DessertFrançois de MéloguePies & TartsProvencal RecipesTaste

Apple Creme Brûlée Tart a French Dessert for the Soul

Recently, I posted a picture of an Apple Creme Brûlée tart, or what essentially could be called the love child of a creme brulee and an apple tart. The response was so overwhelming that I thought about publishing the recipe in a new book: “How To Get Fat(ter) During a Quarantine: 75 Delicious Recipes to Stress Eat To.” Perhaps a little dark gallows humour that I hope offends no one. Humour and eating are my coping mechanisms for all the stress of losing a job and the world crumbling around me.

Looking for comfort in food and with time on my hands, I experimented with combining the irresistible flavours of a warm apple tart with a classic French crème brûlée. The result? A hands-down success, especially when paired with a late harvest Gewurztraminer (2013) from Husch Vineyards.

Apple-Creme-Brûlée-Tart French Desserts

Apple Creme Brûlée Tart

Chef François de Mélogue
There are several steps to creating this dessert, and the dough should rest overnight. The end result is delicious, so don't rush the process. Enjoy the results!
4.50 from 2 votes
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 40 minutes
Resting Time (dough) 2 hours
Total Time 3 hours 40 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine French, Provencal
Servings 6 people


For the Dough:

  • 12 oz (340g) All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 pinch Sea Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 8 oz (226g) Unsalted Butter cut in small pieces
  • 1/2 cup (118ml) cold water or slightly less or a tad more

For the Apples:

  • 3 tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 6 Apples Granny Smith peeled, cored & cut in 1/8ths
  • 1/4 cup (60g) Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Orange for the grated zest
  • 1/2 tsp Cloves
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup (177ml) heavy cream (35%)
  • 1 large Egg Yolk
  • 1 tbsp Honey
  • 1/4 tsp Vanilla extract


To Make the Dough:

  • To make the dough, in a food processor, pulse the flour, salt and baking powder together.
  • Add the butter and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse cornmeal.
  • With the motor running, add just enough ice-cold water so that the dough forms into a loose ball.
  • Gather the dough into a ball and cover it with plastic wrap. Let it rest for one (1) hour or overnight in the refrigerator.
  • On a floured work surface with a floured rolling pin, roll the dough out to a 12-inch circle.
  • Use your rolling pin to roll up the dough and unroll over the tart pan.
  • Press dough into the corners and pinch tightly on the edges. Do not worry if the edges look ragged. It is important to pinch tight because this will keep the dough from shrinking.
  • Refrigerate for one (1) hour.

To Caramelize the Apples:

  • In a large, heavy ovenproof skillet over medium heat, melt the butter until foamy. Add the granulated sugar and cook, stirring occasionally, until it starts to caramelize and turn light brown, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the apples, orange zest, cloves, and cinnamon until the apples are well coated.
  • Cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples start to brown, about 10 minutes.

Assemble the Tart:

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • Bake the tart shell until the dough is very lightly brown, about 15 minutes.
  • Whisk the cream, egg yolk, honey, and vanilla together then put aside.
  • Remove the tart shell from the oven and arrange the apple wedges in a circle.
  • Pour cream mixture over and bake for 15 minutes, or until the cream is set.


Optional: You could take the creme brulee aspect one step further and dust with superfine sugar and take a blow torch to the top to caramelize the sugar.
Keyword Apples, Cream, Dessert, Tartes, Tarts
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Chef François de Mélogue

François de Mélogue grew up in a very French household in Chicago. His earliest attempts at cookery began with the filleting of his sister’s goldfish at age two and a braised rabbit dish made with his pet rabbits by age seven. He eventually stopped cooking his pets and went to the highly esteemed New England Culinary Institute, where he graduated top of his class in 1985.

Chef François has over 30 years of cross-cultural culinary experience and brings an impressive culinary history and a unique Mediterranean cooking style. After graduating top of his class from the notable New England Culinary Institute, Chef François began his career in a number of highly acclaimed kitchens across the country, including Chef Louis Szathmary’s restaurant The Bakery in Chicago, Old Drovers Inn, a Relais and Chateaux property in New York and Joel Robuchon Gastronomie restaurant in Paris, before opening award-winning restaurant Pili Pili in his hometown of Chicago, rated in the Top Ten new restaurants in the World by Food and Wine magazine in 2003.

Chef François resides in St Albans, Vermont with his wife Lisa and ten-year-old son Beaumont, who has proclaimed himself the family saucier. Chef François' latest publication French Cooking for Beginners: 75+ Classic Recipes to Cook Like a Parisian takes you on a culinary journey well beyond the streets of Paris. Francois is a professional photographer specializing in food/product photography, real estate photography and shooting rural landscapes of Vermont and France. Explore his work on

Take a look at his website Simple French Cooking filled with delicious recipes and beautiful photos. Also follow Francois on Medium for more tempting dishes Pistou and Pastis.


  1. October 29, 2020 at 4:40 pm — Reply

    I am just about to try this delicious looking recipe but wonder on the pie dish size – I presume 9inch but can you confirm this please.

    • October 29, 2020 at 6:46 pm — Reply

      Hello Travis,

      Yes, you should use a 9-inch pie plate. Enjoy the recipe!

  2. Nik
    February 26, 2022 at 1:13 pm — Reply

    I assume after it’s removed from the oven it’s supposed to set in fridge overnight to finish? Like crème brûlée normally does? The instructions end abruptly after baking for 15min but the time elapsed for the full recipe shows 9 hours. Please advise. It looks wonderful! Thank you!

    • February 26, 2022 at 1:32 pm — Reply

      Thank you for reading Perfectly Provence and wanting to try Chef François’ delicious dessert recipe. The baking time is 30 minutes (15 for the shell and 15 with the caramelized apples and cream mixture). The dough, if you are making your own, needs to rest for at least 2 hours or overnight. The recipe is correct now.

      • Nik
        February 27, 2022 at 8:22 pm — Reply

        Fantastic! I hope to try this recipe soon. Once I do, I will leave a review. Thank you for the correction!

  3. Maggie
    July 20, 2022 at 2:18 pm — Reply

    4 stars
    So, is this supposed to be served hot, warm, cold????

    • July 21, 2022 at 7:38 am — Reply

      Hello, The tart can be served warm or at room temperature, either way it is delicious.

  4. Beverly
    November 22, 2023 at 2:24 pm — Reply

    Can this be made a day ahead?

    • November 22, 2023 at 4:05 pm — Reply

      Hello, yes you can make the apple creme brûleé in advance. If you have time warm it slightly before serving. Enjoy!

  5. BB
    November 23, 2023 at 9:13 am — Reply

    Hi there. Not sure what I did wrong, I followed recipe exactly but when pulling it out of the oven, it was still liquid? Should I let it sit and set more?

    • November 24, 2023 at 10:13 am — Reply

      Hello again, did it work by baking a little longer?

  6. Kae
    March 29, 2024 at 3:39 pm — Reply

    5 stars
    Also perfect amount of ingredients for a 13 3/4″ x 4 1/2″ x 1″ high rectangular tart tin. Let it sit an hour on the counter before serving. set up perfectly.
    Delicious. Thank you!

    • March 31, 2024 at 5:45 pm — Reply

      So glad that you enjoyed the recipe!

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