Need a chic Parisian dessert? This one will delight your entourage.
I have a few French dessert recipes that are staples to my cuisine when I really want to impress someone.
And you know what they say: the way to the heart is through the stomach. Too true, too true…
Want to skip right to the recipe? Click here!
Plus, with the New Year coming up, it’s the perfect time for this fancy one.
I mean I love my 3-ingredient chocolate mousse (incredible but true) as much as the next guy, but sometimes I want to step it up, you know?
New friends I want to make sure keep calling? I pull out this recipe. Third date with a pretty amazing human? Market, apron, this recipe. Tax auditor who needs winning over/bribing? …you get the idea.
The great part is, this particular French recipe looks and tastes like way more work went into it than actually does.
And let me tell you: the French really have a knack for this. I find the same thing again and again with their recipes.. like that easiest chocolate mousse ever, or the almond King’s cake I’ll be making soon after the New Year. Not to mention literally every. Single. Item. on this list of the easiest French recipes.
This particular bad boy is a recipe in 3 parts. That sounds overwhelming I know… but believe me it’s a cinch.
The ingredients are also pretty simple – one of the only things you won’t already have lying around the house is probably almond meal (and hint: you can use crushed graham crackers instead! Or skip it all together!).
You may notice that I’m an absolute sucker for desserts, and also that I embrace generally most substitutions or reworkings in recipes. So no judging here! Make something sweet and without fail I will support you and enjoy it!
By the way, if you like sweets as much as I do, I highly recommend this Sweet Treats Parisian food tour (and just for you: use promo code TART when booking for a 10% discount on that tour).
You may notice that I’ve made a couple different variations: apple, and mango-raspberry. I’m going to focus on the apple recipe but if you want the details for this (very easy) mango raspberry filling, let me know in comments and I’d be happy to oblige.
Summer note: This recipe was posted in Autumn – but do as the French do and use in-season fruits. In summer, try making this with peaches or nectarines or pineapple. In winter you can even try carrot or sweet potato… Get creative, go ahead!
So without further ado, I present to you my recipe for a deconstructed Apple Tart with Swiss Meringue. (Deconstructed is a fancy way of saying “I put this together wrong, but it’s still good.”)
This recipe by the way is adapted from a cooking class I took here in Paris with Cook’n With Class. I highly, highly recommend looking into the classes that are offered in Paris. I’ve done 3 of them and tend to gift them to friends and family who come to visit!
(Sidenote: we love this company so much that we started partnering with them on a hidden-gem food tour, Eat Like a Parisian. It’s my favorite tour that we offer! And as a present to you, use promo code TART when booking for a 10% discount on that tour.)
Deconstructed Fruit Tart
Makes: 8-10 individual tarts, depending on the size of glass you use.
Great as: dessert
Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Adapted from a Cook’n With Class recipe
For the Swiss meringue
– 1 cup (210grams) sugar
– 4 egg whites at room temperature
For the fruit filling
– 6 medium apples, peeled, cored, and diced (800g finished apple chunks): I used pink lady/granny smith mix
– 1/3 cup (75g) sugar
– Dash of cinnamon
– Dash of nutmeg
– 2 Tbsp water
For the crumble
– 4.5 Tbsp (60g) cold butter
– 1/4 cup (50g) sugar
– 2/3 cup (65g) almond meal
– 1/4 cup (20g) dry quick-cook oats
– 1/3 cup (50g) flour
– 2 pinches of fleur de sel (French Sea Salt)
- To make the crumble: Put all ingredients together in a large bowl. Using a pastry cutter, fork, or your fingers (like I did), break up the butter until you have a sort of coarse sand texture with a bunch of big chunks.
- Spread crumble on parchment-lined baking sheet and pop in oven (300F/150C) until light golden brown, about 15 minutes. Allow to cool on sheet.
- To make the fruit filling: Peel, core, and dice apples.
- Put apples, sugar, cinnamon, and water into a large pan over high heat and cook (stirring occasionally) about 5 minutes. Cook more or less if you want firmer or softer apples.
- … That’s it. You’re done with the filling, and the crumble. Told you this was easy. Move along!
- To make the Swiss meringue: Put sugar and egg whites in heat-proof mixing bowl (I use a large glass bowl). Set bowl over pot of very gently simmering water (you only need 2 inches or so of water in the pot – it shouldn’t touch the bowl).
- Whisk until sugar has dissolved and egg whites are a bit hot (about 3 minutes). Rub some of the mixture between your fingers to test when it’s ready – it should feel totally smooth. By this time it should be white because of your whisking, but still quite liquidy.
- Transfer whites into new (ie cool) bowl off heat and beat to medium stiff peaks (with an electric mixer on high this will take about 5-7 minutes). The texture should be almost like melt-y marshmallow fluff.
- If you start having a meringue with a chunky texture, you either kept the whites over the heat for too long, or didn’t transfer them to a cool bowl before beating. Believe me, it’s worth the extra bowl to wash to get this right. This is a luxurious, velvety, and most importantly STABLE meringue, so it will not deflate.
- NOW PUT IT ALL TOGETHER… You can use whatever kind of glass you’d like to make each serving size. Just fill 1/3 of the glass with the fruit filling followed by 1/3 crumble, and pipe or spoon on some of that rich, creamy meringue.
- If you’d like a bit of extra sass, pop your finished deconstructed tarts under the broiler for 30-60 seconds (keep a close eye on them, broilers work pretty quickly on meringue).
- Or pull out that blowtorch you keep handy and brown the meringue with pure, scary fire.
Voila, enjoy your French tart, deconstructed gourmet-style.
That wasn’t so hard, was it? And look at this thing!
You should know that, as a bonus, this is really delicious. My mouth is actually watering a bit, just writing about it. Oh, the memories… the memories!
Anyway. Whether it’s your family, friends, a date, or the tax guy… you’re going to impress them, don’t worry.
Don’t forget to use promo code TART when booking for a 10% discount on the tour. Ya’ welcome 🙂
Note: this article was originally posted on 11 December 2015, but has been updated for freshness. (Pun intended.)