The Best Classic French Apple Tarte Tatin Recipe | The Pure Taste (2024)

Posted by Maria | Nov 2, 2017 | Desserts Recipes, | 4 |

This Classic French Apple Tarte Tatin recipe is a pure pleasure to enjoy during apple season. Despite the scary name it is very easy to make, requires only one pan, simple ingredients and a tiny portion of your day. Enjoy this golden caramelized treat with the fragrant vanilla bean ice cream.

The Best Classic French Apple Tarte Tatin Recipe | The Pure Taste (1)

I made many apple tarte tatins before and was happy with the results. Until I discovered a new completely different Classic French Apple Tarte Tatin Recipe. Without the doubt, it became my favorite apple dessert.

I discovered this recipe in a new book of Mimi Thorisson “French Country Cooking.” This is her second book about French cooking. The most calming, charming and elegant cookbook I’ve ever owned. Fast enough it became one of my favorite cookbook in my collection.

I made many recipes from it from easy to more time consuming, and so far loved almost all. There is one recipe that I’m very grateful for and so glad Mimi included it is Apple Tarte Tatin. Thank you, Mimi, so much for sharing this special recipe.

The Best Classic French Apple Tarte Tatin Recipe | The Pure Taste (2)

The Best Classic French Apple Tarte Tatin Recipe | The Pure Taste (3)

Despite the fancy French name, this is a very easy dessert to make. By bad luck, this is one of the desserts full of myths on how hard and scary it is to make. It is nothing more than caramelized apples and tart crust. The “hardest” part of this recipe is the tart dough. And even this part you can skip by buying store-bought puff pastry or pie dough. Yet, I encourage you to make a homemade tart dough because it makes a significant difference in taste. Also much cheaper to make your own rather than buy.

For some reason, the tart dough recipe from this book didn’t work out for me, and I changed it to my favorite one. Maybe the quality of ingredients is different. Or maybe I’ve done countless tarts and figured out my best tart dough recipe and use it ever since.

The Best Classic French Apple Tarte Tatin Recipe | The Pure Taste (4)

The Best Classic French Apple Tarte Tatin Recipe | The Pure Taste (5)

Use only the best seasonal apples for this classic french apple tarte tatin recipe. I always favored the Golden Delicious apples for Tarte Tatin. They give an extra depth of taste and magnificent smell to it.

Mimi’s method is to caramelize apples along with butter and vanilla bean in one pan. This method eliminates making the dry caramel, which is harder and time-consuming process. You simply arrange all ingredients in a skillet and let bubbling and sizzling do the magic. Meanwhile, let the aroma of apples caramelized in browned butter fill your home.

The Best Classic French Apple Tarte Tatin Recipe | The Pure Taste (6)

Only a month ago I discovered this recipe and already made it three times. With all the confidence I can tell you this is a foolproof Apple Tarte Tatin recipe. It is easy to make and requires only ONE skillet. Your tiny effort will be rewarded with a delightful classic French dessert.

I encourage you to conquer this classic french apple tarte tatin recipe. Make it once, and you will crave for more every time you finish it.

The Best Classic French Apple Tarte Tatin Recipe | The Pure Taste (7)

Tips and Tricks for Classic French Apple Tarte Tatin recipe:

  • A straight-sided stainless steel skillet is the best option.
  • For my 8.5-inch stainless steel skillet, I used 9 medium Golden Delicious apples.
  • Use only the highest quality unsalted butter. It makes a huge difference in taste, smell and color of your apple tarte tatin.
  • I find Golden Delicious to be the best option for the Apple Tarte Tatin recipes. However, Jonagold, Honey Crisp, Cameo, and Cortland are good options as well.
  • I included both instructions on how to make the tart dough (shortcrust pastry) by hand and in a food processor. For a deeper look watch this 2 useful videos on How To Make Sweet Shortcrust Pastry by Jamie Oliver and Pie Crust Tutorial: Food Processor Method.
  • Serve this deep golden brown Tarte Tatin as it is. Or my favorite way with the whipped cream or vanilla bean ice cream.


Yields: 8-9 inch tart

Classic French Apple Tarte Tatin Recipe

30 minPrep Time

1 hrCook Time

1 hr, 30 Total Time

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    For the tart dough:

  • 1 ½ cups (200 gr.) all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup (50 gr.) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (1 stick, 113 gr.) cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1 large egg, lightly whisked
  • For the apples:

  • ½ cup (100 gr.) granulated sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seed scraped and reserved
  • 6 ½ tbsp. (90 gr.) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces + more for greasing
  • About 2 pounds (8-10 medium sized) apples (preferable golden delicious), peeled, cored, and quartered
  • For serving:

  • Whipped cream
  • Vanilla ice cream


To make the tart dough (shortcrust pastry) by hand:

In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, and salt. Using your hands mix the cold butter into flour mixture until you see small pea-sized chunks. Add an egg and mix by hand until the dough comes together and looks smooth. Shape the dough into a disc. Wrap tightly in a plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.

To make tart dough (shortcrust pastry) in a food processor:

Combine flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor. Pulse couple of time to aerate the mixture. Add cold cubed butter. Pulse a couple of times until you see coarse pea-sized crumbs. Add an egg and pulse until everything just comes together. Invert the dough onto the surface. Knead the dough until it is smooth. Shape into a flat disc. Wrap tightly in a plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.

To make caramelized apples:

Butter the 8.5 inches straight sided ovenproof pan generously. In a medium bowl mix sugar and vanilla bean seeds. Distribute sugar mixture evenly in the pan. Divide the butter on top of the sugar. Arrange apple slices with one cut side down in a circle motion pressing down the slices slightly.

