) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup white rice flour
  • 1/2 cup sorghum flour (could also use millet flour)
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup almond meal

In a mixer, whip butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the egg yolks and the pinch of salt. Mix until combined. Add the flours, cornstarch and almond meal. Mix for just a few turns until all the dry ingredients are incorporated.

Gather the dough into a ball and flatten. Chill for 30 minutes. On a lightly floured piece of parchment paper (flour with rice flour), roll the dough into a circle about 1/8″ thick and fit into a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Fold the overhang over the dough and press to form a small ledge on the inside of the pan. Chill the crust for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Prick the crust all over with a fork so that steam from baking can escape. Fit a piece of foil or parchment paper into the tart shell and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove paper and weights and cool on a rack. Lower the oven to 375 F.

Tart Filling

  • 6 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored an cut in half so you will have 12 pieces
  • 3/4 cup of sugar (I used cane sugar)
  • 1 tbs. rice flour
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup gluten free bread crumbs
  • 3 tsp. lemon juice

Place the apples in a bowl and toss with the sugar, rice flour, cinnamon, bread crumbs and lemon juice. Spread apples on a large baking pan lined with foil. Bake 15-20 minutes until the apples are soft and able to be pierced with a fork. Place the apples in a bowl and mash with a potato masher until they are soft and have only a few lumps left. Cool the filling for 15-20 minutes.

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Topping

  • 3 Granny Smith apples
  • 1-2 tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. granulated or cane sugar
  • 2 tbs. unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup apricot jam
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract

Preheat the oven 375 F. Spoon puree into the cooled tart shell. The filling should not come up past the rim of the tart shell.

Peel, core, and quarter the apples and then cut them into slices that are 1/4″ thick. Place slices in a bowl with fresh lemon juice to keep them from turning brown. You will also need the smaller “end” pieces of the apple to pack into the top of the tart.

Arrange the apple slices in a circle on the puree. The slices should overlap, so you want to pack the slices in tightly. Lay another circle of slices overlapping the first by 1/8 inch, trimming and tucking the apples pieces so that they fit. You will probably have enough space for two circles of overlapping apples. In the center, you can create a rosette or small design in the center using small pieces of apples. Brush the apples lightly with melted butter and sprinkle with the sugar.

Place the tart on a parchment-lined baking pan and bake for 25-35 minutes, or until the apple slices are brown on the edges and the apples are soft. You can check the apples by piercing with the tip of a small knife. If the edges of the tart crust are getting too brown, cover them with strips of foil. Cool tart slightly.

Place the apricot jam and almond extract in a small saucepan and heat until the jam is melted. Strain mixture into a bowl and brush the glaze over the apples. Garnish the top with whole or sliced almonds and a light dusting of confectioner’s sugar on the edges.

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