Classic Tarte Tatin

star rating (3) rate this recipe »
Recipe photo

Classic Tarte Tatin

star rating (3) rate this recipe »
Published prior to 2008

This classic French harvest dessert features caramelized apples topped with flaky pastry crust, baked and then inverted for a beautiful presentation.

1 1/2 cups (6 1/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) sugar, superfine (castor) preferred
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons (3 ounces) unsalted butter, chilled
1 large egg yolk
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) ice water

6 tablespoons (3 ounces) unsalted butter, chilled
3/4 cup (6 ounces) sugar, superfine (castor) preferred
3 pounds (about 8) firm baking apples, such as Granny Smith or Golden Delicious, peeled, cored, and sliced
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons boiled cider, or frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed

To make the crust: Use a food processor, mixer, or pastry blender/fork to blend together the flour, sugar, salt, and butter till the mixture has formed fine crumbs. Add the egg yolk and water, mixing to make a firm, cohesive dough; add a bit more water if necessary. Form the dough into a disk, wrap, and chill while preparing the filling.

To make the filling: Slice the butter into thin pats and use them to completely cover the bottom of a burner-safe, oven-safe 9" to 10" round pan, such as a cast iron skillet. Sprinkle the sugar over the butter. Arrange the apple slices in concentric circles in the pan, placing the nicest ones on the bottom; pack them in tightly so they all fit. Place the pan on a burner, and cook over medium heat for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the butter and sugar have caramelized, and all the moisture from the apples has evaporated. Remove from the heat, and drizzle with the boiled cider or apple juice concentrate. While the apples are cooking, preheat the oven to 425°F.

Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface to a 9" circle. Place the dough over the apples, tucking the edges inside the pan. Prick the pastry lid all over with a fork.

To bake the tarte: Bake the tarte tatin for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and crisp. Remove from the oven, cool slightly, then run a spatula around the edge of the pan and invert onto a serving plate. Serve warm or at room temperature. Yield: 6 to 8 servings.


  • star rating 03/02/2011
  • lindaclements from KAF Community
  • While the prep time is long, it is an easy recipe from a technical perspective. I also burned a couple of the apple slices (like another reviewer) by not watching the caramalizing apples closely when the liquid was almost evaporated. You do not need to watch the apples, as long as you set it on simmer until the last 15 minutes. I got rave reviews on the taste and presentation. The crust held up even into the second day. I will try this one again!
  • star rating 10/24/2010
  • cynthia20932 from KAF Community
  • I've been looking for the right Tarte Tatin recipe for a long time. This comes close to perfection - better than the piece I had in Paris. It caramelized very nicely. I used some tart Granny Smith apples, which I realize now could have used some extra sugar. I came very close to burning the caramel on the stovetop because for some reason I turned up the heat a bit at the end and wasn't watching closely. Keep the heat on just enough to simmer the caramel! I let it simmer for over 50 minutes. The crust was crispy and flaky - I just used a beaten whole egg, but I still needed to add some ice water. I had no trouble inverting it. The crust is holding up well. Next time, I will make more caramel and it will be perfect!
  • star rating 08/11/2009
  • Eric from Louisville, KY
  • I gave this recipe four stars, but it might deserve five in more highly-skilled hands. This tart is so gooey and delicious from the caramelized apples that it's almost obscene. It's SOOOO good. I did have trouble with two things. First, it took about 90 minutes to caramelize the butter, sugar, and apples. I actually had to pour off some of the butter, because the apples were floating in it, and I just couldn't see how it would ever caramelize. Second, some of the apples were slightly burned. These stuck to the pan, which is better than them sticking on the tart! If I were to make this again, I might try to reduce the amount of butter and use a smaller pan (I used a 10" cast iron skillet). I might also be careful to take the pan off the burner at the first sign of caramelization, to avoid burning. Thanks for a great recipe!