Apple Honey Tart

Apple Honey Tart

I live in Normandy, land of apples and pears, and everything made with them – from Tarte Tatin to Rosemary Apple Tart, to Apple Charlotte, to apples as vegetable, appetizer, seasoning.  I’m an expert with apples, and everything I make with them is a point of pride for me.  But never have I had such a magical apple tart as the one I just tasted in Peyrenegre, on the Dubois family farm in the Dordogne.

baked tart


If you know me, you know the Dubois – Danie has been my cooking guru since I first moved to France thirty years ago. She’s a farm cook which is already great enough. But aside from her innate know-how, she has a creative sensibility and a gift for combining the simplest ingredients into the most gorgeous dishes.  Last week as she was preparing goose confit she was instructing my daughter Fiona – over her shoulder – on how to make this amazing apple and honey tart.

Tender Pastry with honey and apple compote

Like so many things Danie makes, the tart was simple, simple in its brilliance.  It went into a nice, hot oven and emerged  golden and steaming, almost caramelized.  When I bit into it, the pastry shattered, the sugar crackled, the apples and honey were like a warm, fragrant visit to the orchard.    It was simply gorgeous.

I made it the minute I returned home.  Danie is a good teacher – the tart was just as good as it had been at the farm, confirmed by friends who sampled it and swooned. It is now a part of my permanent, apple-season repertoire.  Merci, Danie!

This apple tart is divine for the holidays or even as an early spring treat when you still have apples and pears that have wintered over…and before spring strawberries begin to show up at the market.

Bon Appétit!

This Post Has 38 Comments

    1. Susan

      Cathy – promise me to try this WITHOUT the cream. I think you’ll be VERY pleasantly surprised….!

  1. Anita C. Lee

    Susan, I loved reading this and imagining myself in your gorgeous kitchen! My irises are beginning to bloom here, reminding me of the picture I’ve seen of the purple irises in your garden with the church in the background. I can hardly wait ’til July!

    1. Susan

      Anita – my irises are ALMOST about to bloom – another week, and the garden will be full of them! Eager to have you here.

      1. Anita C. Lee

        I hope you’ll post pictures on your blog when the garden is in bloom. I just can’t get enough pictures of #1 rue Tatin!

        1. Susan

          Anita, we are currently freezing here, so the garden cannot quite decide what to do – bloom, or sleep! But I will post pictures the minute the garden wakes up!

  2. Dory Herrmann

    This looks and sounds so totally delicious. Even with “my fear of flour” I am going to give it a try. Mum

    1. Susan

      Mom – it’s a breeze. You’ll love it!

  3. Susan Edwards

    Such a ray of needed inspiration and uplift to read your blog.

    1. Susan

      Susan THANK YOU! Now, will you make this tart?!

  4. Alice Davenport McCarthy

    Susan reading Apple Honey tart recipe put me right back into your book IN a French Kitchen that I was reading today and within your 12 techniques were the recipes for the pastry…and you quoted Danie then and used
    her fab techniques. Superbe!!
    it’s like another pass at learning/ hearing about Danie’s shattering pastry (great description,too)
    really will have to make it ASAP.

    1. Susan

      Alice – yes certain characters just keep appearing in my life and kitchen. Danie is one! I’m glad you’re getting to “know” her and her recipes!

  5. ceri

    What is “tender pastry” please?

  6. Barbara Harmer

    Hi Susan, this pie looks amazing, where could I find a recipe for tender pastry

  7. Dawn Murrietta

    Susan, I can taste the carmelization already..yum! I also think it’s wonderful to have a mum partaking in your world of culinary special 🙂

    1. Susan

      I’m very lucky – my mother is a fabulous cook, even at 94!

  8. Leslie Cole

    Susan, We met years ago when I interviewed you as a journalist – first in California and more recently at The Oregonian. I am traveling through Normandy with my husband and two nearly grown boys June 13-15. I would love to see you at Rue Tatin but we likely won’t have time to stop this trip. I hope to return! In the meantime, do you have any suggestions for a nice meal (midday) in the Honfleur area? P.S. I will be making this tart, if not soon, definitely this fall!

    1. Susan

      Lesley! Lovely to hear from you. I’m out of town anyway, so very sorry to miss you this trip and I hope I’m not too late to help you. I would go to Baccaretto. It’s a great little wine bar where everything is delicious, organic, and the wines and fantastic. Good luck, bon appetit!

  9. Lindsay

    Danie’s pie! What a treat. Thank you for sharing this little treasure!!

    1. Susan

      It’s a treasure. An honest treasure.

  10. Trinjia Dell'Aglio

    I made this tonight. It is so good and so easy. I can’t wait to serve it to my family. Thank you!

    1. Susan

      Trinjia – I’m so glad! It is easy, delicious too. You can try it with pears too.

  11. sue

    rosemary apple tart? recipe link? m…m…m!

    1. Susan

      Hello Sue! The recipe is at the end of the blog…can you not view it? Let me know.

  12. Martha

    Sounds delicious, Susan, any particular type of apples you recommend? Think for Thanksgiving I will swap out the traditional apple pie for this…along with the pecan, pumpkin (updated recipe using maple syrup and fresh ginger), mincemeat and chocolate chip pies… the last one because the 16 year old boy (Jack), that you got to eat rabbit liver a few summers ago, will only eat chocolate chip pie!

    1. Susan

      Hello Martha . I had to laugh at the chocolate chip pie! Regarding apples, I’ve used a variety – and I recommend using a variety. Try Fuji and Gala, or there’s a new one (to me) called Envy. Mix and match and it will be delicious!

      1. Martha

        Thanks, Susan. It will have pride of place on the table tomorrow afternoon!

        1. Susan

          I hope it was delicious!

  13. Karen

    This sounds delicious! I had just been thinking of how to switch up some of the traditional desserts so this recipe will do it for the apple pie… Also would love to try your Thanksgiving crescent rolls. Is the recipe in one of your books? Thanks!

    1. Susan

      Karen – the recipe is in On Rue Tatin AND in Farmhouse Cookbook! They’re truly lighter than air!

      1. Karen

        I got Farmhouse Cookbook and while I did not get around to the crescent rolls for Thanksgiving (there’s always next year), I just tried the Country Meatloaf recipe and it was really, really delicious! I have also eaten at many farms in the midwest while in college and always found the food to be fresh and wholesome. Real comfort food. Looking forward to trying some more recipes from Farmhouse Cookbook!

        1. Susan

          Karen – so glad you loved the recipe. That collection is heartwarming and reflective of what I suppose we’d call “immigrant cuisine”. I had no idea when I started the research that I’d end up with an ethnic cookbook!

  14. Janet


    Many thanks for this delicious recipe! Your tender pastry was divine and the apple and pear compote filling with a bit of honey and vanilla bean was perfect. This is my new favorite apple tart.

    1. Susan

      Janet – so glad!!

  15. Jill Molloy

    I threw a little calvados into the apple compote to give it more complex flavor. Simply delicious!

    1. Susan

      Jill – great idea!!!

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