Why is it a French Apple Tart?
After writing about the recipe for Yummly and my blog and website I got to thinking why it was called a French Apple Tart instead of just a apple tart. It is a tart there is no denying that as it has no pastry lid to it but the “French” bit has me wondering. Basically when you break the recipe down the main idea is to make a apple based jam to fill the tart and decorate with apples. Very simple and very effective but French I don’t know. Apart from the French patisserie all their lovely tasty sugary treats I cannot see the resemblance. As mine has orange marmalade in it I could well change its name to a St. Clement Tart which may well sit a bit better in my head as I am not French or living in France but seem to remember seeing a recipe like this and thinking I could rehash that and make it my own. I think it was a Mary Berry recipe. Also I do not use Pȃte Sucrée pastry for the tart base as I prefer my own sweet pastry which contains only three ingredients. This is the French connection. I do not use egg in my pastry and I use my sweet pastry for many recipes. Making these tarts is a very time consuming job and very fiddly but is worth it if you are wanting to impress visitors. You could even make a large tart in a loose bottomed tin to share at the dinner table with cream, or ice cream, or even custard.
There are substitutes which can be made to change the flavours in this tart to suit. For example I would love to try this a pear and ginger tart. I have made this with just pear and sliced pear on the top and it is a lovely subtle flavour. You could also add nuts to the recipe or autumn berries. As long as you can make the fruit jam/purée as the filling of the tart base it can be any flavour. This is definitely a recipe which can be played about with and altered to suit. It reminds me of a lemon meringue pie but without the meringue. This would be another option to make them extra special and to pipe meringue on the top of the tart. then brown the meringue in the oven just before serving. These would look delicious at a dinner party.
The purée or jam which I like to call it is very time consuming and if there was another option I would probably use it. Buying a jar of ready made purée or pie filling would work but it is not quite the same and these fillings tend to have a lot of sugar added. You could add walnuts into this apple purée to give a bit of texture to the smooth purée.
There is not a lot of sugar in this recipe which would be great for a diabetic diet however the fruit sugars would have to be taken into account. My recipe can be found on my blog post about pastry
A true French apple tart would be a Tarte Tatin where the fruit is caramelised and the pastry is on the top only but when served the pastry forms a base. I have made a Tarte Tatin with lots of other fruit apart from apples such as strawberries, peaches etc. These are very easy to make and very quick to if you are caught on the hop.
I started making these small French Apple Tarts for the market as individual tarts which can be eaten as the customer walks around the market. Sometimes people would even ask me for a spoon so that they could eat them straight away.
As you can see there is a lot can be done to rehash this recipe and much pleasure in the eating of them. If you try this recipe and make a different flavour to what I have mentioned and you want to share it just drop me a message on here. I would love to hear from someone who has tried my recipes. 🙂