- Dish type
- Pies and tarts
- Sweet pies and tarts
- Fruit pies and tarts
- Apple pies and tarts
Just a simply delicious French apple tart, filled with loads of apples and a creamy custard mixture. If you can, use fresh homemade pastry; if not, shop-bought is fine!
16 people made this
- 1 (23cm) shortcrust pastry case
- 2 apples - cored, peeled and chopped
- 3 apples - cored, peeled, quartered and thinly sliced
- 2 egg yolks
- 5 tablespoons caster sugar
- 200ml whipping cream
- soft brown sugar, to serve
MethodPrep:20min ›Cook:1hr ›Ready in:1hr20min
- Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Cover pastry case with baking parchment and pour in dried lentils, rice or beans (to blind bake). Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes. Let cool.
- Spread chopped apples over bottom of pastry; top with thin apple slices for a nice presentation.
- In a medium bowl beat egg yolks with sugar and cream. Pour this mixture over apples.
- Bake in preheated oven for about 40 minutes. Remove from oven, sprinkle with a bit of brown sugar and serve.
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- 1 ⅓ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 pinch salt
- ½ cup butter, softened
- 1 egg yolk
- 3 tablespoons cold water, or as needed
- ½ cup butter, softened
- ½ cup white sugar
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon apple brandy
- ⅔ cup ground almonds
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 4 medium sweet apples - peeled, cored, halved and thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon white sugar for decoration
- ¼ cup apricot jelly
In a medium bowl, stir together 1 1/3 cups of flour and salt. Add the butter, 1 egg yolk and water, and stir until the mixture forms large crumbs. If it is too dry to press a handful together, stir in more water. Press the dough into a ball, and wrap in plastic wrap. Flatten slightly, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or until firm. This part can be done up to three days in advance.
To make the frangipane, cream together the butter and 1/2 cup of sugar in a medium bowl until light and soft. Gradually mix in the egg and the remaining egg yolk one at a time. Stir in the apple brandy. Stir 2 tablespoons of flour into the ground almonds, then mix into the batter. Set aside.
Roll the pastry dough out to about a 12 inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Fold loosely into quarters, and center the point in a 10 inch tart or pie pan. Unfold dough, and press into the bottom and up the sides. Prick with a fork all over, and flute the edges. Return pastry to the refrigerator to chill until firm.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Place a baking sheet inside the oven while it preheats.
Spoon the frangipane into the chilled pastry, and spread into an even layer. Arrange the apple slices in an overlapping spiral pattern. Each slice should have one edge pressed into the frangipane until it touches the pastry base, and then overlap the previous slice. Start at the outside edge, and work towards the center.
Place the pie plate on top of the baking sheet in the preheated oven. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the filling begins to brown. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Bake for another 10 minutes, then sprinkle sugar over the top of the tart. Return to the oven for 10 more minutes, or until the sugar caramelizes slightly.
Cool the tart on a wire rack. A short time before serving, warm the apricot jelly. Add some water if necessary to make it a liquid consistency. Brush onto the tart for a nice shine.
Weekend Recipe: French Apple Tart
This classic French apple tart recipe from Cook's Illustrated is a showstopper with a simple set of ingredients.
A classic French apple tart is little more than apples and pastry, but such simplicity means that imperfections like tough or mushy apples, unbalanced flavor, and sodden crust are hard to hide. In our recipe a quick and buttery pat-in-pan dough bakes to a shortbread-like texture that gives the tart a sturdy base. For intense fruit flavor, we pack the tart with a whopping 5 pounds of Golden Delicious apples. We cook half into a concentrated puree, which is made more luxurious with butter and apricot preserves, and we slice and parcook the remaining apples and use them to adorn the top with concentric circles. A thin coat of preserves and a final run under the broiler provide an attractively caramelized finish and a distinctively European flair.
