One of the most important tips to follow when it comes to baking a French apple tart is to start with the right type of apples. Often, the biggest mistake people make when using apples in baked goods is choosing varieties that do not hold up well to high temperatures. This results in a soggy mess and, though it may still taste great, it is not at all appealing to the eye. For best results when making a French apple tart, select apples with a good flavor and firm texture. Great examples of apples that will do well in a French apple tart include Granny Smith, Jonathan, Jonagold, Honeycrisp, and Braeburn.
As the name suggests, a French apple tart is composed of a pie crust that has been pre-baked in a tart pan, filled with applesauce, and covered with a layer of thinly sliced apples. The French apple tart is then placed under a broiler until the edges of the cut apples are golden brown. When it is removed from the oven, it is dusted with a thin layer of confectioners' sugar.
Another important tip regarding baking a French apple tart is to make your own applesauce. Though it is easy to simply purchase a jar of applesauce for this recipe, it won't be nearly as delicious. While making your own applesauce may seem intimidating, it is actually quite simple.
Start by using a sharp paring knife to peel and cut the apples you have chosen for the pie into 1-inch (2.54 cm) cubes. Place them into a pot along with two parts water to one part sugar, and the spices of your choice. Bring the liquid to a boil, lower the temperature and allow the apples to cook until they have disintegrated. Try to avoid excessive stirring of the sauce; allow the apples to break up on their own instead.
Finally, use a mandolin to cut the apples for the top of the French apple tart. This will ensure that they are the same size, allowing them to look beautiful and to bake evenly. A mandolin can usually be found at any high-quality cooking store. If you cannot find a mandolin or do not want to purchase one, you can still achieve success by using a very sharp paring knife to cut the apples.