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Tarte Normande (France)


A tarte normande is an apple pie, popular in Normandy, as described in the Bayeux Tapestry episode.  But calling it an apple pie is like calling a Ferrari a car or Wonders of the World a podcast. It's so much more than that, thanks to the rich custard that keeps the apples together and the hint of apple brandy that makes it oh so happy.

It’s also something that’s incredibly easy to make at home, if you’re willing to take the shortcut of using a premade pie crust.  I do this all the time; it’s OK, I promise.

What I’m going to share online is Julia Child’s recipe, because I mean, c’mon.  

Makes three cups


  • 1 8-inch frozen premade pie crust

  • 2 Granny Smith or similarly tart apples

  • 1/3 cup (2.33 ounces, 65 grams) granulated sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1 large egg, room temperature

  • 1/3 cup (2.33 ounces, 65 grams) granulated sugar

  • 1/4 cup (1.25 ounces, 35 grams) all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces, 113 ml), heavy cream

  • 3 Tablespoons (1.5 ounces, 43 ml) Calvados (or cognac if you cannot find Calvados)

  • 1 Tablespoon powdered sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 375° F.

  2. Peel, quarter and core the apples. Cut in to 1/8-inch lengthwise slices.

  3. Toss the apples in a bowl with the sugar and cinnamon. Allow to sit for 10 minutes.

  4. Arrange apples in the pastry shell. Bake for 20 minutes, or until they start to caramelize.

  5. Remove from oven and let cool while preparing the custard.

  6. Beat the egg and sugar together in a mixing bowl until mixture is thick, pale yellow and falls back on itself forming a slowly dissolving ribbon, about 5 minutes.

  7. Beat in the flour, then the cream, and finally the Calvados or cognac.

  8. Pour the mixture over the apples. It should come almost to the top of the pastry shell.

  9. Return to the oven for 10 minutes, or until the custard begins to puff.

  10. Remove from oven, and sprinkle on the powdered sugar.

  11. Return to the oven for 15 to 20 minutes more. The tart is done when the top has browned and a toothpick plunged into the custard comes out clean.

  12. Eat and savor the deliciousness

Recipe adapted from who adapted it from Jukia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking

Photo by Ludovic Péron

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