Rustic Apple Tarts

For these rustic apple tarts, thin slices of Golden Delicious apples are spiraled in a buttery, free-form tart. An easy dessert for family and friends.

Individual rustic apple tart with the crust folded over a filling of sliced apples on a flowered plate

Because these tarts are less bothersome to make than a pie — they take all of 30 minutes to make once you have the dough prepared — you can file them under easy-to-make. I bake them for weeknight dinners, brunches, picnics, even late-night snacks.David Leite

Rustic Apple Tarts

Individual rustic apple tart with the crust folded over a filling of sliced apples on a flowered plate
Because these tarts are less bothersome to make than a pie — they take all of 30 minutes to make once you have the dough prepared — you can file them under easy-to-make. I bake them for weeknight dinners, brunches, picnics, even late-night snacks.

Prep 40 mins
Cook 1 hr 35 mins
Total 2 hrs 15 mins
4 servings
801 kcal
5 from 1 vote
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  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 pound cold unsalted butter cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup ice water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar mixed with 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 2 Golden Delicious apples peeled, cored, cut in quarters and sliced paper-thin
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter quartered
  • Vanilla ice cream optional


  • In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade, pulse the flour, sugar, and salt until blended. Add the butter cubes and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal with pieces no bigger than small peas, about 13 to 15 one-second pulses.
  • With the motor running, add the ice water all at once through the feed tube. Process for about 10 seconds, stopping before the dough becomes a solid mass. Turn the contents of the bowl onto a work surface, form into four equal-size discs, and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for an one hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 450°F (220°C). On a lightly floured surface, roll out each disc into a 7-inch circle and transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  • Spread one-quarter of the ginger mixture on each tart, then arrange one-quarter of the slices (about half an apple) in an overlapping circular pattern on top, leaving a 1-inch border. Sprinkle the sugar evenly on top of the apples and fold over the borders. Most of the apples will remain uncovered. Press down the dough on the baking sheet, snugly securing the sides and seams to prevent drips. Dot the center of each tart with butter.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, or until the crusts are golden and the apples have begun to brown slightly. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes and serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
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Show Nutrition

Serving: 1tartCalories: 801kcal (40%)Carbohydrates: 85g (28%)Protein: 7g (14%)Fat: 50g (77%)Saturated Fat: 31g (194%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 2gCholesterol: 129mg (43%)Sodium: 300mg (13%)Potassium: 179mg (5%)Fiber: 4g (17%)Sugar: 34g (38%)Vitamin A: 1554IU (31%)Vitamin C: 4mg (5%)Calcium: 30mg (3%)Iron: 3mg (17%)

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Recipe Testers’ Reviews

These rustic apple tarts have a nice flavour. The ginger is a nice change from the usual cinnamon but it is quite pronounced but that suits me as I love ginger. My husband would prefer a touch less. The pastry is very buttery and flakey and was a cinch to throw together in the food processor. I was surprised how quickly it rolled out.

I had Honey Crisp apples on hand so I used those. The apples were very big so my tarts were not as perfect looking as in the picture but I placed a scoop of vanilla ice cream right in the center so you couldn’t tell. Next time I’ll make sure to use smaller apples.

I baked all four but put two in the freezer for later. I love having quick desserts to pull out from frozen. I pulled out the tarts and let them sit on the counter while I made dinner. The pastry is very thin so they don’t take long to thaw. After dinner I popped them into a 350°F oven for 5 minutes to warm up. They were as good as the first time I served them.

Outstanding!!! My husband said this was the best apple tart he’s ever had! This tart is anything but ‘rustic’ – it is delicate, tender and oh so flaky. I am too lazy to make apple pie, but this tart is a great substitute – all the flavour and far less work!

I was skeptical of the overly simple ingredients; no cinnamon for an apple dessert!? Must be a typo, I thought. I was wrong. It is not lacking anything – it is beautifully simple and elegant. Sprinkle the tart with coarse sugar instead of granulated sugar if you have it – it adds a beautiful crunch!

These rustic apple tarts were very basic and quick to make; the addition of ginger definitely added a little something to the finished dish. I quite liked the crust, it was flaky and came together easily. I used Cortland apples because it’s that time of year and I still have more than I know what to do with.

There isn’t much to say about this tart except that it’s decent tasting and dead simple to make. It would be a great recipe for someone just learning to make pastry, the ease of prep and minimal ingredients mean it can be turned out quickly.

I don’t usually think of Golden Delicious apples when it comes to baking, but this recipe makes good use of them. The freeform tarts meant not dealing with a pan, which simplified things. And their “rustic” design helped conceal my clumsiness with pastry dough.

This dough came together really well in the food processor. The directions given were right on target. In fact, it went perfectly right up until I started rolling out the dough. The dough was still a little too soft after its time in the refrigerator and stuck to my surface, even with light flouring. Next time I would refrigerate longer or, at the very least, put the discs in the coldest part of my refrigerator instead of at the most accessible point (in the front) as I did this time.

I used two medium apples and they produced more slices than I could fit comfortably in the tarts. My effort to use all of the slices resulted in overstuffed, not picture-perfect, tarts and it still didn’t use all the cut apple. I finally gave up and reserved the last approximately 1/8th apple as a garnish for serving, along with some blueberries and the vanilla ice cream. Next time I think I might just try using one large apple, though having a raw apple garnish was nice.

Rich flaky crust surrounding sweet juicy apples with a warm spicy zing. Perfect fall dessert and no sharing required! The pastry is fast and easy to make, the ginger, sugar mixture spread out nicely and apples arranged quickly on the pastry. I took a few minutes to fan them out but they would be equally as tasty any way you placed them. The sprinkle of sugar on top gave them just enough sweetness and melted into a pretty glaze. These could easily serve two per each tart but then you’d be fighting over the last bite.

The pastry of these rustic apple tarts is out of this world! SO buttery! Such an easy recipe – especially if you have the pastry on hand already, it comes together in a flash. If you don’t have fresh ginger, you could use a sprinkle of powdered ginger instead. An excellent recipe to have in your back pocket!

Originally published September 25, 2004



  1. 5 stars
    Today I made my adaptation of this recipe for the 2nd time. Once again it was fabulous. Sooooo good. I didn’t have any ginger when I made it the first time (I was at a 2 family read-a-thon of the last Harry Potter book–which mentioned apple tarts….) So I skipped the ginger and combined the two 2TB of sugar, added cinnamon and allspice to taste–sprinkled some on the dough, the apples in the tart–and then topped with the shaved dark chocolate and topped with the last of the sugar-spice mixture. It was amazingly good both times–I used organic apples–the first time Gavensteins and the 2nd time Fujis–because that is what I had on hand.

    1. I’m curious Foodlover, your adaptation of the recipe sounds really good, and you mentioned “the shaved dark chocolate”. It’s not listed ingredients, but I’m assuming your tart had a chocolate finish? How much did you add?

      1. Sorry to be 5 years late in responding- I grated some bar dark chocolate on top of the tart- like a sprinkling. The tart is plenty sweet to handle the dark chocolate. I didn’t measure. We sometimes add a small holed grating of bar dark chocolate to apple pie as well.

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