Looking for a delicious and impressive dessert to make at home? Look no further than the Apple Crumble Tart. This rustic dessert features a buttery sweet shortcrust pastry crust, a sweet and tart apple filling, and a brown sugar crumble topping that's to die for. All the ingredients can be made ahead of time and then baked together right before serving for an elegant dessert that will elicit oohs and aahs from your family or guests.
- What is Pâte Sucrée
- Apple Crumble Tart Ingredients
- Pate Sucree
- Apple Filling
- Brown Sugar Crumble Topping
- How to Make Apple Crumble Tart
- How to Make Pâte Sucrée Dough
- How to Make the Apple Cinnamon Filling
- Make the Crumble Topping
- Bake the Apple Crumble Tart
- How to Store
- Pro Tips For Making This Recipe
- If You Like This Recipe, Try These Recipes
- Apple Crumble Tart
This apple crumble tart is a great alternative to apple pie. The tartness of the spiced apple filling, which is made with plenty of Granny Smith apples, is a delicious complement to the sweet tart crust and the maple-flavored brown sugar crumble topping.
It's a great fall dessert and takes advantage of the abundance of fall apples. While I prefer the tartness of Granny Smith apples, you can use Braeburn, McIntosh, or Pink Lady, or a combination of these apples.
What is Pâte Sucrée
Pâte sucrée is a crisp yet tender type of shortcrust pastry that is made with powdered sugar, which gives it a sweeter and more delicate flavor than traditional shortcrust pastry or pie dough. It's also made with a higher percentage of butter, which makes it even more tender and flaky.
Apple Crumble Tart Ingredients
The apple crumble tart consists of three separate recipes: the pâte sucrée crust, the apple filling, and the crumble topping. Here are the ingredients:
- Unbleached All-Purpose Flour: Provides the structure for the dough.
- Powdered Sugar: Powdered sugar melts fast and combines quickly with the other ingredients, which allows you to mix the dough less and avoid the development of too much gluten in the dough.
- Almond Flour: Adds a nice nutty flavor to the dough.
- Large Egg and Egg Yolk: The egg binds all the ingredients together and helps the dough hold its shape.
- Unsalted Butter: Use butter that tastes good because the flavor will be prominent in the final crust.
- Pure Vanilla Extract: The vanilla extract enhances the flavor or the tart crust.
- Granny Smith Apples: The tart Granny Smith apples are perfect with the sweet cinnamon crumble topping. Other tart apples you can use in this recipe are Braeburns, Pink Lady, and Honey Crisp.
- Unsalted Butter: Cooking apples in butter enhances the flavor of the apples and helps create a delicious sauce when combined with the brown sugar.
- Light Brown Sugar: The brown sugar adds a little sweetness, enhances the flavor of the apples, and creates a sauce when combined with the butter and juices from the apples. You can also use dark brown sugar.
- Ground Cinnamon: Ground cinnamon enhances the flavor of the apples.
- Ground Nutmeg: Ground nutmeg in combination with the cinnamon enhanced the flavors of the apples. If possible use fresh grated nutmeg for the best flavor.
- Ground Cardamom: Ground cardamon adds a slight floral taste to the apple filling.
Brown Sugar Crumble Topping
- Unbleached All-Purpose Flour: The flour is necessary for the crumbly texture and for the crumble to hold its shape during baking.
- Light Brown Sugar: The brown sugar adds, sweetness, and crunch to the crumble. I tested this recipe with both light and dark brown sugar and the recipe works with both, so you can use either in the recipe.
- Unsalted Butter: Butter holds all the other ingredients together. Using cold butter ensures that the crumble holds its shape when baked and helps maintain the crispy texture.
- Maple Syrup: The maple syrup not only adds a delicious flavor to the crumble topping, but it also helps hold it together.
- Kosher Salt: The kosher salt compliments the sweetness of the crumble.
- Ground Cinnamon: The cinnamon adds a nice warm woodsy flavor to the crumble.
How to Make Apple Crumble Tart
This fantastic apple crumble tart consists of three different recipes:
- Pâte Sucrée
- Spiced Apple Filling
- Brown Sugar Crumble Topping
Each of these sub-recipes can be made in advance and stored until you're ready to make the tart. The pâte sucrée can be stored in the refrigerator wrapped tightly in plastic.
