Apple Tarte Tatin

An Apple Tarte Tatin is simply an upside-down apple tart. But that’s like saying Versailles was a house. It’s modest in its simplicity. Yet, when eaten warm from the oven…

Let’s get down to the nitty gritty and learn what the best apple for Tarte tatin is!


Apple Tarte Tatin History

This little piece of showmanship is named after the sisters who invented it. Apple Tarte Tatin is a French classic immersed in tales of culinary clumsiness and stolen recipes. It makes the perfect dinner party dessert; impressive to look at, yet surprisingly easy to pull off.

Apples cooked to a rich, deep amber, topped with a buttery pastry dough will cover a multitude of other culinary imperfections. Tell your guests that it’s meant to be rustic as you pass out the plates and carry on with the evening.


Apple Tarte Tatin

Tarte Tatin isn't as American as apple pie, but it's a whole lot easier. It's all about the apples: the lovely taste and shape of the fruit with a buttery-salty crust underneath. 
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time1 hr 5 mins
Cooling Time4 hrs
Total Time1 hr 35 mins
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: French
Keyword: Tarte Tatin
Servings: 10


  • Savarin Mould
  • Large Frying pan


Caramelized Apples

  • 8-10 Apples I used Jonagold
  • 150 g Unsalted butter
  • 150 g Granulated sugar
  • Pinch of ground cinnamon

Sweet Shortcrust Pastry

  • 125 g Plain flour
  • 75 g Unsalted butter
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tsp Icing sugar
  • 1/2 Egg 30g
  • 1 tsp water


For The Caramelized Apples

  • Peel, halve & core the apples.
  • Heat the butter and sugar in a large frying pan, sprinkle with cinnamon & continue to cook until caramelized.
  • Add the apple halves and cook for about 10 mins until apples start to soften.
  • Preheat your oven to 220°C (428°F). Butter the mould and dust with sugar.
  • Arrange the apple halves inside the mould, packed tightly. Bake for 45 mins.

For The Sweet Shortcrust Pastry (makes 250 g)

  • Place the flour, butter, icing sugar, and salt in a bowl.
  • Work the dough by using the rubbing-in method. Mix and rub the dough between your fingers.
  • Add the egg and water; mix using a wooden spoon. On a lightly floured surface, turn the dough and smear until a smooth dough comes together.
  • Form the dough into a ball and flatten slightly. Wrap in clingfilm and place in the fridge for 30 mins.
  • Roll out the dough and cut out a disc slightly larger than the diameter of the mould. Place in fridge.
  • Take the mould out of the oven and allow to cool slightly, then cover with the dough disc.
  • Trim off the excess dough by running the rolling pin over the top of the mould. Lower the oven temperature to 200°C (390°C) and bake the tart for 20 mins.
  • Let cool for at least 1 hour. Put the tart over a bain-marie before turning it out.
caramelized apples

How To Make Tarte Tatin

This upside-down apple tart is baked in a savarin mould.

Preheat your oven to 220°C (428°F). Butter the mould and dust with sugar. Set aside.

Start with peeling & cutting the apples in halves, using a small turning or paring knife to remove the seeds.

Continue with the caramel sauce. Melt the butter in a large frying pan over medium to medium-high heat, then stir in the sugar and cinnamon. It will be grainy and clumpy at first, then start to dissolve into a caramel.

Add the apples to the sauce. When the sugar and butter are bubbling, add the apples. There’s no need to arrange them.

Cook the apples until caramelized. Cook the apples for 10 mins, stirring frequently until the sauce darkens to a deep amber caramel color. Be sure to turn the apples to make sure that they are coated with the caramel sauce.

Bake. Remove the pan of apples from the heat. With a fork or a spoon, transfer the apples to the savarin mould and arrange them in concentric circles. Bake for 45 mins.

Make the sweet shortcrust pastry. Wrap in clingfilm and place in the fridge for 30 mins.

Top with the pie crust. After 45mins, take the mould out of the oven and allow to cool slightly, then drape the shortcrust pastry over the apples. Tuck the edges of the pie crust into the pan and prick with a fork.

Bake the Tarte Tatin. Bake for another 20 minutes, until the crust is golden brown.

Cool the Apple Tarte Tatin. For 30 mins – 1h.

Invert the tarte Tatin by either putting the tart over a bain-marie before turning it out or by running a knife around the edge of the pie crust to separate it from the pan. Using oven mitts, grip a plate and the mould and swiftly turn them both over so the plate is on the bottom and the savarin mould is on top.

And yep, an upside-down apple tart will taste incredible no matter what happens during that flip. It’s a sure thing.


The Best Apple For Tarte Tatin

The secret to making this dessert is patience and your choice of apples. Choose a firm-tart apple for this recipe, like:

  • Jonagold
  • Pink Lady
  • Fuji
  • Gala
  • Braeburn
  • Cox
  • Golden Delicious

Avoid Granny Smiths, as they tend to soften too quickly and get mushy.


French Apple Tarte Tatin Tips

#1 Apples shrink a lot when they cook. When you nestle the apples against each other before you bake it, you want each to lean onto the one behind it, so as it shrinks in the oven, they’re still tightly snugged together.

#2 Most of the apple-cooking is done on the stove in the caramel; the rest happens in the oven. When the pastry is nicely browned and crisp, it’s done. Make sure the sautéed apples are mostly cooked before it goes in the oven or the baked Tatin won’t have perfectly tender apples.

#3 Don’t flip the pan too soon. Give the caramel and cooked apple juices time to thicken up a bit. A minimum of 30 minutes and up to 60min works. It’s not ruined if you flip it sooner, but the caramel will be thinner and more likely to run off.

#4 Add-ins: A classic tatin requires nothing further and should be kept plain and served without accompaniment. But if you really must…

  • A splash of brandy, amaretto, or triple sec.
  • A sprinkling of cinnamon, nutmeg, or ginger.
  • A few toasted almonds on top for extra crunch.
  • Have some ice cream or a dollop of tangy crème fraîche at the ready. This is a total win.


Did you make this French Apple Tarte Tatin? please let me know! Leave a comment below or take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #WhatsUpDoughBakes.


No Comments

    Leave a Reply

    Recipe Rating