This Apple Pecan Tart is an absolute showstopper. It looks impressive, but it’s incredibly easy and perfect for Thanksgiving or any fall gathering!
Traditionally, apple tarts have a “frangipane” filling which is essentially a sweetened almond paste. Here, we used the same idea but swapped the almonds with toasted pecans and added warming spices. The result is a mix between a pecan pie and an apple pie and just incredible!
And while there are a lot of things I love about this Apple Pecan Tart, but one of my favorite things is how you can really customize it. You can make this as pretty or as rustic as you like. Here, we made a frame for the apples out of the puff pastry and lined the apples up in tight rows. Alternatively, you can roll the dough out in an oval, spoon the pecan filling in the middle and fold over the edges for a more rustic look. Either way, it’ll taste the same.
Also, even though I am planning to make my Paleo Pecan Pie Blondies this year (which is included in my full Thanksgiving Menu), this is a great dessert alternative and one I know I will be making for other events this season.
So gather your ingredients and you will have an impressive dessert for your fall gathering in no time with this Apple Pecan Tart!
Apple Pecan Tart
For the Filling:
- 3/4 cup toasted pecans roughly chopped
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¼ tsp Kosher salt
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter chilled, cut into ¼” pieces
- 1 large egg room temperature, beaten
- ½ tsp almond extract
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
For the Glaze:
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 tbsp whiskey or bourbon optional
- 2 tbsp light brown sugar
- 2 tsp orange zest
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- 1 sheet puff pastry thawed
- all purpose flour
- 3 medium pink lady apples cored and thinly sliced (about 2-3 cups)
- 1 large egg beaten
- 1 tsp water
- ` turbinado sugar optional
- vanilla ice cream optional
- Preheat oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
For the Filling:
- In a high speed blender, combine the pecans, sugar, and salt. Pulse until the pecans are finely ground, similar to the texture of almond flour. Add the butter, and pulse until the mixture is smooth. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the sides. Add the eggs, almond extract, vanilla extract, and cinnamon, and blend until you have a cohesive mixture, similar to the texture of a natural nut butter (it’ll still have some texture to it, not completely creamy). Set aside until you’re ready to assemble.
For the Glaze:
- In a small bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, whisky, brown sugar, lemon juice, lemon and orange zest, and the spices. Whisk until smooth. Set aside.
For the Crust:
- Whisk together the egg and water to make your egg wash. Set aside.
- Add a sheet of parchment paper to your work surface and add a dusting of flour. Carefully unfold a sheet of puff pastry onto the board. Dust your rolling pin with flour, and begin to roll out the dough to a 16” x 12” rectangle. You may need to rotate the dough to make sure it's even. Slide the pastry and the parchment onto a baking sheet. Using a pairing knife, slice a 1” border around all sides so that you have 4 long strips. Brush the borders of the dough rectangle with a bit of egg wash,and carefully place the strips of dough back on top of the dough, like you’re making a picture frame.
- To the dough, add ⅔ cup the pecan filling and spread out in an even layer in the center of the “frame”. Carefully arrange the sliced apples on top of the pecan filling in rows, overlapping them tightly.Atop the apples, using a pastry brush, glaze the apples with ⅓ of the glaze. (You’ll use the rest basting the tart halfway through and for drizzling.)
- To finish, brush the sides of the tart with the egg wash and sprinkle the sides of the dough with a bit of turbinado sugar (if using).
- Transfer to the oven on the middle rack and bake for 20 minutes. At the 20 minute mark, brush the apples with another ⅓ of the glaze and transfer back to the oven. Reduce the heat down to 350, and cook for an additional 10 minutes until the crust is puffed, apples are cooked, and the glaze is caramelized.
- To serve, brush with the remaining glaze and serve warm with vanilla ice cream, if desired.