Apple Almond Tart

Apple Season is officially here and farmers’ market booths on Saturday were full of overflowing boxes of local fruit.  Our climate in the northern Willamette Valley is ideally suited for peaches, apples and pears that begin to show up in the market in late August.  My favorite cooking apple is the Gravenstein, available for just a few weeks in late August-early September. It isn’t a good keeper so must be turned into applesauce or pies very quickly. We had a huge Gravenstein tree on the farm where I grew up so both my grandmother and mother used these wonderful apples for cakes, pies and the best applesauce you could imagine.  It is a very juicy apple with an old fashioned sweet-tart flavor and aroma. The flesh cooks apart quickly into juicy sauce with intense flavor.  Unlike the new Honeycrisp variety this heirloom apple has been around for centuries. The seeds reportedly came to North America with the Russians in the early 1800’s. The variety was first recorded in Denmark in 1669.
I bought 40 pounds of Gravensteins on Saturday (what was I thinking!!!) and my job this week is to make them into sauce and pies for the winter.  This Apple Almond Tart is a family favorite that we find especially delicious because we know this is the only time of the year we can enjoy it made with our favorite apple. It doesn’t freeze well.  I leave the almonds a bit coarse for the filling because I like the slight crunch of the nuts with the soft texture of the apples.  I used to can applesauce but that’s way too much trouble so I now freeze it and am happier with the results.  If you don’t have Gravensteins where you live braeburn’s or granny smith’s work very well in this tart.  I do hope you will try this recipe.  It’s so delicious and a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top makes it perfect.
Apple Almond Tart adapted from an ancient recipe in the Portland Oregonian.
Sweet Pastry Shell:
1/12 cups all purpose flour
6 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, very cold, cut into bits
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Almond Cream:
2/3 cup blanched almonds
1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk, beaten
2 teaspoons rum or brandy or 1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons flour
Apples and Glaze:
3-4 medium apples, peeled, halved and cored
1/3 cup apricot preserves (I used orange marmalade)
4 teaspoons rum, brandy or water
To prepare Sweet Pastry Shell:  Combine flour, sugar and salt in food processor and process for 2-3 seconds.  Scatter butter pieces over mixture.  Pulse on and off until mixture resembles coarse meal.  Add egg and pulse on and off again, scraping down occasionally, until dough forms sticky crumbs that can easily be pressed together. If dough is dry add 1/2 teaspoon cold water and quickly process again.  Transfer dough to work surface.  Shape into a flat disc, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate 4 hours or up to 2 days.
Remove dough from refrigerator and let soften for a few minutes.  Roll out on a lightly floured surface into a 1/4 inch thick round.  Work quickly, but don’t worry if it tears.  It can easily be patched with a small piece of dough.  Roll pastry loosely around a rolling pin and unroll it over a 9 or 10 inch round metal tart pan with removable bottom.  Ease dough into the pan.
Using thumb, push dough down slightly at the top edge of pan so shell is thickest at its top.  Roll rolling pin across top of pan to cut off dough.  With finger and thumb push up top edge of dough so it is 1/4 inch higher than the rim.  Pierce dough all over with fork.  Cover and refrigerate 1 hour or overnight.  Position rack in lower third of oven and preheat to 425 degrees.  Heat a baking sheet in the oven.
To prepare Almond Cream:  Grind almond in the food processor with 2 tablespoons sugar to fine powder. Set aside.
Beat butter in a bowl of an electric mixer until soft. Add remaining 6 tablespoons sugar and beat until mixture is smooth.  Gradually beat in eggs.  Stir in almond mixture, rum and flour.  Spread Almond Cream evenly over the bottom of pastry shell.
To prepare Apples and Glaze:  Cut apples in thin strips, keeping each half together.  Using a metal spatula, set apple slices on almond cream so they radiate outward from the center like spokes on a wheel.  Press slightly to flatten slices out.
Place tart on heated baking sheet.  Bake 10 minutes.  Reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake until Almond Cream is set and golden brown, about 30 minutes.  Cool on wire rack.  Heat preserves and rum over low heat, stirring often, until melted.  Strain mixture.  Brush glaze over the top of the tart. Sprinkle a few chopped almonds over the top if desired.  Serve at room temperature, but keep any leftovers in the refrigerator.
I used orange marmalade in this recipe instead of the apricot preserves.  You can also substitute pears for the apples.

If you would like to learn more about the apple varieties you will find at the market click here for a visit to Kiyokawa Farms.  If you visit their booth you will be able to taste varieties like Braeburn, Honeycrisp, Cortland, Pippin and Fuji.  They also carry several varieties of Asian Pears.


  1. cindy says

    gotta let you know that I tried the recipe with bacon, poached egg-
    we loved it.

    I don't usually try new recipes….I don't have the patience for it.
    Sometime this week I am going to make your potato recipe. yum-yum

  2. Kate says

    Your tart looks fantastic! Apples mean that fall is just around the corner…yippee! I am going to have a tart as a treat!

  3. Big Dude says

    I'd never heard of this apple and after a little research it sounds like I've been missing out. The tart looks sinfully good.

  4. Kris says

    That apple tart is beautiful. I love apple season. We go apple picking in our local mountains, and they have such fun activities for the fall. My Mom has an apple tree too, and we are the lucky recipients of delicious apples. I must try this!

  5. Pondside says

    I have everything but the apples, but I can remedy that! I use my fluted tin with the removable bottom about once a year, so I'll be happy to get it out to try this for the long weekend.

