French cooking | Chef David’s tarte aux pommes recipe

Now we aren’t going to get into a debate about whether a traditional British apple pie is better than a French tarte aux pommes (that’s French for apple pie!). All we know is we are a fan of both and would quite happily eat either.

Chef David and his co-chef Bernard, from our cookery holiday in Gascony, have very kindly agreed to share their famous tarte aux pommes recipe which is quickly gaining a following all of its own from our returning cookery holiday guests.


tarte aux pommes with glass of wine450g cooking apples
350g dessert apples
90g ground almonds
Sugar to sweeten

‘Pate sucree’
170g plain (soft) flour
85g butter
60g caster sugar
3 egg yolks
Apricot jam to glaze


1. Make up the pate sucree –
Sieve the flour onto a work surface, make a well in the centre and put in the butter, sugar and egg yolks. Work together with the fingertips of one hand, slowly adding the flour. As soon as the mixture forms a dough, cover and place in the fridge for 1 hour.

2. Quarter the cooking apples and gently cook in a pan covered with a lid until soft (add a little water if necessary), pass through a sift and sweeten to taste. Mix in the ground almonds and cool.

3. Roll out the pastry, line a flan tin and chill until firm. Bake the pastry blind until the dough is just set (half cooked). Oven 180 – 200c.

4. Spoon the puree into the pastry case and smooth over.

Dessert apples may be peeled or used with the skins on. Slice the dessert apples and arrange neatly in circles on top of the puree, starting from outside and working inwards.

5. Place the tart in the oven at 175c until the apples are cooked.

6. Cool on a rack and glaze with sieved apricot jam.

To learn how to make more delicious French cuisine with Chef David and Bernard, head to Gascony where you can learn to cook local specialities such as cassoulet, Ballotine de poulet, 3 pepper soup and much more for a French cookery holiday with a difference.