Easy Fresh Apple Tart ~ Homage to Julia Child

Fresh-Apple-Tart-Julia-ChildFellow IACP members, who recognizes this plate?  Julia Child was a founding member of the International Association of Culinary Professionals; over the years, the group’s cookbook awards gala grew to a rather big splash.  The year 1997 was so splashy, attendees received this commemorative platter and Julia took the time to autograph plates for anyone who asked.   I didn’t ask, as I was probably pretending to be Too Cool To Ask.

IACP Commemorative Plate

Not too cool for a book autograph, however.  A few years earlier I had her sign a copy of The Way to Cook as a gift for Larry, who was in the midst of perfecting his pizza making.

The Julie & Julia movie gives reasons to once again fall in love with Julia Child.  My first Julia encounter was in the late 80s at the IACP conference, and I’d see her pretty much each year until her health prevented travel.  I grew up not knowing PBS, so I wasn’t aware of how HUGE a fan base Julia had; she was easy to sit with at a function and ate asparagus with her fingers.  The year our conference was in San Francisco, however, I remember walking out of the hotel to encounter crowds and TV cameras, causing me to wonder what big celebrity must be here.  Julia stepped out a few paces behind me and to my surprise, the place went nuts.  It was a pleasant experience to realize a foodie was a rock star.

Larry accompanied me to a few IACP conferences (I’ve missed one in 22 years).  Providence, RI was his first Julia encounter; he stole her chair.  Not on purpose, one particular dinner party was wild eating, lots of fun and crowded with not enough chairs.  I scored a seat, he looked around, spotted an empty one and started to move it over.  Then someone gently told him whose seat he was swiping, and you’d have thought his pants were on fire, he got that chair back to its place pronto before Julia returned with her plate.

From Julia to Larry.

I can thank Julia for a treasured speech-giving tip.  She often co-hosted presentations and when the other person spoke, she turned her full attention to them as though she was listening to the smartest person on the planet.  It was a generous gesture on her part – in front of an audience of 1500, she was not thinking about her own next sentence, she wanted her co-presenter to be heard.

The LA Times ran a playful article about Nora Ephron, her Julie & Julia movie, and the task of making Fresh Apple Tart.  I love love love Nora Ephron (you must read her book, Heartburn, it’s a foodie hoot), so the same day, I made a Julia-ish tart.  With all due respect to Julia’s totally scratch cooking, mine is a shortcut method and uses slightly less sugar:

Easy Fresh Apple Tart ~ adapted from a Julia Child recipe

  • 1 9-inch unbaked pie crust (I used a ready-made product)
  • 2 Granny Smith apples
  • 3 Tbsp. sugar, divided


  • 3/4 cup apricot jam
  • 2 Tbsp. dark rum

Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray.  Lay out the pie crust flat onto the baking sheet.  Wet the edges all around with a little water and fold approx. 1/2 inch over to form a raised edge.  Don’t try to make it look perfect, Julia’s tart is rustic looking.  Using the tines of a fork, gently press the inside half of the folded edge all around to seal the fold, leaving the outside rim un-squished so it will rise when baked.  Poke the bottom of the shell with the fork every 3 inches or so.  Place into the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.   Peel, core and slice the apples approximately 1/8 inch thick.  Remove the tart shell from the refrigerator and sprinkle the bottom with 2 Tbsp. sugar.  Lay the apple slices evenly in a fan pattern around the shell.  Sprinkle the top of the apples with the remaining 1 Tbsp. sugar.  Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the crust edge is golden and the apples are tender.  Remove from the oven, let it sit for 5 minutes, then slide tart from pan onto a rack.

To make the glaze, in a small saucepan, stir together the jam and rum.  Over a medium heat, boil the mixture for approximately 3 minutes, stirring with a whisk occasionally.  Using a pastry brush, coat the apple slices with the hot glaze.  Serve tart warm.   Makes 6 to 8 servings.

