Cinnamon Maple Apple Tart
by Elisa Pecorari
This cinnamon maple apple tart has a tender crisp brown sugar shortbread crust, and a gooey maple cinnamon apple filling and is deceptively easy to make. The crust comes together quickly using melted butter and there’s no need to roll it out - just press it right into the pan. The filling is made by arranging cored and sliced apple halves into the crust and pouring reduced maple cinnamon syrup on top. Bake until golden and bubbling and you have a gorgeous tart, perfect for your thanksgiving or holiday table!
This recipe goes through everything you need to know to successfully remove a tart out of a pan without a removable bottom.
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Bake Time: 40 minutes
Servings: one 9” tart
1 tablespoon butter, for greasing the fluted tube pan mold
2 cups all-purpose flour
⅓ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¾ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
6 medium-large apples, 3 granny smith, 3 ambrosia or other firm apple varieties
½ cup pure real maple syrup
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter, cold and cut into small cubes
2 tablespoons real maple syrup
- Preheat the oven to 355°F (180°C). Rub the inside of the pan with a tablespoon of butter and line the bottom with a round piece of parchment paper. This ensures easy release from the pan.
- In a large bowl, add flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt, and whisk to combine.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together melted and cooled butter, egg yolk, and vanilla extract.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with dry ingredients and stir with a spoon until a dough forms.
- Press the tart dough into the prepared baking pan, pressing dough up the edges (leave ¾” border without crust) to create a tart shell.
- Prick the bottom of the tart with a fork and bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Work on the filling in the meantime.
- Cut the apples into halves and use a small knife or melon baller, cut out the seeds without cutting all the way through the apple half.
- Slice each apple half into thin slices, keeping the slices together.
- Remove the baked tart crust from the oven and sprinkle the bottom with a tablespoon of flour.
- Carefully and gently arrange the apple slices on top of the hot crust, packing them in and fanning them out to create a design. Be careful not to make a hole in the crust.
- Heat the maple syrup in a small saucepan until it comes to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes to reduce the syrup. Add cinnamon and stir.
- Pour the maple cinnamon mixture over the apple filling and top with pieces of butter.
- Bake for 40-50 minutes in the center of the oven until the crust is golden brown, the filling is bubbling, and the apples are soft.
- Let the tart cool inside the pan for 2 hours allowing the filling to set before unmolding.
- Cover the top of the tart pan with a large plate and flip it over, releasing the bottom of the tart from the pan. Remove the parchment paper round.
- Place the serving plate on top of the bottom of the tart and flip it over once more so the tart is right side up and inside of the serving plate.
- Brush the apples in the tart with more maple syrup to make the apples shiny, slice with a sharp knife, and serve.
The tart is best served at room temperature or slightly warmed. Top with ice cream for an extra indulgent treat!
Store refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days, or frozen for up to 2 months.
Tips for success:
- Butter and line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper. Because of the tart’s sticky filling, it is prone to sticking so this will ensure an easy and perfect release.
- Let the tart cool inside the pan for 1-2 hours allowing the filling to set so that the tart stays together while unmolding.
- Simmering the maple syrup before pouring it over the tart concentrates the maple flavor and prevents a soggy bottom crust.
- Pre Baking the crust prevents a soggy bottom and helps ensure perfect release.
- The egg yolk helps give the tart crust more structure while keeping it crisp and tender. This helps the tart keep its shape before unmolding.
- Don’t make the edge of the crust too high above the apples - this can cause the bottom of the tart to cave in while flipping and removing from the pan. Leave a ¾ inch border all along the edge of the pan.
- Real maple syrup will give the tart the best flavor and texture.