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Recipe Collection

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Apple Tart with Oat Streusel

Apple Tart with Oat Streusel Related:   dairy, desserts & sweets, kid-friendly, Rosh Hashanah, Shabbat

Prep time: 1 hour + several hours refrigeration + freezing

Cook time: 45–55 mins

Yield: 12–15 servings

My Savta (Hebrew for grandmother) and I had an unusually close relationship growing up that was forged through the time we spent together in her kitchen cooking and baking. I have such fond memories of baking desserts with her, particularly for the holidays as she prepared bountiful feasts. One of her staples was a table full of desserts, whose centerpiece on Rosh Hashanah would always be the most delicious apple pie. As I learned more and more about baking as a professional chef, I constantly sought out the perfect, most delicious apple pie, tart and cake recipes. Many exist! But this recipe combines my favorite elements of all three: the crisp tart shell, the rich flavor of caramelized apples found in pies and the crisp streusel topping that often garnishes cakes. This tart is a frequent dessert special at Osteria Morini in the fall, was served at the White House this past winter to the West Wing staff and has been enjoyed again and again by my friends and family. Every time I make this tart, and particularly around Rosh Hashanah, memories and the love of my grandmother pour into my mind, making the experience of baking this dessert even grander.


  • Vanilla Tart Dough
  • 1 stick (½ cup) plus ½ tablespoon butter, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup confectioner’s sugar
  • Pinch of fine sea salt
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped (seeds only)
  • 1 egg
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • Apple Filling
  • 6 granny smith apples
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 stick (½ cup) plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped (pod and seeds)
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 pinches fine sea salt
  • Oat Streusel
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) plus 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
  • 1¼ cups light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2¼ cups oats
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon


  • To make the tart dough: Using a mixer, paddle together the butter, confectioner’s sugar, salt and vanilla bean for 5 minutes on medium speed, scraping the bowl after 2 minutes. Add the egg, scraping well, and continue mixing until homogenous.
  • Mix the flour and cornstarch in a bowl with a whisk, add all at once to the batter and mix gently on low speed until homogenous and then for 1 minute longer. The dough will be very loose and moist. Shape the dough into a square and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate until rock hard, a few hours or overnight.
  • When ready to use, take the dough out of the refrigerator for 10 minutes, using a rolling pin, bang firmly on the dough to loosen it, reorganizing it into a ball. On a floured surface, roll out the tart dough and quickly line a 9-inch tart pan. Place the lined shell in the freezer until frozen, at least 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line the tart shell with parchment paper and weigh down with pie weights or dried beans, and bake at for 20 minutes or until set. Remove the weights and bake until dry or very light in color. Cool completely.
  • (Note: Can be made ahead, baked, cooled and frozen for up to 3 weeks. Let thaw in refrigerator before use.)
  • To make the apple filling: Peel, core and cut apples into ¼-inch cubes. Reserve.
  • Take a medium-sized pot and place on direct heat for 2 minutes, pour ½ cup of the sugar onto the hot surface of the pot. As the sugar melts and caramelizes, continue to add more sugar to the darker areas, using a wooden spoon to drag the sugar until it all melts. As soon as all of the sugar is dissolved, lower the heat, and immediately add the butter to deglaze the caramel, mixing the caramel and butter for 1 minute.
  • Raise the heat to medium, and add 1/3 of the prepared apples to the caramel sauce, and mix for 1 minute. Repeat a second time and then the final time, waiting 1 minute between each addition (this prevents the caramel from seizing). Add the scraped vanilla bean and pod to the pot and mix the apples on low heat until tender.
  • Remove from heat and strain the apples, reserving the liquid. Return the liquid to the pot, bring to a boil and cook on high heat for 5 minutes. Combine the strained apples, 1 cup of the reduced liquid and the other dry ingredients and mix well. Reserve.
  • (Note: Can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to 3 days. Return to room temperature before use.)
  • To make the oat streusel: Using a mixer, paddle together the butter, sugar and salt for 5 minutes on medium speed until light and fluffy. Stop, and scrape the bowl. All at once, add flour, oats and cinnamon and mix on low speed until homogenous.
  • Separate into small nut-sized chunks, lay out on a sheet tray and freeze. Once firm, the chunks can be used for final assembly.
  • (Note: Can be made ahead and frozen for up to 3 weeks in a sealed, airtight container.)
  • To assemble: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Fill par-baked tart shell with apple filling, and cover with oat streusel. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until streusel is golden brown. Cool completely, dust with powdered sugar, and serve room temperature or slightly warm.

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