Monet’s Apple Tartlets

11:30 am on 23 May 2016

Apple desserts were a favourite of Claude Monet. He grew Reine des Reinettes russet apples in his orchard, along with Comice pears and several varieties of peaches, plums and cherries. He and his wife, Alice, brought back the recipe for Tarte Tatin, the renowned upside-down caramelized apple tart, from their stays at Hôtel Tatin in Lamotte-Beuvron, about 100 miles south of Paris. Monet painted a seductive version of an apple tart in a famous canvas titled Les Galettes. Made with puff pastry and caramelized apples with a drizzle of Calvados, this is the perfect dessert to end any meal.

Makes 4 mini tartlets


  • 4 small granny smith apples
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 2 sheets of flaky puff pastry
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten
  • 3 T, unsalted butter, cut into very small pieces
  • 3 T sugar
  • ½ C Crème Fraiche
  • 1 t Calvados


Preheat oven to 220 °C

Using a small saucer or 4-inch ring as a guide, cut out 4 rounds of pastry.

Transfer the pastry to a baking tray lined with baking paper.

Lightly brush the pastry with egg yolk.

Arrange the apple slices in concentric circles over the pastry, starting at the edge.

Place 4-5 pieces of the butter on top of each tartlet and sprinkle each with 1 teaspoon sugar.

Bake for 10 minutes, then brush with apricot glaze.

Return to the oven for a further 15-20 minutes, or until the apples are lightly golden and the pastry has risen and is fully cooked through.

Mix the crème fraiche with the calvados.

To serve the tartlets, place on a plate with a spoonful of calvados cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce.

Caramel Sauce

  • 1 C cream
  • 1 C brown sugar
  • 200g unsalted butter

Combine ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat.

Cook stirring, until it has thickened to desired consistency.

Apricot Glaze

  • ¼ C Apricot jam
  • 2 t boiling water

Heat jam and water together until melted to a liquid.

Strain through a sieve to remove fruit lumps.  Cool slightly before using.

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