This is not your grandmother’s apple pie.

Unless, you know, your grandmother’s French. Then, maybe it is.

French Apple Tart

French Apple Tart

I’ll be honest, I’m having a rough day. Except it started last night with my undercooked hamburgers, so I’ve had a rough 16 hours? And this morning, I discovered that the kittens have tapeworms in addition to all their other lovely issues. Also, I didn’t sleep well, and the sink is full of dishes, and the dishwasher is already pretty much full and –

Yeah, I’m just not much into this blog post. Part of the problem is that I’m not much into this tart.

I mean, it’s okay. It’s good. It’s sweet and apple-y, and that’s nice.

But, it was not the best apple tart I’ve ever had. I’ve had apple pies way better too. This one was just . . . meh.

Let’s start with the crust.

I do love this pie crust. I love that the recipe makes enough for four single-crust pies. You take the one you need and stick it in the fridge to chill, then you bag the other three up and put ’em in the freezer for up to a month. It works well for pot pies and quiches, and that’s usually what I use them for. They bake up perfectly, flaky and wonderful, just the way a pie crust should be. I’ve tried several pie crust recipes, but this one is consistently the best I’ve ever made. And because I’m now using a non-hydrogenated shortening, I feel a little bit better about using it freely in this recipe.

I love cutting butter into flour. It's such a fun exercise. This recipe calls for a stick and a half of butter, followed by nearly 2 cups of shortening, so it's a lot of arm work.

I love cutting butter into flour. It’s such a fun exercise. This recipe calls for a stick and a half of butter, followed by nearly 2 cups of shortening, so it’s a lot of arm work.

I also kinda enjoy rolling out pie crust. I love how you can see fat chunks in this dough. I'm not sure if it's supposed to look like that or not, but they melt away in the oven and taste delicious!

I also kinda enjoy rolling out pie crust. I love how you can see fat chunks in this dough. I’m not sure if it’s supposed to look like that or not, but they melt away in the oven and taste delicious!

While the dough was chilling in fridge, I worked on part one of the tart filling.

Here’s the thing. If there are “parts” to a tart, I’m probably not going to be overly happy with it. I really think tarts should be simple: crust + filling. I’m not even overly fond of double-crusted pies. Crust + filling. Possibly a topping, so long as it’s simple. Like a crumb topping. My favorite apple pie has a simple crumb topping over a cinnamon-apple filling. It takes half the time of this tart and tastes twice as good.

Right. This French tart. The filling involves peeling, coring, and cutting up apples, tossing them with a sugar and bread crumb mixture, and baking them until they can be mashed.

After being baked, the apples smell absolutely heavenly, which maybe caused higher expectations.

After being baked, the apples smell absolutely heavenly, which maybe caused higher expectations.

This tasted great straight out of the oven.

The pie crust is then pre-baked and cooled, then the apple mash goes into the crust. Then more apples are sliced and arranged over the filling. I hate arranging apples slices on pies. The circles never come out evenly. That’s why I like crumble toppings. You can just throw that on there, and nobody will know your circles aren’t straight.

Melted butter is brushed over top, followed by a sprinkling of sugar, and then it gets baked again.

A scoop of vanilla ice cream would not have been a bad thing.

A scoop of vanilla ice cream would not have been a bad thing.

I just wasn’t impressed. Maybe it’s because I’m from the South and I’ve eaten some terrific apple pies in my life. Maybe it’s because after the hamburger incident, I got all depressed and lost interest in everything for the rest of the night. Maybe it’s because the apple-bread crumb filling kinda lost its appeal after being baked in the crust. It just tasted like . . . well, like applesauce in a pie crust.

Just meh.

Geordie and I each had a piece for dessert, and I gave him the last few bites of mine. There’s still more than half of it left in the fridge, and I’m not desperate to slice myself another piece for lunch. If it’s calling my name, I’m not hearing it.

Sorry, folks, this one didn’t win me over. I’ve had better.

But, it could just be me. A lot of the other Dorie bakers liked this one, so if you’re interested, check out our host at Laws of the Kitchen for the recipe. Or if you’d like to see how the other bakers felt about this tart, check out the links. They did make some beautiful tarts!

Happy baking!

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