Julia Child’s Tarte Normande aux Pommes

tarte normande aux pommes

Hello, friends! How are you keeping? For today’s revitalization post, I wanted to draw attention to a post dear to my heart. Julia Child’s Tarte Normande aux Pommes. This post has been languishing away here on the blog for the better part of nine years, since April 2012. Actually, this was my first ever post! It featured an extremely old photo with a now ex-boyfriend and a questionable looking tart heavily covered with icing sugar to cover “the burned bit”. Definitely time for an update, me thinks.

And yes, I’ve left the photo down the bottom of the post for the sake of posterity.

Why make Tarte Normande aux Pommes?

At the time, I was coming to the end of my first year in college, and I was procrasti-baking a lot. A few months beforehand, I’d just seen Julie & Julia for the very first time, and loved it. In fact, I loved it so much, that my boyfriend gifted me Julia’s cookbook for Christmas. The first thing I ever baked from it was this tart, and I was terrified. It’s basically just an apple & custard tart with a fancy French name, but I was intimidated by the precision of the recipe in Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I remember a lot of riffling between the pages, and a lot of silly voiced declarations of “when you’re alone in the kitchen, WHO’s to know?”. Thankfully, the finished tart lived up to expectations. To quote myself: it was perfectly cinnamon-y, and the custard filling was creamy and puffy and lovely.

If creamy and puffy and lovely isn’t description enough, allow me. This is a sweet short-crust pastry, lined with cinnamon spiked apple slices, and topped with a simple custard. Mid-way through baking, we douse the tart liberally with icing sugar, and pop it back in. The finished tart is puffy, caramelized, and, you guessed it: lovely.

How to Make Julia Child’s Tarte Normande Aux Pommes

This time around, I took step-by-step photos to illustrate this post.

Let’s bake!

tarte normande aux pommes

Not featured: photos of the par-baking process. You’ve been to this rodeo before, you know how it goes.

We line our par-baked pastry with apple slices tossed in cinnamon sugar. I made mine into a pretty circle, but you do you. This gets baked until the apples are soft and fragrant, about 20-minutes.

While that cools slightly, we whip up a quick custard consisting of four simple ingredients: cream, egg, flour, and sugar. It comes together in a matter of minutes, in one bowl; it’s a true kitchen wonder. We pour this over the par-baked apples and return to the oven for a further 10-minutes.

At this stage, the custard is par-baked and puffy. After a liberal dusting of icing sugar, it’s back into the oven until the custard it set and baked.

Be careful not to be too heavy handed with the icing sugar, or the custard might set before the sugar fully caramelizes. In this case, use a blowtorch to torch the top gently. I love a good blowtorch opportunity.

That’s all there is! I’ll admit, there’s a lot of taking it in/out of the oven, but it’s worth it. It is a pandemic after all – do you have something better to do than babysitting a tart? I didn’t think so.

Happy baking! xo

tarte normande aux pommes
P R I N T
5 from 1 vote

Julia Child’s Tarte Normande aux Pommes

Julia Child's Custard Apple Tart. Sweet short-crust pastry, cinnamon sugared apple slices, and a baked custard caramelized on top with icing sugar.
P R E P25 mins
C O O K1 hr 10 mins
T O T A L3 hrs 35 mins
Yield: 9 inch tart
Author: Vicki @ Passionate Baker, lightly adapted from Julia Child

INGREDIENTS

for the pastry

  • 140 g plain flour
  • 1 1/2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 113 g cold salted butter, cubed
  • 4-4.5 tbsp ice water

for the filling

  • 450 g bramley apples
  • 50 g caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

for the custard

  • 1 large egg
  • 50 g caster sugar
  • 30 g plain flour, sifted
  • 150 ml cream

to finish

  • icing sugar

DIRECTIONS

for the pastry

  • Sift the flour and sugar into a large bowl and use a whisk to combine. Using your fingertips, quickly rub the butter into the mixture until combined. Add four tablespoons of the water into the mix & combine. If there are crumbs along the bottom, add the extra half tablespoon. Bring the dough together with your hands and wrap tightly in cling film. Chill in the fridge for at least 2-hours.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll out the chilled dough into a 10-inch circle, working quickly. Line the tart tin with your dough, and prick the base with the tines of a fork. Pop into the freezer while you preheat the oven.
  • Preheat the oven to 200°C. Line the frozen tart shell with baking parchment and fill with baking beans. Bake in the preheated oven for 10-minutes. Remove the beans and bake for a further 3-5 minutes, until the edges are slightly browned and the bottom is par-baked. Set aside to cool.
  • Lower the oven temperature to 180°C, and prepare the filling.

for the filling

  • Fill a medium mixing bowl with water and lemon juice. Peel, core, and slice the apples into 1/8-inch slices, tossing in the lemon water as you go. When finished, drain the slices, and add the sugar and cinnamon to the bowl. Toss to combine.
  • Arrange the apple slices in a circle inside the tart tin. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-minutes, or until the apples are lightly coloured and tender. Remove from the oven and leave to cool while you prepare the custard.

for the custard

  • In a clean mixing bowl, beat the egg and sugar together until thick, pale, and at ribbon stage. Beat in the flour, and then the cream, until fully combined. Pour into the tart tin, on top of the apples. It should come nearly to the top of the pastry shell. Bake in the preheated oven for 10-minutes, or until beginning to puff.

to finish

  • Remove from the oven, dust heavily with icing sugar, and return to the oven for a further 15-20-minutes, or until the top has browned and a skewer inserted into the centre of the tart comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin, on a wire rack.
  • Serve warm in large wedges, with dollops of whipped cream.

Did you make this recipe? I’d love to know! Please leave a comment & a rating below, or tag me on Instagram @imvcki. Thank you so much for supporting Passionate Baker!

*POST UPDATED JANUARY 2021

julia child's tarte normande aux pommes


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