This Apple Slab Tart is a great dessert for anyone that likes traditional tarts but that finds making them – tucking the crust into a tart pan, blind baking, etc – to be a bit of a fussy process. It’s a simple tart that requires no pie crust and is shaped free-form right on your baking sheet. It also has very few ingredients, so it is likely that you’ll always have the things on hand to make this. Another name for tarts like this one is a galette, though that term is typically applied to round free-form tarts, rather than rectangular ones.
The tart starts with a buttery, flaky homemade pie crust. The crust is simple to make both by hand and with a food processor, and since you don’t need to press it into a pie plate, even those who haven’t had great results with pies in the past can approach this with confidence. The crust has a hint of cinnamon and a very small amount of brown sugar in it to give it a little extra flavor. Homemade is going to give you the best results in this tart, although you can also try the same technique with puff pastry or storebought pie crust if you’re looking for a shortcut.
I use two medium sized apples when making this tart and often have a few slices that don’t get used. You can make it with just one large apple, but a few extra apple slices never hurt. The tart is not too sweet, so tart Granny Smiths might be a little too tart in this case. I typically use Fujis or Pink Lady apples (whatever I have around), but you can use just about any type of apple in this recipe. I peel them, core them and slice them thinly. The apples are tossed with a little sugar and topped with a little more just before baking for a nice finish. You can adjust these sugar amounts to suit your taste and the type of apples that you’re using.
This tart is great for brunch or for dessert. It is good served both warm and at room temperature, and the leftovers keep well. For brunch, dust it with confectioners’ sugar before serving. For dessert, drizzle it with a little caramel sauce or place a small scoop of ice cream on the side of each slice.
Apple Slab Tart
1 1/3 cups + 1 tbsp all purpose flour, divided
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, cold and cut into several pieces
4-5 tbsp water, cold
2 medium apples
4 tbsp sugar, divided
2 tbsp sliced almonds
In a large bowl, whisk together 1 1/3 cups flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Add butter and toss to coat. Rub butter into the flour mixture using your fingertips, breaking the butter into pieces no larger than a big pea. This can also be done in the food processor.
Add cold water and stir until dough comes together. Shape dough into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for 30-45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Peel and core apple(s). Slice into very thin slices about 1/4-inch thick. Toss with 2 tbsp sugar and 1 tbsp flour. Set aside.
Roll out chilled pastry dough into a square approx 11×11-inches (slightly larger or smaller is ok) on a very lightly floured surface. Transfer to prepared baking sheet.
Arrange apple slices down the middle third of the pastry, forming a layer that is 2-3 apple slices thick. Leave a 1/2-inch border at the top and bottom of the tart.
Fold up the bottom and top borders of the tart, just to cover the edges of the apples.
Fold in the sides of the tart over the apples, leaving a 1 – 2 inch gap down the center of the apple layer. Sprinkle 1 tbsp sugar over the apples
Brush tart crust with cream or water and top the whole thing with remaining 1 tbsp sugar and 2 tbsp sliced almonds.
Bake for about 30 minutes, until tart is golden brown and apples are tender.
Allow to cool on a wire rack before slicing.