The Inn at Little Washington’s Granny Smith Apple Tart

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

America's Best Chefs Cook with Jeremiah Tower

America's Best Chefs Cook with Jeremiah Tower

By Jeremiah Tower

Published 2003

  • About

The tarts can be assembled well in advance and baked just before serving. Puff pastry can be used instead of the pie crust dough, if you prefer.


  • 1 recipe pie crust dough
  • 2 Granny Smith apples
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • cup Southern Comfort whiskey
  • cup cinnamon sugar


On a lightly floured board, roll out the pie dough approximately inch thick. Turn a 5-inch mixing bowl (or other round form) upside down on the pastry and cut out circles, using up as much of the rolled-out dough as possible to get 6 rounds. Refrigerate the rounds between sheets of waxed paper.

Peel and core the apples. Cut them into -inch slices.

Melt the butter in a large saute pan and add the apples. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring twice. Add the cinnamon and cream and stir again. Then add the whiskey, averting your face in case it ignites, as it will if you are using a gas stove. Continue cooking the apples until they are soft and pliable, about 10 minutes.

Remove the apples with a slotted spoon onto a nonreactive baking sheet and refrigerate until well chilled.

Simmer the cooking liquid left in the sauté pan until reduced by half. Set this mixture aside to glaze the tarts after they are baked.

Remove the pastry rounds from the refrigerator. Butter enough cookie sheets to hold the rounds and lay out the pastry on them. Place the cooked, chilled apple slices in concentric circles around the pastry, leaving a ¼-inch border at the edges. Roll an apple slice into a tight circle to form a rosette and place in the center of each tart. The tarts may be assembled ahead to this point and refrigerated for 1 day.

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Dust each of the tarts with the cinnamon sugar and bake them for 7 minutes, or until the crusts are a rich golden brown. Remove the tarts from the oven and brush with the reserved cooking liquid glaze.

Being in the heart of apple-growing country, we’ve tried every apple dessert imaginable over the years. This is the most delicate of apple tarts. Apple slices are sauteed briefly in butter, whiskey, and cream, then arranged on thin discs of pastry and baked just before serving. A scoop of ice cream melting on top or a dollop of crème fraîche makes them even more irresistible.

Patrick O’Connell