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 F Kirkland October 9, 2016 at 9:22 am

Hello! I have been trying to find this recipe(original) for a number of years – I used to watch the Galloping Gourmet religiously 😀 I remember watching Graham Kerr making this and referring to it as an “Apple pizza”, so you can imagine the difficulty! Lol
Anyway, a bit disappointed because it was the WAY he made the dough that I’ve been missing – imagine, finally finding this only to find the biggest mystery, is STILL a mystery! Lol
Ah well, at least I can search more based on the term “tart” now anyway! Thanks for a great site!

2 Travler2130 February 13, 2011 at 8:17 pm

I have just put down my final forkful of this delicious tart. I made a couple minor changes tho. I made four small tarts and used a different glaze. A friend had given me a jar of crabapple/currant jelly so I used that and also substituted OJ for rum (didn’t have any in the cub bard). My husband said “wow you can make these anytime!!” Thanks for the yummy recipe. I am looking forward to receiving your newsletter.

3 megan March 3, 2010 at 5:24 pm

Great post! How fun that you met Julia Child! I actually just had a dinner party based on the movie Julie and Julia. I made Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon as the main dish – so much work, but so worth it! It was delicious! 🙂

4 Laura Snow August 21, 2009 at 12:48 pm

well the stories of Julia pulled me, finally, into your blog. Patti, great job! I can’t wait to make the apple tart recipe; it looks good.

How do you print just the recipe? Your not so tecky friend, Laura
Patti comments: PRINT THIS RECIPE function is in the works.

5 Raghavan Iyer,CCP August 5, 2009 at 2:01 pm

Patty – that was my first IACP conference and i remember sitting at a workshop next to Julia tingling like a nervous school boy – i still have that plate and use it all the time – thanks for all that you do for IACP

6 Jeff Parker August 4, 2009 at 10:22 pm

What a nice story… Thank you for sharing it.

7 Vicki Thompson August 3, 2009 at 11:14 am

LOVE the plate – I still have mine – brings back memories of how sweetly and gently Graham Kerr would escort Ms. Julia around the IACP meetings! They’re great… went on a culinary tour through IACP to Sicily with my Dad where we ate and drank our way (God bless the Sicilians for Limoncello!) and then met family we did not know we had! But I digress … the plate is great and your blog is wonderful – I LOVE your writing style you are funny and clever.

8 Deborah Schroeder August 3, 2009 at 6:43 am

Hi Patti, thanks for the lovely memory of meeting Julia. She was larger than life and a lot more fun! I tell everyone that my prize possession is the autographed copy of Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home. The book includes my photos of both. (Check out the section on her story of the original Caesar Salad – page 106 – great Julia story.) I also have the plate and gave them as gifts to close friends. Plan to try the Apple Tart this weekend. Again, thanks for the most wonderful memories! Happy Cooking!

9 Lauraine Jacobs August 1, 2009 at 1:35 am

Patti, just love the Julia stories and believe it or not I used my plate like that this week too. And I cannot wait for the movie to come to New Zealand. Not sure if I am a bigger fan of Julia or Nora!

10 Robin Kline July 31, 2009 at 3:06 pm

Oh of course Patti! That plate! I have a set of 8! Love them, oversized for big Thanksgiving dinner….lovely as a charger or as you’ve displayed here, to show off a tart….

11 Robin Kline July 31, 2009 at 3:05 pm

Hee hee; what great memories!
Did I tell you about the time I took Julia to the (Clinton) White House? for lunch. with Hillary. Yes, I suppose it’s bragging rights, but really just a fabulous, memorable time. Julia would not have been happy to visit during the Bush years. She was THE celebrity of the hour; a young Marine gushed over her and I realized so well how very much a National Treasure she was.

12 Denise Vivaldo July 31, 2009 at 1:19 pm

Where is my IACP plate? I have to go into my storage room -I should give it your, Larry -so you have two. I always thought it was so weird that they gave us one plate! Love this entry -Julia would be so happy and would want to eat a piece of your tart.

13 Ann Baker July 31, 2009 at 11:17 am

Love your blog as always! And I love apple tart and Julia!

Question – when you say move tart to a rack, do you mean slide it off the baking pan and onto the rack? Or leave it in the pan?

Patti comments: slide it. Thanks for asking and I just fixed that on the recipe.

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