On The Job: Apple Crumble Tarts

First, I must apologize for the radio silence. Sometimes, you just need to take a little break, and I’ve been enjoying mine on the couch with a crossword puzzle.

I’m on Martha’s Vineyard with my family. It’s the first time in possibly 10 or so years since we’ve been here in the off-season. All the Christmas lights are up in town, and if the fog was just slightly more intense and I couldn’t see the harbor, it would feel like a little ski village in the Alps.

Before I left, I trudged through the last leg of holiday catering, which included my first goose. I wasn’t so sure at the time, but after spending Christmas with my friend Keith’s family and sampling not one, but two geese, I’ve concluded that I did a pretty decent job on the bird, even if everything in my client’s kitchen was covered in a thick layer of grease by the end. As I mentioned here, I also cooked for my first proposal dinner. I wasn’t there for the big moment, but there were plenty of tears, and by the time dinner was served, they were really ready to savor a meal.

The groom and I planned the menu around his bride-to-be’s tastes, which included artichokes, zucchini, and apple cobbler. He said that he wasn’t sure if she even cared for the apple part, but always eagerly devoured the biscuit topping. I made these polenta bites to start, followed by a version of these zucchini cakes with tarragon crème fraiche, frisee, and crispy sunchokes on top (pictured here). Next, a roasted beet salad with burrata and pistachio pesto. The main course was a fresh linguine in a rich butternut squash sauce. And finally, these apple tarts.

Per the groom’s specifications, the tarts were only about 20 percent apple. The rest was a shortbread crust, no dough rolling necessary, and a great crumble topping, both adapted from the Blueberry Crisp Tart in my book. I paired the tart with an ice wine from the Finger Lakes, which unfortunately lived up to its name after I forgot to take it out of the freezer. (It defrosted, don’t worry).

This weekend a few friends are coming up to join me by the blustery sea. We have big plans to make fires, play board games, and drink hot toddies. I’m planning a very elaborate meal for New Year’s Eve, since it’s high time I started making some of this overly indulgent food for my friends. For a sneak peak, click here. The apple tarts are definitely making the menu, because if there’s ever a time to eat a little gluten, it’s 30 minutes before you have to resolve never to do it again.

Eat up, and happy almost New Year!


Apple Crumble Tarts

Serving Size: Makes 2 tarts

If you want to make this recipe into one tart, simply use a 9-inch tart pan. But you might want to use another half an apple to make the filling extra prominent.


  • For the crust:
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1⁄4 cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • For the filling:
  • 1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • For the crumble:
  • 1⁄4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1⁄4 cup rolled oats
  • 1⁄4 cup sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • Vanilla gelato, for serving (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In a bowl, mix all the crust ingredients together with a spoon or spatula. Press the
  3. dough into two 5-inch fluted tart pans with a removable bottom. Use your fingers to spread the dough evenly, and be sure to press it up the sides - you might have a little extra dough leftover. Use a measuring cup to round the sides and press the bottom evenly. Place the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake the crust for 10 to 12 minutes, until it is golden.
  4. Let the crust cool to room temperature, 10 minutes. If it has risen slightly, use the measuring cup to repack and shape the crust.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare the filling: In a bowl, toss the apples with the lemon juice, sugar, and cinnamon.
  6. Make the crisp topping: In a bowl, combine the flour, oats, sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Work in the butter, using your fingers, until you have a dry dough that clumps together when you press it.
  7. When the crust is cool, divide the apple mixture between the tarts – it can be a rather rustic pile. Sprinkle the crisp topping over the top in an even mound, and return the tart to the oven. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, just until the crust is lightly browned, and the topping is crisp.
  8. Cool slightly, then remove the tarts from the pans. Serve with vanilla ice cream and a little caramel sauce.

instagram  If you make this, share a photo and tag me @PhoebeLapine #feedmephoebe - I would love to see it!



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5 Responses to On The Job: Apple Crumble Tarts

  1. Frankie says:

    Please marry me Phoebe

  2. Phoebe, this looks absolutely delicious! Will be trying these soon. Can I use tart pans that DO NOT have removable bottoms? If so, how do I remove the tart from the pans without spilling / destroying this beauty? Thanks, from Jen

    • Thanks, Jen! The removable bottom does certainly make it easier. Since you have the crumble topping, inverting it isn’t an option. But you can try to wedge your knife in the side to get the tarts out of there. Of course, if you’re making a full sized tart, there’s always the option of cutting it into slices in the pan! Hope that it works out, and thank you for stopping by! xo

  3. Pingback: Christmas 2013 Menu | Healthy Dorm Room Living

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