This is a light and simple dessert, filled with warm cinnamon and tart, paper thin slices of buttery apples. It’s a dessert that embraces the flavors of Fall without feeling overly indulgent, even when served with a scoop or two of vanilla bean ice cream. It can be prepared ahead of time and baked on demand, it makes the house smell incredible and the unique beehive display makes this a wonderful dessert for entertaining family and friends.
a few notes on the recipe…
If you’ve been on the fence about getting an apple corer, get one for this recipe! I don’t have one and used a paring knife to hack out the core, but the technique is a little sketchy and dangerous, and I felt like I lost a lot of apple in the process. A corer will make this recipe much easier and more enjoyable.
Same goes for a mandolin! With so few ingredients in this recipe, quality of ingredients and how they’re prepared have a big impact on the final product. Uniform, thin slices of apple really make this dessert, and a mandolin is the best way to achieve them. I sliced mine to about the thickness of a quarter. That being said, thin rings are delicate and prone to breaking when slicing-- don’t worry if this happens (I think probably half of mine broke), just use them on the inside parts of the beehive and save the intact rings for the outer rim.
brown sugar apple beehive
makes 6- 8 servings | recipe adapted from Tartine All Day by Elisabeth Prueitt
6 tbsp (85 g) unsalted butter, melted plus more for greasing the pan
1/2 cup (100 g) brown sugar
1 tbsp + 1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp kosher salt
6 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and very thinly sliced
lightly sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, for serving (optional)
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Butter the bottom of an 8" tart pan. Alternatively, line a baking sheet with parchment paper (don't use foil like I did in the pictures below).
Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a small bowl and set aside.
Working directly on the prepared tart pan or baking sheet, arrange a layer of apple slices in an 8" circle, halfway overlapping each slice. Continue layering apple slices to form a beehive shape, saving some of the smaller slices for the top. Every 2 to 3 layers, brush lightly with the butter and sprinkle lightly with some of the cinnamon sugar mixture. Once you've assembled the beehive, brush the butter all over it and cover with any remaining sugar mixture.
Lightly grease a piece of aluminum foil and gently cover the apples with it. Bake for 35 minutes, and then gently press down to help compact the layers. Remove the foil and bake another 20 to 30 minutes, until soft and easily pierced with a knife.
Serve warm or at room temperature, cut into wedges, with a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream.