An Irish Apple Tart

20 Jan 2011

The old saying goes, “there is nothing more American than apple pie”, but I am here to tell you that it was actually a delicious slice of Irish apple tart that won me over in the infamous apple pie department.

I was never a big fan of apple pie…much preferred creamier or berrier versions, so when my mother-in-law, Peggy, offered me a slice on that fateful autumn afternoon, I hesitated, then thought to myself  hmmm, I wouldn’t want to seem contrary, would I? And so it goes, that was the first day of my 6+ year love affair with the Irish apple tart.

Now, this isn’t just any ordinary tart. It uses the age-old tradition of baking using an ordinary flat plate as opposed to the deep pie dish that we are accustomed to in the USA. If you had told me before I moved here that it was possible to bake a pie on a plate, I would have had a good chuckle. But here in Ireland, it’s pretty common practice….I’ve had it with a cup of tea in more than a few locations.

Our son would say “Gran makes it best” {but you should know that she also shares the yummy pastry trimmings with him.} Up for a challenge, I decided to give it a try myself with a few small tweaks to see how it would turn out. I bent her ear for the recipe and borrowed her ovenable plate and was off!

Since it is winter and we’ve no fresh apples from the orchard at the moment, I used the ones that were peeled and frozen in the fall. Each autumn the apples are picked and either sliced and frozen or stewed and frozen for the year, which is a brilliant, time-saving idea.  For the apple filling, I added a tiny bit of cinnamon and freshly grated ginger to the sugar just for a little added zing.

First, I put the thawed apples in a mixing bowl

and stirred in the sugar, a squeeze of a lemon, cinnamon

and a bit of grated fresh ginger

Then, I made the pastry dough (using this butter) and rolled it out to ¼-1/2 inch thickness

Turned it onto the plate

I carefully spooned the apple mixture into the pie plate pastry

And then placed the top of the pastry case over the apples, added a sweet little apple motif on top,

sealed the edge and brushed with an egg wash

And voila! A divine Irish apple tart, all pretty on a plate.

Here’s the recipe….


Slan Abhaile,


Photos by Imen McDonnell. Recipe by Peggy and Imen McDonnell

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58 Responses to “An Irish Apple Tart”

  1. Ann maria says:

    Hi iv just tried this recipe. Have it in oven as I type… Fingers crossed…

  2. colette says:

    Hi can you make this tart using gluten free flour.

  3. Jennifer says:

    You’ve not mentioned about glazing the pastry or cutting a few slits in the pastry topping.

  4. Sarah says:

    Hey love the website. I think this is probably a stupid question but do you use Brambley apples or eating apples for this? If you do use cooking apples and I can’t get my hands on brambley would eating apples with no added sugar be ok? Thanks.

  5. tony says:

    i am from Ireland and I tried your recipe tart came out lovely my gran, lord have mercy on her,would use cloves to give it a kick the cinnamon is better deaL

  6. claire says:

    awesome recipe

  7. […] Peggy’s Irish Apple Tart on a Plate […]

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  9. Beth says:

    I love your blog! My boyfriend is from Ireland and I am always looking for things to cook up for him in the kitchen to remind him of home when he gets homesick. One of the things he remembers most fondly is his Granny’s apple pie. Happy to report that he AND his parents agree that my version, using this crust and filling (with a little tweak) was just as good as Granny’s.

  10. Martin says:

    Great recipe. Just like my mother used to make when we were kids. Eating a slice made me think of slices of crumbly sticky apple tart in my lunchbox. I added some rhubarb the last time.

  11. Mary Ward says:

    Thank you!
    Made this for a St Patrick’s dinner last night. Used a pizza tin plate to feed 15 and served home made Bailey’s and sultana ice cream. The room went quite when everyone tucked in to dessert – always a positive sign. But, best of all, my kitchen in Perth WA smelt like my Granny’s in Mayo circa 1965 and I was 4 again.

  12. […] Recipe and Photo credit via […]

  13. […] followed this blog for some time will know, Peggy lovingly taught me a thing or two about cooking, baking, and preserving. I learned so much from Peggy over the years, but probably most profoundly, she […]

  14. Barbara says:

    I made the applet tart but one thing went wrong the dough kept sticking , I could not roll out . What did I do wrong?

  15. […] “Done!” I said, and picked up my purse. Margaret just sat there and laughed, astonished. It was like a complicated negotiation, but Gerry and I are so tuned to what the other would like and is willing to contribute to the acquisition effort that it was just textbook—1, 2, 3, decided and done! The place was called Cinnamon, and I bought a selection of sweets, including the last pieces of apple tart, which is what I really wanted. Ducked in to the shop next door for vanilla ice cream, then back to Gerry’s for tea. (Don’t make the mistake of thinking I’m talking about apple pie. It’s an apple tart in Ireland. There’s very little sugar in either the filling, which is all apples, or the crust, which is thick and shortbread-like. Here’s an authentic recipe with beautiful pictures.) […]

  16. StephanieB says:

    Hi there! I am going to try and make your Apple Tart with a gluten free flour mix that I use I just want to find out when the recipe says that it makes enough for 2 cases is that for just one tart (top and bottom) or 2 whole tarts? Sorry if this is a silly question. There are just 2 of us at home now and I really only want one whole tart. 🙂 Love your blog–just found it actually and have spent over an hour wandering between the pages. Such Fun! I am in awe of people who can stick with doing a blog and do it so well. My poor space on the internet is sorely neglected at this time.