French Apple Tart
1 ⅓ cups (6 ⅔ ounces) all-purpose flour
5 tablespoons (2 ¼ ounces) sugar
½ teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
10 Golden Delicious apples (8 ounces each), peeled and cored
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon water
½ cup apricot preserves
¼ teaspoon salt
You may have extra apple slices after arranging the apples in step 6. If you don’t have a potato masher, you can puree the apples in a food processor. For the best flavor and texture, be sure to bake the crust thoroughly until it is deep golden brown. To ensure that the outer ring of the pan releases easily from the tart, avoid getting apple puree and apricot glaze on the crust. The tart is best served the day it is assembled.
1. FOR THE CRUST: Adjust 1 oven rack to lowest position and second rack 5 to 6 inches from broiler element. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk flour, sugar, and salt together in bowl. Add melted butter and stir with wooden spoon until dough forms. Using your hands, press two-thirds of dough into bottom of 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Press remaining dough into fluted sides of pan. Press and smooth dough with your hands to even thickness. Place pan on wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet and bake on lowest rack, until crust is deep golden brown and firm to touch, 30 to 35 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking. Set aside until ready to fill.
2. FOR THE FILLING: Cut 5 apples lengthwise into quarters and cut each quarter lengthwise into 4 slices. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add apple slices and water and toss to combine. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until apples begin to turn translucent and are slightly pliable, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer apples to large plate, spread into single layer, and set aside to cool. Do not clean skillet.
3. While apples cook, microwave apricot preserves until fluid, about 30 seconds. Strain preserves through fine-mesh strainer into small bowl, reserving solids. Set aside 3 tablespoons strained preserves for brushing tart.
4. Cut remaining 5 apples into 1/2-inch-thick wedges. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in now-empty skillet over medium heat. Add remaining apricot preserves, reserved apricot solids, apple wedges, and salt. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until apples are very soft, about 10 minutes.
5. Mash apples to puree with potato masher. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until puree is reduced to 2 cups, about 5 minutes.
6. Transfer apple puree to baked tart shell and smooth surface. Select 5 thinnest slices of sautéed apple and set aside. Starting at outer edge of tart, arrange remaining slices, tightly overlapping, in concentric circles. Bend reserved slices to fit in center. Bake tart, still on wire rack in sheet, on lowest rack, for 30 minutes. Remove tart from oven and heat broiler.
7. While broiler heats, warm reserved preserves in microwave until fluid, about 20 seconds. Brush evenly over surface of apples, avoiding tart crust. Broil tart, checking every 30 seconds and turning as necessary, until apples are attractively caramelized, 1 to 3 minutes. Let tart cool for at least 1 1/2 hours. Remove outer metal ring of tart pan, slide thin metal spatula between tart and pan bottom, and carefully slide tart onto serving platter. Cut into wedges and serve.
TO MAKE AHEAD: The baked crust, apple slices, and apple puree can be made up to 24 hours in advance. Apple slices and apple puree should be refrigerated separately in airtight containers. Assemble tart with refrigerated apple slices and puree and bake as directed, adding 5 minutes to baking time.
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STEP 2: Make the Apple Compote
The second step to this French Apple Tart is the apple compote which adds a wonderful homemade sweetness and to this tart recipe.
What are the best apples to use for baking?
The best type of apple to use for baking depends on how tart you like your apples and what the apple is being used for. Personally, for most apple recipes, this apple tart included I prefer a Gala apple. They are sweet and don't need much cooking time to enhance their sweetness.
Other good apples to use for baking include Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, and Honey Crisp.
You'll cook the apples in a heavy-bottom saucepan with the sugar, cinnamon, lemon juice, and apple juice for about 10 minutes.
Once they are tender, you can mash the apples up with a fork, just until coarse compote forms.
French Apple Tart
When you think of fall baking, French apple tart might not come to mind. Fall is the season for pie, and apple pie specifically. Fall desserts tend toward the homey and rustic, like classic fruit pies topped with a rumpled, burnished double crust. Or perhaps you're pulling out the baking pan to make an apple crisp, sweet with cinnamon and topped with a crunchy layer of sugared oat streusel.
