Alice Waters’ Apple Tart Recipe

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Avatar Author's default profile picture Team October 19, 2020

If you’re looking to serve a sophisticated dessert this Thanksgiving, our apple tart recipe is just what you’re looking for! This divine-tasting recipe for apple tart comes from the great Alice Waters herself. We trust her implicitly to give us and you the best apple tart recipe out there. It takes a bit of effort to make, but your guests will thank you for it.

What Is Apple Tart?

Tart, in itself, is an open-faced version of a pie. It is filled with any desired fruit filling, or in the case of the apple tart, seasoned apple slices. The apple slices are often arranged in a circular manner onto the dough for presentation. Apple tart is similar to an apple galette, but galettes are more rustic and don’t require tart pans.

Regardless of how they’re baked, they will still look aesthetically pleasing. You can try out our colorful Fruit Tart after recreating our easy apple tart recipe. That sounds like a sweet dessert full of flavors, doesn’t it? If we’ve piqued your interest, stick around as we show you how to make an apple tart that’s just like Alice Water’s!

The Best Apple Tart Recipe Just Like Alice Water’s

Alice Waters is a renowned chef, restaurateur, and cookbook author. She’s known for running the Chez Panisse restaurant, which uses organic, locally grown ingredients. But what makes an Alice Waters Apple Tart different from any other apple tart recipe? This apple tart recipe assembles fresh apples on the dough, then sprinkle it with flavorings all over. This makes the free form apple tart more tender and less mushy compared to using a pre-cooked apple mix.

This apple tart is also set apart from others because of the apple tart dough and how it’s formed. It uses a technique that’s worked with pizza doughs. The method allows your fingers to fall through the middle of the dough to naturally stretch it out. It’s also a great way to keep your dough pliable until such time that you need to roll it out for baking.

Another little secret that makes this rustic apple tart unique is how our glaze is made. Remember how you just throw away the apple peels and cores after cutting your apples into slices?

Well, this apple tart recipe makes use of those ingredients that are often looked over. We cook the sugar in a pot together with the cores and peels to get an even more concentrated sweet apple flavor. Once thickened, it’s used as the perfect glaze over that open face apple tart. Now that’s a no-waste dish we can get behind!

Following our apple tart recipe can take up time, but it’s significantly easier to make than your regular pie. Serve these up with a dollop of ice cream for a sweeter taste. And for more tart recipes, try your hand on our Lemon Tart or our Blueberry Tart recipes for zesty and tangy flavors infused into this sweet treat!

How To Make Alice Waters' Apple Tart

An easy apple tart recipe to follow for your upcoming Thanksgiving gathering! It’s glazed over with a special apple-flavored sugar glaze for a uniquely sweet topping to your usual tarts.

Prep: 10 mins
Additional: 45 mins
Cook: 1 hr 10 mins
Total: 2 hrs 5 mins


For Dough:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, unbleached
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • tsp salt
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, softened and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • tbsp water, chilled

For Filling:

  • 2 lbs apples, Golden Delicious or another tart of a firm variety, peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 5 tbsp sugar

For Glaze:

  • ½ cup sugar
  • apple peels, and cores



  1. Mix the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl and add 2 tablespoons of butter. Blend in a mixer until the dough resembles coarse cornmeal. Then add the remaining butter and mix until it forms larger pea-sized pieces.

  2. Add chilled water onto the dough, stir, and continue adding until the dough comes together. Begin using your hands to toss the dough, letting it fall through your fingers until it looks ropy. If there are still dry patches, add another tablespoon of water. Keep tossing until you can roll the dough into a ball.

  3. Once formed into a ball, flatten it into a 4-inch-thick disk. Cover it with plastic wrap then refrigerate for 30 minutes.

  4. Take out the dough and let it soften so it's malleable but still cold. Smooth down the cracks at the edges.

  5. On a lightly floured surface, roll it into a 14-inch circle with ⅛-inch thickness. Dust the excess flour from both sides with a dry pastry brush.

  6. Place the dough in a lightly greased 9-inch round tart pan. If you wish to go free-form or galette-style, place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

  7. Heat oven to 400 degrees F.


  1. Overlap the apples on the dough in a ring 2 inches from the edge if you're going galette-style, or up to the sides if using the tart pan. Continue inward until you reach the center.

  2. Fold any dough hanging over the pan back onto itself. Then crimp edges at 1-inch intervals.

  3. Brush the melted butter over the apples and onto the dough edge.

  4. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of sugar over the dough edge and the other 3 tablespoons over the apples.

  5. Bake the tarts in the center of the oven for 45 minutes or until they become soft, with browned edges, and the crust caramelized into a dark golden brown color. Make sure to rotate the tart every 15 minutes.


  1. Put the reserved apple peels and cores in a large saucepan, along with the sugar.

  2. Pour in just enough water to cover the mixture and let it simmer on low for 25 minutes.

  3. Strain the syrup using a cheesecloth.

  4. Remove the tarts from the oven or slide the parchment onto a cooling rack. Let it cool for at least 15 minutes.

  5. Brush the glaze over the tarts, slice, and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream if preferred. Enjoy!


Commonly Asked Questions

What are the best apples to use for this apple tart recipe?

We highly recommend using Golden Delicious yellow apples as they have a sweet, mellow flavor that isn’t too overpowering. They also maintain their shape well after baking so you can still have big bites of apple pieces. For other firm and tart apples, Granny Smith, Honey Crisp and Pink Lady works just as wonderfully.

How do I store my apple tart?

Storing them in the refrigerator in the same pan you used to bake it with works fine. Simply cover it with plastic wrap to keep the tart from drying out. If you tried the free form apple tart on a baking tray, you can cut them into individual pieces and place them in an air-tight container to store. This apple tart will last in the fridge for up to two days, and four months in the freezer.

How do I reheat apple tart?

If they are fresh out of the freezer, let them cool to room temperature at first before heating in the oven at 350 degrees F for up to 30 minutes. If you’re taking them out of the fridge, you can immediately heat them in the oven at the same temperature and time.


This apple tart recipe is sure to impress any crowd you’re serving over Thanksgiving! It’s luscious, aesthetically pleasing, and will easily be devoured in minutes. You can even enjoy it with a dollop of ice cream for extra sweetness and you’ll love it even more!

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