The autumn pie-making season has just begun, but we want to sidestep pies for now and look at tarts. Tarts are related to pies, of course, and some recipes are nearly interchangeable, but a classic tart crust is usually a little richer and easier to work with than pie dough. We find freeform tart crusts so easy, and in a pinch they will always edge out pies in our kitchens. Here's a look back at some favorite tarts that would not be out of place on a French table. Most of these tarts are either freeform (shaped by hand on a large baking sheet — doesn't get any easier than that!) or pressed into a tart pan. I love tart pans with removable bottoms; they help the shell hold its shape, but then when you lift the bottom out the tart looks so fancy — ooh la la!
10 French-Inspired Tarts
• 1. Free-Form Apple Tart - Simple tart crust (you can make it in a food processor), and then for the filling all you need are a few apples and a sharp knife.
• 2. Quince and Apple Tart - A flaky tart with my choice for the most sublime of fruits: Quince.
• 3. Zuni Café Apricot Tart - Apricots are pretty much out of season, but if you live in a warm climate you might still have a few around!
• 4. Nutty Chocolate Tart - A fancy walnut tart nice enough for a pâtisserie.
• 5. Apple Chestnut Tarts - A true autumn treat.
• 6. Shortbread Jam Tart - An easy, quick dessert that also uses up the last bit of jam in the jar.
• 7. French Tomato Tart - Now, an interlude: A wonderful savory tart for the last of the summer tomatoes.
• 8. Persimmon Tart - If you've never tried this fruit in a tart -- do! It's silky and custardy when baked.
• 9. Apple Custard Tart - Speaking of custard, this apple custard tart adds a little something extra to the classic apple tart.
• 10. Tart Lemon Tart - And when citrus season comes, don't forget about this incredible lemon tart.
What is your favorite tart to make this time of year?
(Images: See linked posts for full image credits.)