This year, I'd encourage you to think beyond pumpkin pie and cranberry orange scones. Those simple recipes are wonderful, but it's nice to master something new. This particular recipe for French Apple Tart is strikingly sophisticated-looking, but actually easier to put together than a basic apple pie.
The secret behind its simplicity: a press-in crust. Instead of a classic pie crust, you'll mix together a sweet pastry dough (a food processor or a stand mixer makes this even easier), which you press into your tart pan with your fingertips. There's no cutting in of butter, no rolling out of the dough, no careful crimping of the edges.
The crisp, sweet crust is filled with a nutty, creamy frangipane. Made from eggs, almond flour, and sugar, the frangipane bakes into a dense, moist layer with a strong almond flavor. Thin slices of apple top the pie. The circles of apple give the pie a fancy, decorative touch without any complicated crust techniques!
Here's how to make a French apple tart:
Step 1: The crust
To make the crust you'll need:
11 tablespoons (156g) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups (241g) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup (57g) confectioners' sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
Mix together all the ingredients. It's helpful to do this in a food processor or stand mixer, but you can do it by hand, as well. The dough will come together in a ball. Once it's smooth, drop spoonfuls of the dough into a greased 9" tart pan.
Using your fingertips, press the dough into the base of the pan and up the sides in an even layer. Place the crust in the refrigerator to chill while you prepare the filling.
Step 2: The filling
While the crust chills, make the frangipane filling. Traditionally made of blanched ground almonds, eggs, and sugar, frangipane is an excellent and easy way to elevate a fruit pie. It adds a layer of flavor and texture, but is so much simpler to make than a custard filling.
Here, you'll use almond flour (a nice shortcut to grinding your own almonds). A touch of all-purpose flour helps to keep the filling light yet firm. You'll need:
8 tablespoons (113g) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (198g) granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup (72g) almond flour
1/4 cup (28g) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 to 2 medium apples, peeled or unpeeled, very thinly sliced*
Spread the filling in the chilled crust. Arrange the apple slices neatly in circles, pressing them gently into the frangipane. You can peel the apples or leave them unpeeled. I like leaving the peel on to show a small slice of color.
Step 3: Bake your French Apple Tart
Bake the tart for 40 to 50 minutes. The tart is ready when the edges of the crust begin to brown and the frangipane puffs up slightly.
Once baked, the frangipane firms but stays wonderfully moist. The apple slices soften slightly in the oven, just like in a classic apple pie.
Serve this tart warm or chilled. It's delicious with a dollop of whipped cream (add a dash of cinnamon!) or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Consider it a new addition to your fall baking repertoire, and a perfect way to impress at a dinner party.
You can find the full recipe here, as well as an entire collection of Harvest Favorite recipes.
French Apple Tart & Cinnamon Snails
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If you struggle with anger management, this post might be a good one to skip. Just send it straight to your trash can if you’re reading via email just skip back to the grilled cheese or the French toast, if you’ve happened upon here via google. At apple-rosette attempt three, I envisioned flinging this tart frisbie style straight into my tv at apple-rosette attempt five, I imagined raising it above my head, slamming it straight down, and splattering it all over my kitchen floor.
Fortunately — and I never imagined saying this — I have a child that drives me to read self-help books. I put myself in a timeout for two minutes (grossly ignoring the minute-per-year-of-age rule, which would have had me sitting for half an hour), during which I took a few deep breaths and told myself to let the apple rosettes go.
When I came out of my quiet time, ready to be a nice girl again, I set to work. Within minutes the tart shell brimmed with fanned apple slices, not quite so pretty as Saveur’s, but pretty nonetheless. And best of all, not too pretty to eat.
In the Cuisinart, this tart dough comes together in seconds:
Just as I set out to work, someone ran off with my tart pan. Fortunately, I have another.
