Rustic Apple Tart

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I love this rustic apple tart because it’s so forgiving. You don’t need to fuss about it. It has quickly become one of my favorite easy desserts.

Easy Desserts Rustic Apple Tart from It's a Keeper

Jackie from WNEP’s Home & Backyard recently gave me a challenge. Come up with a recipe inspired by the 17th century for an upcoming episode.

I immediately started researching colonial recipes. Just what did the early colonists eat back in the 1600’s? One thing that kept coming up were pies. They ate a lot of pies. Meat pies. Veggie pies. Fruit pies. The reason being, they were easy to eat and they were baked in their own vessel — the pie shell.

I decided I would make a Rustic Apple Tart for the segment. I learned a lot from my research. Here were some interesting facts I learned about the 17th century:

  • While pies were very common, the colonists rarely ate the dough.  It was usually very thick and very hard.
  • Pie shells were called “coffins” — sounds appetizing, doesn’t it?!
  • The only apples native to America in the 1600’s were crab apples.  The apples that we eat today were brought over from Europe.
  • The first apple orchards didn’t produce much fruit because there were no honey bees in colonial America.  They had to be brought over from Europe too.
  • 17th century apple pies were seasoned with cloves, saffron and rosewater.

Interesting, right?  I thought so.

I took the concept of a rustic apple tart and modernized it a but.  I traded the saffron, cloves and rosewater for brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.  And, I made the crust light and flaky, so you could eat it.  Jackie and I had a great time making these Rustic Apple Tarts.  They really are easy desserts to whip up.


For more recipe inspiration, be sure to check out these pages on It’s a Keeper:

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