Francois Payard’s Apple Honey Cake

We are getting close to setting our clocks back an hour for daylight savings time, and soon the holiday season will begin. Grocer coolers will fill to the top with turkeys and foil roasting pans will find their way to the end of every aisle. Candy canes and Christmas themed M&M’s will be artfully placed at check-out counters and sweet-themed dessert posts will take over TikTok and Instagram.

Now that autumn has officially arrived, planning for fall and winter holidays is in full swing. Family dinners, office cocktail parties, elegant soiree’s and casual gatherings all require a stunning dessert. Set this little beauty next to the  traditional pumpkin pie and watch it disappear. 

We are delighted to kick off our holiday recipe segments with chef Francois Payard’s ambrosial Apple Honey Cake recipe.

Chef Payard's Apple Honey Cake

  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Print

(6 servings) 

Chef Payard's Apple Honey CakeBatter

  • 3 tablespoons (43 grams) unsalted butter
  • ½ cup (60 grams) slivered almonds
  • ¼ cup plus 3 tablespoons (50 grams) confectioners¹ sugar
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons (54 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons (15 grams) cornstarch
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons (42 grams honey)
  • ¼ cup (58 grams) heavy cream
  • 1 vanilla bean, split 

Apple Filling

  • 10 tablespoons (1¼ sticks) (142 grams) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
  • 3 medium (510 grams) Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1Ž4-inch dice
  • ½  cup (168 grams) honey
  • ¼ cup (60 grams) Calvados or apple jack 


  • One premade 91Ž2-inch tart shell 


  • ¼ cup (84 grams) honey


  1. Make the batter: Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook the butter until it begins to brown and has a nutty fragrance, about 3 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  3. Put the slivered almonds in a food processor and process until finely ground, about 45 seconds. Transfer the ground almonds to a medium bowl. Sift the confectioners¹ sugar over the almonds. Add the flour, cornstarch, and salt and gently whisk to combine.
  4. Combine the egg whites, honey, cooled browned butter, and cream in another medium bowl. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean (reserve the pod for another use) into the bowl and whisk to combine. Add the dry ingredients and whisk just until combined. Set aside.
  5. Make the apple filling: Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat and cook until it is golden brown and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add the diced apples and honey and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes, or until the apples are slightly softened. Add the Calvados to the skillet, carefully light it with a match, and cook until the flame dies. Drain the apples in a strainer set over a bowl, reserving 1Ž/4 cup of the liquid. Stir the reserved liquid back into the diced apples.
  6. Pour the apple mixture into the tart shell and spread it into an even layer. Scrape the financier batter over the apples, covering them completely.
  7. Bake the tart for 45 to 50 minutes, until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Place the tart on a wire rack.
  8. Glaze the tart: Put the honey in a heatproof glass measure and microwave on high for 10 to 15 seconds, until hot. (Or, heat in a small saucepan.) Brush the honey over the top of the hot tart. Cool the tart completely before serving.

Francois Payard

A gracious thank you to chef Payard for the above recipe.

Follow Payard’s on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest 

One thought on “Francois Payard’s Apple Honey Cake

Leave a Reply