Two sweet tart recipes to set a fall scene
Monday, Sep 30, 2019

chocolate ganache tart and apple tart

October may be the month of Halloween, but fall always begins in September. Leaves change, kids prepare to go back-to-school and there is pumpkin EVERYTHING. Growing up, the best parts of fall were dressing up with friends and running door-to-door for candy in the neighborhood, carving pumpkins into crazy faces, decorating the bushes with cheap spiderwebs and making apple pie with my grandmother.

Celebrating Halloween as a young adult isn’t the same anymore! Friends want to go to parties, costumes are too expensive and the closest thing to Halloween food is the little pumpkin-shaped Reese’s peanut butter cups at the grocery store. We can make the most of going to farm markets and you-pick-it farms for cute Instagram photos and use the season’s freshest ingredients, such as apples, sweet potatoes, cranberries and of course, pumpkin!

In class, I recently made French Apple Tart, which really put me in the fall mood, as I sliced up the juicy granny smith apples and smelled their tartness baking in the oven. The apple compote filling was soft but not too chewy, while the apples on top were cooked but still had a nice crispness to bite into.

Along with the French Apple Tart, I created Chocolate Ganache Tarts which looked amazing. The creamy chocolate complemented the flaky crust so nicely and what turned this chocolate tart into a fun, fall dessert was the white chocolate contrast against the dark, creating a psychedelic spiderweb design within the tart. I thought to myself, “this is it.”

It was such an easy recipe to make that would be great for Halloween parties with friends or a yummy treat for kids. To make it more themed, you can top it off with candy, fruit, create marshmallow ghosts or pipe chocolate spiders.

Who doesn’t want an easy recipe to bake for a crowd that looks professionally done? This past baking class has brought the enjoyment back into fall for me and made me excited for what’s next to come for these amber months.

Pate Sucree (Sweet Tart Dough)

Ingredients: (3- 8” or 9” tarts)

  1. Powdered Sugar 4.5 oz. 
  2. Butter, RT 9 oz.
  3. Eggs 3
  4. Cake Flour 17.5 oz. 
  5. Baking Powder 1/2 t.


  1. In a mixer with a fitted paddle, cream the 10x and butter until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the eggs, one at a time, making sure mixture is homogeneous.
  3. Add the cake flour and baking powder all at once.
  4. Mix slowly just to combine.
  5. Wrap dough and chill until firm.


  1. If all the ingredients are room temperature, the mixing will go faster.
  2. If the eggs are added too quickly or are cold, the mixture will separate. If this occurs, continue mixing. If the mixture doesn’t become homogenous, add a small amount of flour to bring it back together.
  3. Pate Sucree can be refrigerated for up to one week and freezes well.

Chocolate Ganache Tart (recipe courtesy of Chef Diane Fehder)

Ingredients: (1- 8” or 9” tart)

  • Tart Dough (Pate Sucree), 8.5 oz.
  • Trimoline or corn syrup, .75 oz.
  • Butter, 2.4 oz. 
  • Semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, 6 oz. 
  • Heavy Cream, 6.5 oz. 
  • Chocolate for finishing decoration


  1. Roll out dough into a circle approximately 10 inches in diameter and 1/8 inch thick.
  2. Line tart pan or flan ring with the dough and chill.
  3. Blind bake the tart shell at 350 degrees until lightly browned; set aside to cool.
  4. Add the trimoline or corn syrup and butter to chopped chocolate.
  5. Boil the cream, and pour it over the chocolate mixture.
  6. Store the ganache until combined; stir gently to avoid creating air bubbles.
  7. Pour the ganache into the cooled tart shell.
  8. Allow to set up at room temperature.


  1. If bubbles appear on ganache once tart shell is filled, use a propane torch to slightly warm the surface and bubbles will pop.
  2. The ganache can be made several days in advance and gently warmed before use.
  3. If the ganache separates, add a small piece of cold butter or a little bit of cold cream to the mixture.
  4. The tart should be served the day it is filled.
  5. If the tart is kept for more than one day, the ganache may shrink away from the crust. Use decorations to cover any gaps.

French Apple Tart (recipe courtesy of Chef Diane Fehder)

Ingredients: (1- 8” or 9” tart)

  • Tart Dough (Pate Sucree), 8.5 oz. 
  • Apple Compote, 15 oz. 
  • Apples, 2 to 3
  • Apricot Nappage, for finishing


  1. Roll out dough into a circle approximately 10 inches in diameter and 1/8 inch thick.
  2. Line tart pan or flan ring with the dough and chill.
  3. Fill the chilled shell three quarters full with the apple compote.
  4. Peel, halve and core the apples.
  5. Cut the halved apples across the core into slices approximately 1/8” thick.
  6. Arrange the apple slices around the tart shell, starting from the outside.
  7. Bake the tart at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until crust is brown and the apple slices on top are caramelized and tender.
  8. Unmold the tart and brush the top with a thin layer of apricot nappage, or sprinkle with powdered sugar.


  1. It is important to slice the apples all the same thickness.
  2. For additional sweetness, sprinkle the tart with sugar or vanilla sugar before baking.

Apple Compote 

  • Ingredients: For 1- 9” tart
    Peeled, Halved, and Cored Granny Smith Apples, 13.2 oz. 
  • Granulated Sugar, 2.2 oz.  
  • Vanilla Bean- Split and Scraped, 1/2 
  • Juice of a quarter of lemon
  • Water, 1.7 oz.  


  1. Peel, halve and core the apples BEFORE weighing them out. 
  2. Cut the apples into 1/4” cubes, keeping the pieces equal in size so they cool evenly. 
  3. Place the apples, sugar, vanilla bean, lemon juice and water into a saucepan. Cover, place over low heat, and cook, stirring occasionally. 
  4. The compote is finished when the apples are translucent, and the water has evaporated. 


  1. If the water evaporates before the apples are cooked, add more water or the mixture will caramelize and burn. 
  2. If the apples are cooked before the water has evaporated, remove the lid and stir the compote gently over high heat to evaporate the water. 
  3. Spread the compote out on a sheet pan to cool and to stop the cooking.

Brianna Prokop is a student in the Culinary Arts department at RCBC.