The spiced apple filling and the crumble topping can both be refrigerated for up to 1 week in an airtight container.
How to Make Pâte Sucrée Dough
The tart crust is a sweet crust (or Pâte Sucrèe) that I like to use for tarts. It's tender, but sturdy enough for rolling out and fairly easy to make.
In this recipe, you're mixing the ingredients just long enough to combine them. Don't overmix the dough or mix it at high speed, which can result in a tough crust.
Step 1: Sift the powdered sugar and the all-purpose flour into separate bowls to remove any lumps.
Step 2: Place the butter and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix on medium speed until the butter is creamy and the ingredients are combined.
Step 3: Add the powdered sugar and mix on low just until the ingredients are combined.
Step 4: Add the almond flour and vanilla extract and mix on low just until the ingredients are combined.
Step 5: Next, add the eggs and part of the flour, and mix them in on low speed, until thoroughly incorporated.
Step 6: Mix on low until the flour is incorporated. Do not overmix the dough to avoid developing the gluten in the flour which can make the dough tough and harder to roll out.
Step 7: Divide the dough into two equal parts. Wrap each half in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
You only need half the dough for this recipe. Refrigerate the dough in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Freeze the other half of the dough for up to 2 months.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it sit on the counter for 10 minutes so that it softens a little to make it easier to roll out.
Step 8: On a lightly floured work surface roll out the dough to a 10-inch circle. Fold the dough into the quarters and lift it into the tart pan.
Step 9: Unfold the dough and press into the lower edges all the way around. If the dough breaks use the dough that is overhanging the top edge to patch the dough.
Step 10: Go all the way around the pan until the dough has an even thickness and is even across the top. Refrigerate the dough for 1 hour.
Step 11: Remove the dough from the refrigerator and line the dough with aluminum foil.
You can use parchment paper or foil for this step, but I prefer aluminum foil because it's easier to press against the dough.
Step 12: Fill the foil with pie weights or dried beans. Bake the dough for 15 minutes, remove the pan from the oven, remove the beans and foil; and bake for another 15 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.
Step 13: Take the crust from the oven. If using it the next day, let it completely cool and then wrap it in plastic wrap.
How to Make the Apple Cinnamon Filling
Start by making the apple filling so that it is completely cooled by the time they're added to the cinnamon roll filling. The apple filling can be made up to 1 week in advance.
Step 1: Peel and chop the apples into small chunks. Use Granny Smith apples or another type of tart apple such as Honey Crisp.
Step 2: Cook the apples in a combination of butter and brown sugar until all the liquid has cooked off and the apples have started to brown.
Cooking the apples with butter, sugar, cardamom, and cinnamon adds a lot of flavor to the apples and creates a delicious sauce.
In addition, cooking the apples before adding them to the tart crust removes a lot of the water ensuring the crust won’t get soggy.
Step 3: Remove the apples from the heat and pour them into a bowl.
The apples can be added to the baked tart crust while they are still warm.
Make the Crumble Topping
Step 1: Cube the butter into 1/2-inch squares, place the butter in a bowl and put it in the refrigerator to keep the butter cold.
Do not freeze it. It will be harder to work frozen butter into the dry ingredients.
Step 2: Place the flour, brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon in a medium-sized bowl and whisk together. Use your fingers to break up any brown sugar clumps.
Step 3: Add the butter and use your hands to smush the butter into the flour mixture. You can also use a pastry cutter to cut the butter into the dry ingredients.
Step 4: Add the maple syrup and stir it into the ingredients.
The crumble should easily hold its shape when pressed together.
Refrigerate the crumble for at least 30 minutes to chill the topping and firm up the butter. The crumble topping can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
Bake the Apple Crumble Tart
Now all the apple tart ingredients are ready to pull together into this delicious apple dessert.
Step 1: Fill the baked pastry crust with the cooked apples and spread them over the bottom.
Step 2: Spread the crumble topping over the apples.
Step 3: Bake the tart for 20-25 minutes until the crumble topping has browned.
Since the filling is already cooked, we're not looking for it to bubble up as we normally would with an apple pie.
Step 4: Remove it from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool. Let it cool for about 30 minutes before serving.
To serve the tart add a sprinkle of toasted almonds or pecans and serve by itself or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It’s also good with cinnamon or caramel ice cream.
