This Easy Apple Pecan Tart recipe is a simple homemade dessert that looks like it came from a French baker’s oven, but you can bake this rustic tart yourself. What you get is a buttery flaky crust and fresh apples baked with a sprinkling of sugar, butter, vanilla, and pecans. That’s it, a tart that is rustic, simple, and delicious.
Even though I love a good slice of apple pie with cinnamon and spices, sometimes all the spices overwhelm the apples themselves. For this recipe, you are getting the full flavor of the apples with just sugar, butter, and vanilla for flavor. Because the apples aren’t precooked they stay a little firm after baking for some nice texture.
This dessert is totally simplistic in flavor. It is similar to an apple galette but since it’s a long rectangle and not round I am calling it a tart.
What apples are good for baking?
It depends – if you need a sweet or a tart apple
- Braeburn – mildly sweet, these apples stay firm when baked
- Cortland – slightly tart and juicy, perfect for baking
- Fuji – mildly sweet and a little tart, they are crisp and firm
- Gala – a crispy sweet mild-flavored apple
- Golden Delicious – sweet with a mellow flavor, a perfect baking apple
- Granny Smith – a tart apple
- Honey Crisp – a nice sweet juicy apple
- Jonathan – tart with a spicy flavor
- Jonagold – a bit tangy and sweet
In this apple tart, Granny Smith apples are mixed with a sweet apple such as Gala. Both stay nice and firm when baked, and deliver just the right flavor and texture to make this tart a favorite dessert recipe. You can always use just one type of apple too, I just like to mix things up.
Using a double-crust pie dough
This tart recipe takes a basic double pie crust recipe. I always make a double-crust pie recipe for several reasons.
When I need a pie crust I want to make sure I have plenty to roll out and fit properly in my pie or tart pan. Using a recipe for a double-crust will result in you having extra dough left but I have found a single crust many times just doesn’t give me enough dough to roll out and work with. So….it’s up to you on using a single or double crust recipe.
Having extra dough allows you to make some other delicious treats like these Jelly Roll Pie Tarts. These tarts are simply pie dough filled with your favorite jam or jelly. If I don’t make these tarts my kids start complaining.
Galettes are also perfect for using leftover pie crust and this Apple Cranberry Galette is so easy to make.
I realized if I am making pie dough I might as well make a double batch and what I don’t use I can freeze the leftovers. If you have small pie plates, this leftover dough is perfect to use for mini pies and small galettes.
My preference for using pie dough over using puff pastry is the pie dough holds up better. Puff pastry is excellent when eaten warm, but after it cools the puffiness of the pastry collapses and just loses all its goodness.
This tart is a thing of beauty. The apples are caramelized, the pecans are toasted and the apricot jam lends a bit of shine. The long rectangle shape is elegant and is easy to cut and serve. Just slice between the rows of apples and make a nice little square.
- Try to slice your apples all the same size and rather thin, this way to stack nicely.
- Wait to put the pecans on the tart near the end of baking, otherwise, they will burn if you add them at the beginning of baking.
- This tart bakes for 45 minutes, watch the crust to make sure it is not getting too brown.
Equipment for baking
Normally I use rimmed baking sheets for my cookies and other baked goods, but for this tart, I use these rimless baking sheets which make it easy to slide this tart off onto a platter for serving.
More tart recipes to try
During the summer when peaches are at their ripes try this Peach Almond Tart with Vanilla Bean, it is a family favorite.
Another summer favorite is these Strawberry Curd Tarts.
Pecan Tassies are a classic pastry to serve during the holidays, but we like them all through the year. They are delectable bite-sized treats.
For the chocolate lover, this Dark Chocolate Ganache Tart is AMAZING. It’s rich, and silky smooth and topped with whipped cream rosettes.
Apple Pecan Tart Recipe
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- 1 tart dough, chilled
- Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl
- Add cold shortening and cold butter that has been cut into small cubes to the flour and toss with the flour to coat.
- Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut in the shortening/butter until the size of small peas.
- Add ice cold water to the flour mixture one tablespoon at a time mixing with a fork just until the dough starts to stick together. If the dough is too dry, add 1 teaspoon of water at a time until the dough sticks together.
- Gather up the dough into a disk and wrap in plastic, and chill until ready to use.
Preparing the Tart
- Preheat the oven to 375°
- One a floured board, roll out the tart dough to an ⅛" thick rectangle that is a bit larger than about 18" x 6". Cut the sides to make them straight.
- Move the dough onto a flat sheet pan by rolling the dough up around the rolling pin. brush water on the edges and turn in the sides to make a ½" rim. You can use a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper so you can pick up the tart and move it.
- With a fork, lightly press into the dough to seal the rim. If you have room in the refrigerator, place the dough there to chill while preparing the apples.
- Peel, core, and quarter the apples, then cut into ⅛" thick slices. Put the slices in a large bowl and toss with the sugar, vanilla, and the melted butter.
- Arrange two rows of apple slices on top of the dough. They should fit nicely side-by-side.
- Place the tart in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, remove the baking sheet from the oven and sprinkle the chopped pecans on top and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
- When done, let the tart cool slightly. Microwave the apricot jam for 30 seconds just to warm it up then brush on top of the tart.
- Slide the tart onto a serving platter and cut into slices.
- Cover any leftovers with plastic wrap and keep them for several days.
- Slice the apples into thin slices and try to get them the same size so they stack and bake evenly.
- Wait to add the pecans near the end of the baking time. If they are added for the whole baking time they will burn.
- The apples will still be a bit firm after baking.
First Published: Oct. 4, 2014… Last Updated: Jan. 15, 2021
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From learning to cook on a farm in Indiana to culinary school in California, my passion for food is never-ending. Turning on my oven to bake something for friends and family is my happy place, and I am glad to be here at One Hot Oven sharing both sweet and savory recipes with all my baking friends.