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Normandy Apple Pie

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Juicy traditional French apple tart from Normandy.
Here is one of the four official versions of the Tarte Normande, a legendary apple pie from Normandy in France. Every Normand family has its own recipe, but this one comes from a serious French professional pastry cookbook and is just delicious. Reader working in small kitchens or with little time will enjoy the fact that there is only one mix-it-all dough and a small, easy-to-make frosting.

Normand Apple Pie, known as a Normande Tart in French
4 baking apples such as Boskoop, about 700gr / 1.5lbs
200ml / 0.8cup milk
65gr/ 2 oz sugar
Vanilla bean scraped with the sugar or pure vanillin crystals
100gr / 3oz flour
Baking powder
2 eggs
30ml / 1 oz oil (either grapeseed or sunflower oil for minimum impact on taste, or go the whole way with walnut oil that will flavor the whole pie)
50gr / 1.5oz butter
50gr / 1.5oz sugar
1 egg

Weight and measure all ingredients and preheat the oven to medium-high - that's half the job done.

Prepare a bowl and mix flour, baking powder, vanilla and sugar with the liquids - 2 eggs and the oil.

Mix with a paddle ...

... until you get a smooth, yellowish liquid.

Add the milk in one dramatic gesture.

Now that we have our dough ready to protect the apples slices from decay and oxydation, we can start peeling the apples.

Work apple by apple. Stem, core and slice the apples in thin slices, about 12 slices per apple.

As soon as the first apple is sliced, drown the newborn slices into the dough so that they don't brown.

Proceed with the remaining apples.

Sic transit gloria mali.

Grease a pie pan with a stick of butter...

... then sprinkle a little flour ...

... and toss until the whole pan is covered. Good job, FX! If you think I'm good with the stick, you should see me with the carrot.

What's next? You can guess, I guess. Just pour the apple pie mixture into the pan without making a mess.

Here it is. I apologize for having no picture of the dough flowing into the pan, but I shot this with a manual lens and currently only have two hands.

Bake at medium-high heat in the preheated oven for about 40 minutes.

Have a cold one on me. Then prepare the frosting - it is quick, fun and painless. Just measure 50gr/1.5 oz sugar with 50gr/1.5oz butter and one egg. Best have the butter at room temperature than concrete-hard, but do not melt it.

Combine butter and sugar ...

... then add the egg and beat on ...

... until you have a smooth mixture.

Bring out the hot pie from the oven and start shovelling the frosting on top.

Spread to get an even cover ...

... then back into the oven for 15 minutes.

Let the pie cool down for a couple minutes ...

... then slice and serve warm.

And so to bed.



  • #1
  • Comment by Luci
Wow, Francois, you've had a busy week!  What an easy and beautiful recipe - hope you'll be able to take a little time off now :)
This looks incredible!  I found your website just last night and bookmarked it so I could come back today and look at the marvelous recipes you have out here.  I'm sure the butter makes it taste rich and delicious!  ps I'm an artist who happens to love food too.  I really appreciate your wonderful compositions and camera work.
  • #3
  • Comment by evans
looks fantastic! :)
  • #4
  • Comment by Valmi
I hesitated reaching for the Latin dictionary for what seemed like but a mistake. Mea maxima culpa. FXcuisine never disappoints its readers, even when it's being silly.
Perfect comfort food :)

I have just sent the URL for this page to a friend of mine for whom I bought a tarte tatin pan from Dehillerin as birthday present last year. He may wish to try this as well, and I will offer to be his guinea pig again....
  • #6
  • Answered by fx
Luci, ah but this was only part of the week and there was another recipe that will soon be published, and I'm making another one tonight!
  • #7
  • Answered by fx
LC thanks for visiting, I'm glad you like the photos! These were a bit demanding since the lens was manual focus and I have only two hands right now. Composition is a bit dynamic, I wish I could manage to do more carefully composed pictures. On your website I see that you are also of the tenebrist persuasion, loved your Queen Anne’s Lace!
  • #8
  • Answered by fx
Valmi, I could not resist, another reader told me she shared my love of pictures of scrapings and peels, and that's what came to my mind. For the less classically inclined, here is the key: 'Sic transit gloriae mali.' = 'So passes the glory of apples', a play on the motto 'Sic transit gloriae mundi' or 'So finishes the glory of this world' seen on paintings depicting wilted symbols of power, science, arts and glory. The idea is that the glorious fruit is now nothing but tarnished peels, but its spirit lives on in the pie.
  • #9
  • Comment by Branka Klinec

I'm writing from Canada and l must say your website rules!! Amazing recipes and techniques. Have a question on the flour mill you use. When l linked to the site the Wolfgang Tribest came up. Checked it out but does not seem to have any variable grinding setting such as coarse to fine. Which one do you have and how do you like it?

My daughter got me hooked on your cooking website. She was working in investment banking for about 8 years, and l finally talked her into teaching cooking classes. She's been doing it for almost 2 years in London England  and loves it. Her website is www.eatdrinktalk.co.uk/.
Yummm!  That pie looks fantastic. My trip to Normandy was years ago but the fresh pressed cider and apple desserts are still vivid memories.
  • #11
  • Comment by Paulina  C. L. Tognato
François, I finish my Normandy apple pie exactly now. It's Marvellous! It's shinning for the topping and I'll eat with fromage blanc and tea. I used 1 teaspoonfull of baking power, because isn't specify in your recipe and green apples, cause I like your citric taste.
Thanks and congratullations!!!!