  6. From the Kitchen says

    My, now retired husband, loves a baking challenge–I think it is because of his scientific side. While I do bake, it's nice to turn some over to his preciseness. And, we have plenty of apples left from the applesauce making.


  7. Linda says

    Gorgeous…I envy your being able to get Gravensteins. I loved them when we lived in California, we can not get them here.
    That is a magnificent tart…I must give it a whirl, once the apples start coming out here, I will choose a similar one.

  8. My Little Space says

    OMG, this is just so tempting! I am salivating already. Go straight to my list to do! Thanks again, Cathy. Have a great day.
    Cheers, kristy

  9. Happier Than a Pig in Mud says

    Very pretty! This is the first time I've heard of adding an egg to the pastry, sounds yummy!

  10. Karen says

    I've frozen applesauce before, and it works out well. I put it into a plastic container, then freeze it. When it's frozen I pop it out of the container and vaccum pack it, then it's back in the freezer. I used one package the other day to add to our vension sausage that we made. This tart looks really yummy!

  11. Julie says

    What a beautiful tart! I have an apple tree in my backyard, so I am always searching for new ideas in the Fall.

  12. JG says

    What an appetizing tart! A scoop of vanilla ice cream on an apple dessert is so yummy. Our apple season starts in two weeks and I cannot wait.

  13. Bella says

    Oh my! 40 pounds of apples! Wow, you are serious. :) This looks delicious. I am a huge apple lover. Thanks for sharing.

  14. My Carolina Kitchen says

    What a lovely tart Cathy. I'm looking forward to our apple season, which should start soon. I also know I would love the rum in the glaze.

  15. Susan says

    Your tart looks so very good. I am not familiar with this apple, but grew up with a Transparent apple tree in the back yard and that was always a childhood favorite. Have not seen a transparent apple in years. (Is that a play on words?)

  16. Foodessa says

    Tons of apples for tons of eye appeal ;o)
    I would show this tart off at any 5* hotel's sweet table.
    Cathy…this one is really tops!

    Ciao for now,

  17. Marilyn says

    Gravensteins are my all time favorite apple. Many people don't even know about them anymore. My uncles and grandfather were all gravenstein farmers when I was growing up. Since moving to Oregon I have found that there are different gravenstein varieties. The ones I bought on Sauvie Island look very different than the ones I see here and then again they are all different than the ones I grew up with. They all make the best pies and applesauce in the whole world though. Your recipe looks wonderful.

  18. Lynda says

    What a lovely tart Cathy! I'm bookmarking this, although I'm not sure we have gravenstein apples here in Missouri. I have heard of them tho, so will keep my eyes open at the market.Glad to know that you've had luck freezing applesauce. I'm wanting to make some this year and don't want to can it. Have a great day!

  19. bellini valli says

    It looks gorgeous too. I must admit to having not tried this variety of apple, but I will keep my eyes peeled…pun intended.

  20. scrambledhenfruit says

    I've got oodles of apples as well, but they're honeycrisp, not gravenstein! I've been freezing applesauce and I've got a pot of apple butter cooking down right now. That tart looks fabulous!

  21. Red Couch Recipes says

    Cathy, 40 pounds of apples IS a lot of apples. Your tart, with the almond cream looks fab! Apples and almonds yummy! We picked some Gravenstein up, only 6 pounds, in CA recently and loved them! Joni

  22. Kathy says

    Wow! That looks so good. I have to admit I've never tried Gravenstein apples. I will have to try them this year. I love to make applesauce and never thought to freeze it either. Where have I been??

  23. theUngourmet says

    Forty pounds! Wow! Your tart is so gorgeous though. What a perfect way to use some of them up.

    I love Honeycrisp as well. Can't wait to pick some apples up this weekend!

  24. Red Nomad OZ says

    Fab photo – I'm salivating! Don't know if Gravensteins have made it to OZ – but it's worth seeking them out for something this good!

  25. Lea Ann says

    40 pounds is indeed alot of apples. Beautiful tart! I just don't think we get those apples here. Would love to try them.

  26. Erin says

    This looks delicious! I just made applesauce. Now I'm rethinking that decision! Your creation looks much yummier!

  27. Sage says

    I have never heard of Gravenstein apples.Great photos and what a lovely tart recipe. you are ambitious…40 pounds of apples; enjoy!

  28. Raina says

    One of my favorite times of year, apple season…though, it is a little later for us on the east coast. Your tart is beautiful and looks incredibly delicious. Definitely a special treat to look forward too:)

  29. Rettabug says

    Gorgeous & YUMMY looking, too!

    Re the pie press…I'm told they have apple ones & pumpkin, too. The lattice is a bit of a pain to pick open each little cut diamond after you've pressed out the shape. I sure wouldn't want to do too many! I just put 4 into the oven for company at noon. Took me about 45 min. to cut & assemble all 4 with canned cherries.

  30. Jamie says

    40 pounds? Oh my! This is making me laugh! But this tart is so gorgeous you could make a whole bunch and sell them. Really beautiful!

  31. Diana (Di) says

    Cathy, this is the most beautiful tart and I can taste it as well. We have so few apples and pears on our tree and no plums; we usually go to Corvallis for our peaches, but they had limited supply… our blueberries from a local farmer…the story is the same. Hopefully next year will be a better for us south of you. Have a wonderful week.

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