Both the dough and the assembled tart shell must chill for one hour, which allows for plenty of time to peel and slice the apples as well as to make the cinnamon snails with the leftover dough.
Making the cinnamon snails:
- Pastry crust – this is pretty standard pastry crust, with the exception that it uses 4 egg yolks. 4 egg whites will be needed for the meringue.
- Apple filling – the apples are sauteed with vanilla extract, lemon juice, and cinnamon. I sauteed the apples to ensure that the pastry crust is baked through (I hate soggy pastry crust) and to enhance the apple flavor (more apples will fit in the pastry crust since the water has evaporated and the apples have reduced their volume).
What kind of apples are best: some say that the best apple variety for apple pie is sour apple variety like Granny smith but honestly I like my apple pie also with sweet apples. When using sweet apples you just need to add more lemon juice (the apple filling should be slightly sour to contrast the sweetness of the meringue). When using very sour apples add more sugar. You can also use both types of apples, sweet and sour variety, to balance both flavors.
Which apple variety is best: it’s best to use apples that are suitable for baking that have a firm flesh – like Golden Delicious, Gala, Granny Smith, Jonagold, Jonathan. Soft apple varieties will turn into applesauce. Best apples for baking according to Cook’s Illustrated.
- Meringue – I love it when the meringue is crunchy, at least on top. No chewy meringue for me! To achieve that I’m baking this tart with the fan function on, which dries out the meringue. If you do not wish to top your apple tart with meringue you can just skip it and top the tart with more shortcrust pastry. I would then omit the egg yolks in the pastry crust and increase its amount by 1/2. This tart would be then vegan.
French Apple Tart
Tart pan with removable bottom
Pie weights (rice or dry beans also work)
Ingredients for the sweet pastry crust (pâte sucree):
½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick), room temperature
1 large or extra-large egg, lightly beaten
¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Ingredients for the apricot glaze:
1 tablespoon water or liqueur like brandy, Calvados or rum
Ingredients for the apple compote:
3 Gala apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons white sugar
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
Ingredients for the sliced apple filling:
3 large Granny Smith apples (about 1 ½ pounds) peeled, cored and cut into slices 1/8 to ¼-inch thick
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature
3 to 4 tablespoons white sugar (depending on how tart the apples are)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
Optional: 1 to 2 tablespoons powdered sugar, for dusting top to caramelize under broiler
1. Prepare the dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until softened, about 1 minute. You could also use a hand-held mixer or mix by hand with a wooden spoon. Add the sugar and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the lightly beaten egg and mix on medium for 1 minute, until incorporated. Add the flour and salt and mix on low speed just until the dough forms into a ball, about 1 to 2 minutes.
Place the dough on a large sheet of plastic wrap and flatten into a disk. Wrap with the plastic and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. The dough may be refrigerated for up to 1 week (let rest at room temperature for 30 to 40 minutes before rolling), or frozen for several months and thawed in the refrigerator overnight.
2. Prepare the apricot glaze: In a small saucepan, bring the apricot preserves to a boil over medium heat. Remove pan from burner and pass the hot preserves through a fine mesh strainer to remove any lumps. Stir in the water or liqueur. The glaze may be refrigerated for up to 7 days and warmed before using.
3. Prepare the apple compote (or substitute with applesauce): Place all the compote ingredients in a medium saucepan. Cover the pan and bring to a boil over medium-low heat let cook for 10 minutes. Remove the cover and simmer over medium heat until nearly all the liquid is evaporated. Remove from burner and use a fork to mash the apples into a chunky compote.
Transfer to a heatproof bowl and cool completely. The compote will thicken as it cools. Use once it is cooled. May also refrigerate for up to 1 week or freeze for several months before using.