  • #12
  • Answered by fx
Hello Branka, thanks for visiting! I use a PK flour mill from Austria, a good model all in wood with a coarseness setting. Don't buy a cheap one with not setting, that's no good and you'll need to buy another one soon after that. I checked your daughter's website, very interesting, I am glad she chose a career she loved rather than endless bore in an office!
  • #13
  • Answered by fx
Dana, thanks for visiting, you can definitely bring a little piece of Normandy into your kitchen with one of them fine US apples, it will taste just the same (I hope you can get good butter too!).
  • #14
  • Answered by fx
Paulina, thanks for trying this so fast, I hope it tasted as good as it looked!
  • #15
  • Comment by Dave Marks
I am writing from the wilds of Montana, USA.  I don't know if you are familiar with the Dutch-oven cooking that we do in the West, but this looks like an ideal recipe to adapt to camp cookery.

Thanks for all your ideas.

  • #16
  • Comment by CKfusionist
Tried it out , super good . I would never imagine any apple pie coming close to this in terms of flavor and the aroma. Oh by the way , you missed out on putting in the vanilla in the recipe and the baking powder in the ingredient section but great recipe otherwise , Thumbs UP !!!
  • #17
  • Answered by fx
Dave I sure like campfire cooking US style but am more familiar with the Southwest recipes. Have you looked into my Peasoup and Uzbek Plov articles? I'd feel more confident wiht those on a campfire, the Normand Apple Pie is quite a bit of work!
  • #18
  • Answered by fx
CKfusionist, I just corrected the article, thanks for your attention and I'm glad it worked for you!
Nice recipe. My husband loves Apple pie made by me :). This one sounds yummy too. Will definitely try it this weekend.
  • #20
  • Comment by Barbara
This looks fabulous..would you please tell me how much 'baking powder' I'm to use?
Thanks kindly...
  • #21
  • Answered by fx
Barbara, just a small teaspoon baking powder should work fine.
  • #22
  • Comment by Michel Dracoulakis
It been a month or so that I found your blog. I should say I was amazed (I am still) with the pictures, but mostly with the recipes.
I am just finishing this pie and a most wonderful smell has taken my house.
From Brazil, thank you FX.
  • #23
  • Answered by fx
Michel, thanks for trying this apple pie and I'm glad it worked for you!
  • #24
  • Comment by Krish
Have made it twice now. Perfect. Just one word of advice for others. Please use a big tray so that the layer thickness is 1/2 inch. That way it bakes nicely throughout. I baked at 160 centigrade.
  • #25
  • Answered by fx
Krish, I hope this pie will become one of your classics!
  • #26
  • Comment by Catherine
FX, not to nitpick, but it's "gloria," not "gloriae." "Gloriae" would either be the genitive, dative, or nominative plural, none of which work here.

The pie looks delicious though!
  • #27
  • Comment by Krish
Just to add to my previous comments, I now have started to add 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon. I have not yet looked back since then.
  • #28
  • Answered by fx
Krish, I think cinammon is a great addition to this recipe. Glad you liked it!
  • #29
  • Answered by fx
Catherine, at last a reader who knows her Latin! Thanks for the correction. You just can't look up made-up latin sayings I guess.
  • #30
  • Comment by Melissa
I've been searching for a good recipe that involves apples since we just picked the apples from the tree in our backyard.
This one looks perfect; I'm going to try the recipe right now and see if my picky mother likes it. :D
  • #31
  • Answered by fx
Melissa, I wish you success in your first Normandy Apple Pie and thank you for choosing my recipe for your freshly-picked apples!
  • #32
  • Comment by don siranni
Francois,How did you infuse the vanilla flavor to the sugar?Maybe just drop a piece into the sugar bowl? Or just quickly roll/rub in the sugar?
  • #33
  • Comment by Jen
This tasted even better the next day - a slice slightly warmed up in the microwave oven. Maybe because I had added a bit of cinnamon and nutmeg in the topping. The day before, I thought the flavour was a bit too eggy (3 eggs in the whole pie sounded like too much!). The next time I make this, I'll reduce the flour in the lower layer by 10g and see how it turns out.
  • #34
  • Comment by anaD
Hi FX,

The pie looks amazing and I can bet it tastes the same! How much backing powder to put...I would like to try it and I am far from being a master in sweets so I need precise instructions :))
  • #35
  • Comment by Kevin
I'm keen to try to make this is cast iron skillet. Do you think it would work?
  • #36
  • Comment by Dan & Robin(12yrs)
Having just returned from Mont St Michel and trasted this amazing Normandie Apple tart I was amazed to find your recipe.
Even though I'm English I live in Bassano del Grappa in N Italy.Couldn't find any Boskoop so my daughter and I decided to use an apple thats sometimes used for cooking.Followed your recipe to the Tee and even though it came out of the oven looking identical to yours we both found the taste to be disappointing...could this be down to the type of apple(maybe we need a more tart apple) and
the size of the pie dish(26cm)that would make the difference...my daughter said she could taste more egg than apple and we certainly put enough apples in the dish.
Any advise you could give would be great,we will persevere but any help would be appreciated
Dan & Robin
  • #37
  • Comment by Chris
Thank you so much for this recipe. Even if i am not a fan of apple pies, i tried this due to my sweet memories from Normandy. It is tasty and "light", also full of flavor.
Thanks again and keep it up.
  • FX's answer→ Glad you tried it Chris!

  • #39
  • Comment by Katie
how long do you bake it for?
  • #40
  • Comment by Max
Hello there, FX. I am curious - you mention this recipe came from a cookbook. Which book is it?
  • FX's answer→ Max this was from "Les meilleures tartes de France : tome 2" by Daniel Chaboissier

  • #42
  • Comment by ozu que vichyssoise
Hola, quiero escribir para hacer justicia, he hecho esta receta y está buenisima y creo que esto se debe saber.
Saludos, y muchas gracias.
  • FX's answer→ Muchas gracias, muy feliz que fue un exito!

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