  17. Anne says:

    Just made 2 tarts, omg can’t believe howdelicious they are,taste just like my mum used to make, knew I’d find a use for the old plates she used for her apple tarts !
    Thanks I’m a big fan now.

  18. Elena says:

    Hi, Imen! I am Bulgarian and I’ve come across your blog looking for recipes to impress my Irish boyfriend with 😀 I made your tart twice so far and it turned out delicious! I am making it once more tomorrow to bring to my friend’s baby shower.
    Thank you and compliments on the overall presentation and useful advice!


  19. […] Mammy’ badge and they’ll be round with it this week I’m sure.  Because I made my First Ever Apple Tart and it was delicious.   Actually I might not get that badge, because I made it in a tin and not […]

  20. Marie says:

    Hi Imen, I am now living in Hamburg for 33 years and made Apple Tart today for the forst time from your recepie. I was very impressed with the delicious moist texture of the pastry plus the mouthwatering apple filling!!. Of course I could´nt resist a second helping either. Well done and many thanks Imen

  21. Paddy from Dublin says:

    the Apple tarts are what I grew up with, but u should try the Tea- Bracks,,lol

  22. Monica says:

    Ah well … there’s another five pounds just from looking at the pictures … but what the hey … I’m all for tryin’ it anyway, and I’ve even got an oven proof plate!

  23. imen says:

    Hi Wendy. This crust is really not for the faint hearted…it can be tough to work with if even one part of the recipe is not done perfectly. If the dough seemed dry then add a drop or two of liquid. You are the first to make this sort of comment, but having made this so many times I know if the eggs are different sizes it can come out differently. Adding a few drops of water never hurts. At the end of the day, it isn’t the easiest nor most beautiful looking crust but the taste and texture are out of this world! Enjoy. xx

  24. Deirdre says:

    I have been looking for a recipe for apple tart for years. I own a tart pan that I bought in Ireland but could never get the recipe for the cakey crust of this recipe. I cannot wait to try it.

  25. […] you’re not interested in my American summer musings, have a peek at this post or this or even this to see what I am usually getting up to in my little Irish farmhouse kitchen + […]

  26. laura says:

    Hi Imen,

    I think you have a beautiful kitchen. I love your marble countertops. Can we see more photographs of it? Maybe you could tell us more about it!

    The apple tart looks divine also. It would make a nice change from strudel! 🙂

    @Aisling, your kitchenaid would have worked in Ireland with an adapter to change from 110volts to 220volts. I probably shouldn’t tell you that……

  27. Aisling says:

    Love your blog! Tell me where did you get your Kitchen Aid – I left mine in the States when we moved back to Ireland last year – my sis was the lucky benefactor as I heard they wouldn’t work here!! I was never very good at using it – but they’re soo pretty :)))!

  28. vickscakes says:

    You can’t beat apple tart!! luv it, the first photo looks amazing, i want some now 🙂 luv your kitchen, kitchen aid sitting happily in background ready for action!

  29. Sandra says:

    Tried the Recipe last weekend and everyone was delighted with it.
    Was my first Apple Tart ever and suprised how easy it was to make.
    Thansk you so much for sharing this

  30. Catherine says:

    Beautiful styling as always, Imen.

    Can’t beat a proper “tart on a plate” – all the baking women in my family have a collection of particular crockery for the job!

  31. Your pie looks gorgeous! Reminds me of when I was small, my Granny always made her apple tarts on a plate. I remember when we lived in England and she’d insist we bring a tart home with us (plate and all!) Ah the memories…

  32. […] An Irish Apple Tart (something I haven’t had in *ages*) via I Married An Irish Farmer […]

  33. Love your recipe looks delicious! Your blog is amazing!

  34. English Mum says:

    OMG dude, I love your kitchen! And the pie’s not bad either 🙂

  35. Lisa says:

    That is a beautiful looking apple tart. It’s got a much thicker crust than I’m used to seeing but I think that would make it even tastier. I’m starting a new linky on my blog called “Sweets for a Saturday” and I’d like to invite you to stop by and link this up.

    • imen says:

      Thank’s a sweet pastry my MIL makes it and sooooo good! Will come visit your Saturday Sweets blog soon! x

  36. Clare says:

    Hi. Please send this tart to me in Drogheda. I think…actually I KNOW I need it. Like now. Cheers!

    • imen says:

      Thought you would appreciate this one Clare…we both have an admiration for tart on a plate!! Thanks for your comment. xx

  37. Alison says:

    I’m an hopeless devotee of all things apple desserts. America sure does have a lot of variety in that department, but nothing baked on a plate! So cool! And it looks wildly tasty to boot. I’ll have to make this soon… Thanks to you and your MIL for the recipe!

    • imen says:

      It’s awesome to just bake a pie on a plate! Please give it a try and let me know how you get on! Thanks for your comment! xx

  38. SoniaBegonia says:

    …Also lovely photos, nice tension on first photo between the linens and the whipped cream.

  39. SoniaBegonia says:

    YUM. Looks lovely. I cannot wait to make this! So you are sure a plate will not crack in the oven? I’m scared to try it…

  40. susan says:

    Wow. I have never seen something so simple look so delicious! And, by the way, I adore your kitchen.

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