French Apple Tart–The Vegan Way

With the arrival of fall, and Thanksgiving around the corner, apples are a big dessert item!  I can’t remember a fall where I didn’t have something with apples in it for dessert.  Whether an apple pie, an apple tart, or good old fashioned apple crisp, apples are an all-American favorite!

One of the reasons I specifically enjoy a good apple tart, is because it doesn’t have to be overly sweet, and you can still enjoy the amazing flavor of seasonal apples.  When it comes to tarts, the French make some of the best.  However, for those of you who avoid using animal products, here is a vegan modification of a classic French Apple Tart recipe!  By the way, I don’t always stick to just apples.  Sometimes, for a little variation on a theme, I throw in dried cranberries and pecans, or pears and apples, or raisins and chopped walnuts.  You can just get creative with this, which is always a lot of fun!




1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup fine-grated sugar
1/2 cup butter substitute (Earth Balance)
2 tbsp ground flax seed
2 tbsp cold water
2-3 tbsp chilled coconut milk
1/4 cup finely chopped (I use a bullet) pecans


  • Mix together flour and sugar.  Cut in Earth Balance until mixture has large pea-size crumbs.
  • Sprinkle flax over the water and 2 tbsp of the coconut milk, then whisk until goopy.  Add to flour mixture along with the finely chopped pecans and mix with a fork until it comes together into a soft dough.  If too dry, add more coconut milk as needed.
  • Press dough into a metal bowl, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least one hour.  You can even leave this in overnight.
  • When pastry is cooled, roll out into a 12-13 inch circle on a floured surface.  Carefully place dough into a 9.5 inch tart pan, letting the excess hand over the sides. Trim overhanging dough to 1/2 inch.  Fold overhang into the pan and press dough into the pan to make a smooth and uniform shell.
  • Place shell in the freezer and preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • When oven is a heat, line shell with aluminum foil and fill with dried beans.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until crust has dried out.  After 15 mins, pull back some of the foil and check if it is wet/oily.  If it is, replace the foil and check again in two mins.
  • Once dry, remove foil/beans, reduce heat to 350 degrees, and bake for another 3-5 minutes, until very lightly golden (you only want to partially bake the crust).  Let cool on a wire rack.

2 lbs cooking apples (about 5), peeled, cored, and cut into uniform 1/2 inch CHUNKY pieces
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp Earth Balance, melted
2 cooking apples, cored, and thinly sliced  (you can peel these, but I frequently leave the skin on this group of apples)
1 tbsp margarine, melted
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tbsp. brandy (optional)
1/3 cup apricot jam

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Mix together apple pieces, sugar, lemon juice and melted margarine in a large bowl and spread in a single layer on the baking sheet.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until soft and mash-able.  Mash until chunky and set aside to cool.
  • Once cooled, spread into the cooled tart crust.
  • Uniformly layer the sliced apples over the apple sauce mixture.
  • NOTE: The apples will shrink when cooked, so don’t space them too far apart. You can even overlap them slightly.  Brush lightly with Earth Balance, then sprinkle sugar over the top. For a stronger cinnamon taste, you can sprinkle this along with the sugar on top.
  • Bake for 45-50 minutes, unit apples are soft.  Let cool on a wire rack for 30 mins.
  • Heat apricot jam in a small saucepan over medium heat until bubbling.  Strain through a fine mesh sieve, then brush gently over the apples.  Serve at room temp, or heat it up and serve it a la mode with your favorite vegan vanilla ice cream!


Brittany resides in beautiful Santa Barbara, California, and may be contacted for events, private parties, weddings, cooking classes, and craft and catering services via her website: 

TASTE…and See


10 thoughts on “French Apple Tart–The Vegan Way

  1. Looks so good! I’m making an apple pie for Thanksgiving and will have to use some of these tips. Congrats on being nominated for the Liebster award as well! Keep up the good work

    – Jenn

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