4. Roll out the dough: Set out an 8- or 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom (no need to grease it).
To prepare the tart, lightly flour a work surface and use a rolling pin to roll the pastry dough out. To ensure consistent thickness, start from the center and roll outwards, gently lifting and turning the dough after every 2 or 3 rolls to prevent it from sticking to the surface. Add more flour, lightly, to the surface and the pin as needed.
Once the pastry has been rolled into a 12-inch circle (it’s OK if it’s not a perfect circle, or even more of a square), lightly roll it around the rolling pin. Gently unroll the dough onto the center of the tart pan, with the excess draping over the sides.
5. Prepare the tart pan: Being careful not to stretch or pull the pastry (which can cause the crust to shrink), use your fingers to gently press the pastry onto the bottom of the pan, smoothing it into the corners, and then up and into the fluted sides of the pan. Run your rolling pin over the top of the tart pan and remove any excess dough. Check the tart crust and use any of the extra pastry to smooth over cracks or tears. Use a fork to gently prick holes all around the bottom of the crust, being careful not to push all the way through. Lightly cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough for 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and position the baking rack in the center of the oven. Remove the chilled tart from the fridge and line the crust with a piece of parchment paper or aluminum foil. Fill with pie weights, dry beans or rice, smoothing out evenly to the sides. Place the tart pan on a large baking sheet.
6. Blind-bake the tart: Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake the tart crust until the edges are a light, golden-brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove baking sheet from the oven and decrease the temperature to 350 degrees. Remove the parchment and pie weights from the tart crust.
Return the sheet with the tart pan to the oven. Bake at 350 degrees for 3 to 4 more minutes until the crust is lightly golden brown and dry to the touch. Check the tart crust and remove from oven when ready. Immediately brush the sides and bottom of the crust with the apricot glaze. Let crust cool completely in the tart pan.
7. Prepare the spiced apples slices and add the apple filling: While the crust is cooling, melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over medium heat and stir in the sugar, cinnamon and salt until well combined. Add the sliced apples and cook over medium-low heat for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring often, just until the apples start to soften. Remove pan from the burner and let cool for 10 minutes.
Once the tart crust has cooled, spoon 1 ¼ cups of the apple compote into the shell and use an offset spatula or flat knife to evenly spread around the bottom. Starting at the outer edge of the pan, place a layer of the apple slices around the pan, overlapping each other (think concentric circles), until an end meets the other. Repeat for a second row or create a rose flower center by placing the apples around the circle standing up, overlapping one another, until the center is filled. Brush the apples with the tablespoon of melted butter.
8. Finish baking the tart: Keep the tart pan back on the baking sheet and continue baking at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes until the apples are soft, but still holding their shape, and the crust is a medium golden-brown. Remove from oven.
To caramelize the edges of the apples, proceed to step 9, or skip this step and go straight to step 10.
9. To create the caramelized edging (optional): Heat broiler to 500 degrees and position rack 4 inches from the broiler. Use a sifter or strainer to generously coat the top of the tart with powdered sugar. Cover the edges of the crust with a pie shield or aluminum foil to prevent over-browning. Place the baking sheet under the broiler and cook just until the edges start to brown, turning once or twice. This should only take 1 to 2 minutes, so watch carefully to ensure the sugar does not burn.
10. Glaze and cool the tart: Transfer the tart pan (carefully so the bottom doesn’t pop out) to a wire rack to cool. While the tart is still hot, brush the top of the apples and the crust with the apricot glaze. Once cool, carefully remove the tart from the pan. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 to 3 days.
Simplest apple tart
Apples at their simplest can be their very finest. Sure, I love an oozy, heavily spiced and lidded apple pie, but I also think there is something matchless about apples, butter and sugar, baked until bubbly. This classic apple tart is from Alice Waters, but she says that it was actually Jacques Pepin who created it at Chez Panisse more than 20 years ago. I can see why they’ve never gotten tired of it.
You start by making a very simple pate brisee, yes, that kind, but this one doesn’t demand precision. You’re going to want to roll it out really, really thin. Now, the original recipe suggested that you use a tart pan, but I think you can skip it, and go galette-style.