On the stovetop heat the pan over the medium-high heat. Cook apples until you see bubbles. Reduce heat to medium and continue to cook until the liquid turns beautiful golden brown (caramel) color, about 10 minutes. Immediately remove from heat.

To make apple tarte tatin:

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Generously flour the surface. Hit the dough couple of times with the rolling pin in different directions. This keeps the dough from cracking. Roll out the dough. With the sharp knife cut the circle slightly bigger in diameter than the pan. Arrange the dough over the caramelized apples. !Carefully tuck the edges of the dough between the apples and the pan on all sides.

Bake tatin in the oven until the dough turns golden brown color, about 45-50 minutes.

Remove from oven and let it cool slightly about 5 minutes.

Prepare the large plate or cake stand you wish to serve apple tarte Tatin. Place the plate on top of the pan. Using oven mitts flip the pan.

Serve warm or cold with whipped cream or ice cream.

Enjoy 😉

Adapted from French Country Cooking


Please note, the total time does not include dough resting time, which is at least 2 hours.



3869 cal


215 g


475 g


31 g

Click Here For Full Nutrition, Exchanges, and My Plate Info

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Maria | The Pure Taste

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Products used in this post:

The Best Classic French Apple Tarte Tatin Recipe | The Pure Taste (10)

French Country Cooking

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Cuisinart 14-Cup Food Processor

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How do you keep Tarte Tatin from getting soggy? ›

However, I recommend you make the recipe all in one go to avoid the pastry going soggy. If you plan on making this in advance and caramelising the apples first, then wait for them to cool completely before adding the pastry. So make the recipe all in one go, leave the tart to cool then upturn onto a serving plate.

What fruit is traditionally used in Tarte Tatin? ›

The tarte Tatin (French pronunciation: [taʁt tatɛ̃]), named after the Tatin sisters who invented it and served it in their hotel as its signature dish, is a pastry in which the fruit (usually apples) is caramelized in butter and sugar before the tart is baked.

What is unusual about Tarte Tatin? ›

Named after the woman who invented it, the Tarte Tatin (tart tah-TAN) is a famous French "upside-down" caramelized apple tart or Tarte aux pommes (caramélisé). Basically, the apples are underneath the dough – topsy-turvy indeed.

How do you know when Tarte Tatin is done? ›

When the pastry is nicely browned and crisp, it's done. This means that if the sautéed apples aren't mostly cooked, that they're still crunchy inside, it needs more time on the stove before it goes in the oven or the baked tatin won't have perfectly tender apples.

What is the best pan for tarte tatin? ›

The Silverwood Bakeware Tarte Tatin Pan is perfect for avid bakers. Resilient and heavy-duty, it will not warp, rust or peel. The alloy core spreads heat fast and evenly, producing perfect baking in a reduced time.

Why does my tart have a soggy bottom? ›

Soggy bottoms

And finally, the most frustrating pastry problem of all – the soggy bottom. This normally happens when the oven is not hot enough or the pastry is not baked for long enough. However, it can also be because too much water was added to the dough.

What does tatin mean in English? ›

adjective. caramelized and baked in the manner of an upside-down cake. an apple tart Tatin.

Should tarte tatin be refrigerated? ›

Use a small sharp knife to trim the hard cores and seeds from the center of each quarter; don't worry about being too neat. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate, lightly covered, for at least one day or up to three days. (This key step reduces the amount of liquid in the tart.

What are the best apples for apple tarts? ›

The results are way more delicate and not as sweet as a shortbread shell, but provides the perfect base for our apples. The best apples for an apple tart: We're partial to Granny Smith, Honeycrip, and Gala, but you can really use any baking apple that you prefer in this recipe!

Why is tarte tatin so good? ›

Tarte Tatin is an oozy caramelized dessert with melt-in-your-mouth apples and a semi-flaky crust. When I know it's coming, I wish it were the only course of the meal. It really is that good.

What can I use instead of a tarte tatin tin? ›

You could use a cast iron ovenproof pan but as these are sturdier in construction than a tart tatin pan it will need to be preheated in the oven for slightly longer than the thin metal pan. We would suggest giving it 10-15 minutes in the oven before using.

Does a tarte tatin need to be served immediately? ›

The best way to eat it is 1-2 hours after cooking, when it is still warm and the pastry is crisp. You can cook the tart a day in advance, keep it in the mould and reheat it at 150°C for 20 minutes.

Can you make tarte tatin in a stainless steel pan? ›

Choose a pan: a copper tarte tatin mold will be perfect (here's a link to a good one), but you can also use an iron skillet (as long as it doesn't smell like salmon or something) or even a heavy stainless steel (like All-Clad) or non-stick sauté pan.

Who invented tarte tatin? ›

We owe the tasty recipe of the Tarte Tatin to an accidental discovery. Legend has it that the tart appeared at the end of the 19th century. Two sisters ran a hotel and restaurant in Lamotte-Beuvron, Caroline Tatin, who took care of the reception while Stéphanie Tatin, did the cooking.

What is a tatin in France? ›

This French-style apple tart, also known as tarte tatin, features caramelized apples baked in a buttery pastry crust. Serve it warm with a dollop of whipped cream for a classic dessert.

How do you keep pastry from getting soggy? ›

Some folks brush their pie crust's interior with beaten egg white or coat it with melted butter to create a moisture-resistant barrier between filling and pastry. Veteran baker and author Dorie Greenspan uses bread crumbs to soak up any excess liquid.

How do you keep puff pastry from getting soggy? ›

Pastry being soggy in the middle is a result of the pastry being undercooked. Don't place the pastry on too high a shelf in the oven. One way to prevent soggy bottom pastry is to blind bake the pastry – This means partially or completely bake the pastry before adding the filling. Also, avoid over-filling your pastry.

How do you store tarte tatin overnight? ›

Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate, lightly covered, for at least one day or up to three days.

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