Rustic Apple Tart with Almond Paste and Tart-Sweet Sundowner Apples

photo of rustic apple tart on christmas dinner table

Still planning holiday desserts? Rustic Apple Tart’s a FAB easy-to-bake treat…inspired by browsing through a recent Earth & Vine ‘Provisions’ catalog recipe and photos on the side of a box of Odense Almond Paste.

Baked this simple apple tart with two Sundowner® (Cripps Red) apples, leaving skins on the thin slices. Sundowner apples  (available November through March) are new to us, purchased at our local farm market last week. They bake beautifully, retaining their shape…and don’t turn to mush.

photo of Sundowner Apple sliced in half
A crisp, tart-sweet Sundowner Apple sliced in half…GREAT fresh eating and excellent baking apple.

Sundowners are a SUPERB fresh eating apple. I’ve been craving one every day… crisp, juicy, sweet-tart, incredible! The sellers had the genetic history all wrong though…thought they were a cross between Pink Ladies® & Fujis. Actually, Pink Ladies, Sundowner siblings hybridized by the same Australian apple breeder in the 1970’s, are better known, but not as tasty.

Rustic Apple Tart

INGREDIENTS (Use organic, when possible)
1 – 9 in (22 cm) quality frozen pie crust (A 10 inch crust would have fit my pie plate better. I used Trader Joe’s brand.)
Odense Almond Paste (NOT the Marizpan, rolled very thin…about half the box)
2 Sundowner Apples, washed, thinly sliced leaving the skins on
2 Tablespoons Sugar (1 Tablespoon is plenty for sweet apples)
1/4 teaspoon of ground Cinnamon (I used Ceylon Cinnamon)
Grated zest of 1 Meyer Lemon
Sea Salt, just a pinch, for sprinkling over the top
Half & Half or whole Milk to brush on the crust for a golden glaze

The Apple Tart Recipe INSTRUCTIONS couldn’t be simpler:
~ PREHEAT oven to 350F (177 C)
~ PLACE the thawed crust gently into your pie platter.

odense almond paste rolled very thin, then trimmed to fit pie platter
(Top) Odense almond paste rolled very thin, (Below) Trim almond paste to fit your pie platter.

~ UNWRAP the Odense Almond paste.
~ ROLL out as thinly as you can without breaking it. Mine rolled into a rectangle, so I had to trim it  into a circle using a small mixing bowl as a template. Only needed about half the paste for one pie lining. I wrapped the rest tightly in plastic and put it in the freezer to wait for my next project. Keeps up to three months in the freezer, two weeks in the refrigerator.

photo of trimmed odense almond paste, as lining for apple tart crust
(Left) Odense almond paste trimmed into a circle / (Right) Almond paste placed in the bottom of pie crust before filling with apple slices.

~ PLACE the Almond Paste disk over the pie crust in the centered in the platter.
~ MEASURE the cinnamon & sugar into a mixing bowl large enough to easily stir your apple slices in.
~ ADD the apples and stir gently with a large spoon. You could put the lemon zest in the mix, too. I was improvising, so sprinkled the zest over the top after the slice were in the pie.

close up photo of cinnamon sugared fresh apple slices
Gently stir fresh apple slices in the cinnamon sugar until well coated.

~ ARRANGE the apple slices attractively in the pie pan. This is easier said, than done. The thinner your apple slices the easier to do…perhaps? I tucked the few left over ones to fill the center of the pie.
~ SPRINKLE with lemon zest and a pinch of salt.

sliced cinnamon sugared apples in pie crust
Sliced, cinnamon sugared, Meyer lemon zested, apple slices in pie crust.

~ FOLD the edges of the pie crust over the apples to contain the juices. This can be done in a casual way. It’s not an exquisite French pastry.
~ BRUSH the pastry lightly with half and half or whole milk as a substitute for egg whites. Works just a beautifully to give the crust a golden brown glaze.

photo of pie crust brushed with half and half
Brush the crimped pie crust with half and half before baking for a golden glaze.

~ BAKE for 40-45 minutes (rotating it halfway through for even cooking) or until the pie crust is golden brown and the apple slices are tender when pricked with a fork. The Sundowner apples retain texture and shape and may even seem too firm, but will be perfect for eating after this amount of baking.

photo of baked apple tart
Fragrant, cinnamony rustic apple tart fresh from the oven!

~ COOL the baked pie to lukewarm or room temperature. Apple pies seem to have the best flavor when they’re cooled, which concentrates the flavor.
~ SERVE with whipped cream, a drizzle of half and half, or ice cream.

SERVINGS: 8-10 or less depending on how much folks want to eat.

photo detail of rustic apple tart with cinnamon and lemon zest
Close-up detail of delicious Rustic Apple Tart with cinnamon and lemon zest.

This apple tart’s delectable. Give it a try. Well worth the little bit of time it takes to make….and your styling techniques may improve as mine did on the second try (feature photo). You and your guests will enjoy it. Guaranteed!

4 thoughts on “Rustic Apple Tart with Almond Paste and Tart-Sweet Sundowner Apples”

  1. Hi! Wicked Good ~ Yes, everyone I’ve served it to LOVED it! The tart’s as yummy as it is beautiful…and EASY! What more could a dessert lover ask? Almond and apples go beautifully together (just think strudels, Danish pastries, apple crisp, etc.). Anyway, give it a try and let us know how yours turns out. Glad you stopped by.

  2. Loved my apple tart! I used Pink Ladies and they were great. Found some Sundowners so I will try them next time. I also made my own pie crust which was flakey and delicious. I loved the almond paste and next time will run it up the sides too. This will be our family’s new favorite! I’ll take a picture next week when I make another one… might try my hand at making almond paste too!

  3. Delighted you made the tart and loved it! Betsy ~ I’ll take inspiration from you and make my own crust next time. Looking forward to seeing your photo, too. Please share your almond paste recipe if you come across a good one. Thanks!

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