Next, peel apples. The original recipe suggested more than I needed, not that I complained about having slices to snack on. I like to halve them and use a melon baller, which is getting a big workout this week, to remove the cores. Save all the peels and cores.
I like to tightly armadillo them. Keeping them together helps when you want to lay them out, as you can just lightly tilt them and they’ll fan out.
Like so. Pull the excess crust over the apples, crimping it at intervals. Brush the crust and apples with two tablespoons of melted butter.
Sprinkle it with a few tablespoons of sugar, then bake it for almost an hour, rotating it frequently until it’s a deep, golden brown.
Meanwhile, boil all of the reserved peels and cores in a sugar water until it reduces to a syrup. Strain it. Brush the syrup lightly over the tart, hot from the oven.
See if you can keep away until guests arrive. It might even be the hardest thing you’ve done that day.
Serve with vanilla ice cream, lightly sweetened softly whipped cream or a dollop of creme fraiche, either alone or stirred into whipped cream. Make plans to repeat it with pears next week, er, tomorrow. Let this be your go-to recipe for everything awesome.
1 cup (125 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick or 85 grams) unsalted butter, just softened, cut in 1/2-inch pieces
3 1/2 tablespoons (50 ml) chilled water
2 pounds (910 grams) apples (Golden Delicious or another tart, firm variety), peeled, cored (save peels and cores), and sliced
2 tablespoons (30 grams) unsalted butter, melted
5 tablespoons (65 grams) sugar
1/2 cup (100 grams) sugar
MIX flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl add 2 tablespoons of the butter. Blend in a mixer until dough resembles coarse cornmeal. Add remaining butter mix until biggest pieces look like large peas.
DRIBBLE in water, stir, then dribble in more, until dough just holds together. Toss with hands, letting it fall through fingers, until it’s ropy with some dry patches. If dry patches predominate, add another tablespoon water. Keep tossing until you can roll dough into a ball. Flatten into a 4-inch-thick disk refrigerate. After at least 30 minutes, remove let soften so it’s malleable but still cold. Smooth cracks at edges. On a lightly floured surface, roll into a 14-inch circle about 1/8 inch thick. Dust excess flour from both sides with a dry pastry brush.
PLACE dough in a lightly greased 9-inch round tart pan, or simply on a parchment-lined baking sheet if you wish to go free-form, or galette-style with it. Heat oven to 400°F. (If you have a pizza stone, place it in the center of the rack.)
OVERLAP apples on dough in a ring 2 inches from edge if going galette-style, or up to the sides if using the tart pan. Continue inward until you reach the center. Fold any dough hanging over pan back onto itself crimp edges at 1-inch intervals.
BRUSH melted butter over apples and onto dough edge. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons sugar over dough edge and the other 3 tablespoons over apples. (Deb note: I found it nearly impossible to coat it with this much sugar, so I used a little less–more like 3 tablespoons. It made a lightly sweet tart, which we found perfect.)
BAKE in center of oven until apples are soft, with browned edges, and crust has caramelized to a dark golden brown (about 45 minutes), making sure to rotate tart every 15 minutes.
MAKE glaze: Put reserved peels and cores in a large saucepan, along with sugar. Pour in just enough water to cover simmer for 25 minutes. Strain syrup through cheesecloth.
REMOVE tart from oven, and slide off parchment onto cooling rack. Let cool at least 15 minutes.
What to serve with this dessert
The first thing that comes to mind when I think of serving this tart is Vanilla Ice Cream. It's a classic combo between the vanilla and the apples, the hot and cold. just an all around winner!
But if you want something a bit more original, here are a few other ideas:
- More Applesauce - always homemade!
- a Raspberry Coulis to play with the colours and flavours
- a simple Crème Anglaise
- some Berry Compote
- a little bit of Whipped Cream or Chantilly