How to Store
This apple tart can sit at room temperature for up to 2 days covered with plastic wrap. It can be refrigerated for up to 5 days covered with plastic wrap or in an airtight container. The tart crust will soften as the apple tart sits.
Pro Tips For Making This Recipe
- Use a kitchen scale to weigh the ingredients for the pâte sucrée. Weighing the ingredients will ensure you're using the right amount of dry ingredients and produce the most consistent results.
- Don't overmix the dough. Only mix the dough until the ingredients are thoroughly combined. This final tart shell is meant to be tender and delicate. Overmixing the dough will result in over development of the gluten and the dough may actually tear more easily as you try to add it to the tart pan.
- Chill the dough. Take time to chill the dough, don't rush the process.
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If You Like This Recipe, Try These Recipes
Apple Crumble Tart
- 2-1/2 cups (314 grams) unbleached all purpose flour sifted
- 1 cup (115 grams) powdered sugar sifted
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup (22 grams) almond flour sifted
- 1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 large (50 grams) egg
- 1 large (20 grams) egg yolk
- 12 tablespoons (169 grams) unsalted butter room temperature
- 4 large Granny Smith apples (7 cups - 740 grams)
- 4 tablespoons (57 grams) unsalted butter room temperature
- 3 tablespoons (38 grams) dark brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds toasted
Brown Sugar Crumble
- 1-1/8 cups (142 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (50 grams) packed brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter cold
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- For the recipe the crust and the apples are precooked. Precooking ensures the crust will be nice and brown and that apples won’t make the crust soggy.
Pate Sucree Dough
- Sift the powdered sugar, the flour and the almond flour into separate bowls
- With a stand mixer beat the butter and salt together on medium speed until well combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the powdered sugar. Mix on low speed until combine. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add the almond flour and the vanilla and mix on low speed until combined.
- Add the eggs and 1/3 of the flour and beat on low speed until well combined. Scrape down the bowl. Add the remaining flour and mix on low speed until the dough comes together. The dough will be soft.
- The dough will weigh about 670 grams. Split the dough into two pieces, 335 grams each and shape each into a circle and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- Lightly butter a 9-inch tart pan. Do not use too much butter. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll it out to 1/4-inch thick circle. Fold the dough in half and place into the pan. Unfold the dough and gently press the dough into the base and sides of the pan being careful not to tear the dough. Remove excess dough for the edge of the dough is even with the top edge of the pan.
- Refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C).
- Blind bake the tart dough. Line the dough with parchment paper and fill the paper with pie weights or beans. I use dried beans and keep a jar of beans in my pantry. Bake the dough for 15 minutes. Remove the dough from the oven and remove the beans and paper. Return the dough to the oven and bake for another 15-20 minutes until the edges are dark golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool before filling it.
- Peel the apples. With the apples in the upright position and the stem pointing skyward, cut down and around the cores to remove the flesh in 4 lobes (you’ll be left with a square-shaped core). Cut the lobes into 1-inch pieces. Toss the apples with lemon juice.
- Heat a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat and melt 4 tablespoons of butter. Add the apples and spread them into a single layer. Sprinkle the apples with the brown sugar.
- Stir the apples, brown sugar, and butter together. Increase the heat to medium-high and cook the apples stirring occasionally until all the liquid is evaporated.
- Reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook the apples until about half of them caramelize to a light brown. Reduce the heat to low, and add the cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom. Stir the spices into the apples and cook for another 60 seconds.
- Scrape the apples in a bowl and allow them to cool to room temperature before adding them to the tart crust and topping them with the brown sugar crumble
Brown Sugar Crumble
- Combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a bowl and whisk together. Cut the butter into pieces, add to the flour mixture, and use your fingers to mix the butter in until crumbles form. Add the maple syrup and use a fork to mix. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before using it.
Assemble and Bake the Tart
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
- Pour the apples into the baked tart and spread evenly. Sprinkle the streusel evenly on top of the apples. Spread the almonds on top. Bake the tart for 20-25 minutes until the streusel is slightly brown.
- Remove the tart from the oven, place it on a cooling rack and allow to cool. Tart can be eaten warm or at room temperature.
- This apple tart can sit at room temperature for up to 2 days covered with plastic wrap. It can be refrigerated for up to 5 days covered with plastic wrap or in an airtight container. The tart crust will soften as the apple tart sits.