Julia Child's French Apple Tart Features a Surprising Ingredient You Probably Have In Your Kitchen


Considering myself a seasoned home baker, I have always shied away from attempting to make French pastries. While I have mastered chocolate chip cookies and brownies, the thought of creating a tart or layer cake seemed daunting. However, I recently found myself craving a dessert that was not overly sweet and had a refreshing quality to it, traits that French pastries are renowned for. So, I decided it was time to challenge myself and make a classic French apple tart.

Following Julia Child's recipe for Tarte aux Pommes in The French Chef Cookbook, I was pleasantly surprised by how straightforward and unfussy the dessert turned out to be.


The tart consists of three simple components: crust, marmalade, and fresh apple slices. My biggest concern when making pastries is always the crust, as I tend to struggle with rolling it evenly. However, Child's advice to keep the butter cold and use a pastry cutter or knives made the process much easier. The end result was a flaky, buttery crust that was simply delightful.

The real star of the show was the marmalade. Instead of the usual almond cream or custard layer, Child's recipe calls for cooking down applesauce with butter and sugar to create a thick and flavorful filling. The result was a delicate yet rich marmalade that enhanced the fresh apple flavor of the tart.


Despite feeling pressure to make the tart look perfect, I followed Child's lead and haphazardly piled apple slices onto the crust. The final touch of brushing on melted apricot jam not only added a shiny finish but also complemented the sweetness of the apples.

Once the tart had cooled, my partner and I eagerly dug in. The dessert was light and refreshing, with a buttery crust, rich applesauce, and crisp apples. The apricot glaze added a tart finish that tied everything together perfectly.

In the end, I realized that all I needed to make my first tart was a little confidence and some applesauce. Whether you follow Child's recipe or use online resources like YouTube tutorials, making a French apple tart is an achievable task with delicious results.

Next on my baking list: Julia Child's Vinaigrette Recipe that Changed the Way I Feel About Salads.