This free form easy Apple Pecan Tart is a simple homemade dessert that looks like it came from a French baker. What you get with this tart is a buttery flaky crust and fresh apples baked with a sprinkling of sugar, butter, vanilla, and pecans. This dessert bakes up golden brown and oh, so delicious for a simply AMAZING tart.
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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 and vanilla for flavor. This dessert is totally simplistic in flavor.
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.
What apples are available in your area? Growing up in Indiana, Winesap and Cortlands were common apple types. Here in Northern California, it is rare I can find those apples, but we do have Gravenstein’s which are only available in a few areas. It is best to use the apples that grow in your area so you get the freshest taste.
Using a double-crust pie dough
Apple Pecan Tart Recipe
- 1 tart dough, chilled
- Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl
- Add cold shortening and cold butter that has been cute into small cubed 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 degrees
- One a floured board, roll out the tart dough to an 1/8" 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, brush water on the edges and turn in the sides to make a 1/2" 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 1/8" 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.
- Bake at 375 degrees F. oven for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, 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 on to a serving platter and cut into slices.
- Cover any leftovers with plastic wrap and keep for several days.
The apples look so pretty layered together.