Individual Honeycrisp Apple Tarts


With just a few ingredients and no special equipment other than a potato peeler, someone who's never baked before can create this beautiful dessert that looks like it came from a professional pastry shop. These individual tarts have a buttery, crispy pastry with a massive amount of apple flavor and they're sweetened just enough with a touch of sugar and cinnamon. Brush the tops with simple syrup or melted apricot jam and serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, if desired.

Prep Time:
40 mins
Cook Time:
45 mins
Additional Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 35 mins
2 individual tarts

There are many things I love about this adorable apple tartlet, but my favorite thing doesn't have anything to do with the taste, texture, or appearance. It's the fact that we're creating a professional-looking apple pastry without having to slice apples, thanks to our trusty potato peeler. By building this tart with thin ribbons of apple, we're able to unlock a ton of flavor, in a very visually enticing way, as well as achieve what I think is the perfect cooked apple texture.

On second thought, I guess my "favorite thing" does have something to do with the taste, texture, and appearance after all. Any baking apple will work for this recipe, but Honeycrisp really works well. They are generally nice and large, and their natural sweetness means we don't have to use a lot of sugar. By the way, feel free to use a lot of sugar. If you want something sweeter and more syrupy, you can easily double the amount, and the rest of the technique should work out the same.

If you're not into fun-sized apple tarts, I'm guessing this 'peel and coil' method would work for a standard size tart pan, but I've never tried that myself. If you do, please report back. But, no matter what size pan or ramekin you use, I really do hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!

Chef John's Individual Honeycrisp Apple Tarts
Chef John


  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry

  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar

  • 1 tablespoon white sugar

  • 1 pinch ground cinnamon

  • 1 pinch salt

  • 4 teaspoons unsalted butter, divided

  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

  • 2 large Honeycrisp apples


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set out two 6-ounce ramekins.

  2. Place puff pastry sheet on a work surface and let thaw for just 5 minutes; it should still be partially frozen and very firm. Use a round pastry cutter the same diameter as your ramekins to cut out 2 rounds of dough. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Prick each pastry round all over with a fork.

  3. Bake in the preheated oven until the pastries are puffed up and the bottoms are golden brown, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and slide parchment paper off the baking pan onto a work surface; press warm pastries down lightly with the back of a fork to deflate them a bit. Let cool.

  4. Increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).

  5. Mix brown sugar, white sugar, a pinch of cinnamon, and a very small pinch of salt together in a bowl.

  6. Use 1 1/2 teaspoons butter to generously grease the bottom and sides of each ramekin. Spoon the sugar mixture evenly into each ramekin, reserving about 1 1/2 teaspoons for later. Shake ramekins gently to settle and flatten the sugar mixture.

  7. Fill a bowl with 3 cups cold water. Add lemon juice.

  8. Turn one apple on its side; trim about 1/4 inch off the top and bottom of the apple, then cut it in half through the center. Repeat with the second apple.

  9. Peel around the apple halves to remove the peel; discard. Continue to peel the flesh, making ribbons as long and as thick as possible until you reach the core, letting the ribbons drop into the water. As long as your ribbons are 3- to 4-inches long, that's fine.

  10. Pull out 3 to 4 of the longest ribbons and line them up on a work surface into one long ribbon, overlapping the ends an inch or so. Roll the ribbon up tightly to form the center of the tart, then turn it up on its end. Coil more ribbons around the center, overlapping as you go, until you have a coil that's the same diameter as your ramekin. Pick up the apple coil and place it into the ramekin, with the flat side on top of the sugar. Repeat to make the second tart.

  11. Dot 1/2 teaspoon butter over each tart, then sprinkle with the remaining sugar mixture. Top each tart with a pastry round, placing the fork-poked side down on the apples.

  12. Bake in the preheated oven until pastries have browned and juices are bubbling, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and press the hot pastries down gently with a fork. Let cool for about 10 minutes.

  13. Run a knife around each pastry, then turn over onto serving plates. Use a spoon to go around each tart to separate the layers and create more definition, if desired.


Chef's Notes:

If you don't have a pastry cutter, just place your ramekin over the dough and trace around with the tip of a knife.

You can use any other pie apple, such as Granny Smith. You'll probably use one apple per pie, maybe one and a half.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

919 Calories
54g Fat
104g Carbs
10g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 2
Calories 919
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 54g 69%
Saturated Fat 17g 83%
Cholesterol 20mg 7%
Sodium 385mg 17%
Total Carbohydrate 104g 38%
Dietary Fiber 7g 26%
Total Sugars 42g
Protein 10g
Vitamin C 11mg 55%
Calcium 44mg 3%
Iron 4mg 19%
Potassium 326mg 7%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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