Sweet Recipe: Apple Tarte Tatin - Reliving the sweet taste of historical success

Prior to the opening of their Hotel Tatin in Lamotte-Beuvron, France in 1894, Stephanie and Caroline Tatin discovered a sweet treat that will soon lead to one of the most favorable desserts in history. It all started when Stephanie was creating an apple pie in 1880. Accidentally, she left the apples cooking in sugar and butter. What she did next changed the history. Stephanie put the pastry on top and baked it down facing, just to save the pie – and that’s how this sweet success story started.

Soon, Stephanie and Caroline opened their hotel that led to the dessert’s solid following. In this post, I want to relive the success of Tarte Tatin by providing you the steps in making one.

Apple Tarte is a great companion to strong Folgers, afternoon tea, or M&S Wine for dessert like their Pink Port NV or Rich Cream Sherry.


Note: Unfold the puff pastry sheet onto a lightly floured surface since it has a tendency to become sticky once it thaws. If the puff pastry sheet become too soft and sticky, feel free to place it in the refrigerator for a few minutes to quickly chill it. Cut the puff pastry dough with a very sharp utensil such as a knife, pizza wheel or pastry tool.


  • 6 large apples apple, peeled, cored, halved and slice
  • 3/4 cup sugar plus 2 Tbsp.
  • 6 Tbsp. butter  
  • 1 vanilla pod, split along the length with seeds scraped out 
  • one sheet of puff pastry dough (simply stop by your local grocery store and pick up a box of frozen puff pastry dough)
  • flour for dusting (optional)
  • egg wash (1 egg and 1 Tbsp. of water)


Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Dust a clean surface and a rolling pin with flour and flatten puff pastry until it's just about 1/4" thick, cut into a round piece large enough to cover the pan that you'll be using to cook the tarte in. Leave a little extra around the edge. Put it aside.

Put the pan on medium heat and add the butter and sugar. Cook over medium heat until butter melts, the sugar is partially dissolved, and the mixture is bubbling, about 2 minutes.

Arrange apples closely together, core-side up, in a circular pattern in the skillet. If necessary, cut remaining apples in quarters to fill in the spaces. Sprinkle apples with 2 tablespoons sugar. Set skillet over medium-high heat. Boil until a thick amber colored syrup forms, turning the skillet to ensure even cooking, about 25 to 30 minutes.

Then lay the pastry over the top. Quickly and carefully tuck pastry’s edges; use a wooden spoon so you don't touch the caramel. Brush pastry with the egg wash to give the dough a deep golden color.

Bake for about 15 - 20 minutes, or until golden, with caramel bits bubbling up from under the edges. Remove from oven. With oven gloves, get a serving plate larger than the pan. Put that on top of the pan; then quickly, carefully, but confidently turn it over. Put it aside for a few minutes, to allow the caramel to cool, then slice and serve with crème fraîche or ice cream.

Apple Tarte 1


Medeja said...
October 9, 2013 at 1:29 AM  

What a cute autumn tarte tatin recipe! I like those pink girly plates :D

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...
October 9, 2013 at 1:40 AM  

A beautiful and tempting tarte Tatin! A great fall/winter dessert.

Lovely pictures too.



La Table De Nana said...
October 9, 2013 at 6:13 AM  

Such a classic..

Kate from Scratch said...
October 10, 2013 at 1:02 PM  

Oh so pretty! Like a gorgeous stained glass piece of art but delicious and decadent.

Shema George said...
October 10, 2013 at 10:44 PM  

Such gorgeous pictures - I loved this dessert..so perfect for this weather !!!

Julia said...
October 13, 2013 at 3:56 AM  

Yelena, your photography is as usually gorgeous. Of course, I love apple tarte tatin, but I also love that lonely white chair against the Fall foliage. And I love the apples in the basket. So pretty.

Meli said...
October 14, 2013 at 8:27 AM  

Nice chair, beautiful garden, the feeling of fall is all around these pictures. This reminds me that the Tarte Tatin season is here again! Regards

DrBuoux said...
October 14, 2013 at 10:54 PM  

Wow! Delicious looking tart! I can practically feel the crust flaking in my mouth. Ken

Irina @ wandercrush said...
October 16, 2013 at 6:35 PM  

I posted about the funny story behind this dish when I made tarte tatin on my blog, too—glad to see there are other foodies in the blogosphere nerding out about the history side. You really got such a beautiful caramelisation on it, and the light dusting of powdered sugar is lovely.

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