Tarte Tatin

9 May

I seem to have a love affair with the French classics. Tarte Tatin which means “tarte made in the style of the Tatin sister” like many classic dishes and desserts came about purely by accident.

Legend has it that the dessert was created by Stephanie Tatin who owned and operated l’Hotel Tatin with her sister Carolina in France back in 1888There are conflicting stories as to how this upside down apple tart came about but the long and short of it is that Stephanie  placed a pie crust on top of apples with butter and sugar and a signature dish for the hotel was created.

The ingredients apples, butter and sugar are placed in a shallow baking dish and covered with a pie crust and baked. When  inverted on a plate you have a beautiful apple tart with a delicious caramel topping. When you think about it Tarte Tatin is similar in a sense to a Pineapple Upside Down Cake but more sophisticated.

Tarte Tatin has to be made with firm dessert apples, such as Granny Smith or Golden Delicioius apples  although the original was made with two regional apple varieties: Reine des Reinettes (King of the Pippins) and Calville.

Here is my version of the classic!

Pie Dough:

  • 6 oz. cold unsalted butter  (cut into small pieces)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/8 cup very cold water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  • 2 oz. butter
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 4 medium Granny Smith or Golden Delicious apples (approx.  2 pound) peel, cored and sliced
  • Few dashes ground cinnamon


In a stand mixer combine flour, sugar, and salt together on a low speed. Add butter and mix until dough resembles cornmeal. Whisk in egg, water, and vanilla and continue to until dough  holds together. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes

While the dough is refrigerating, make the filling:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

  1. Melt the butter and sugar together in a 12-inch nonstick oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the apple slices and stir to coat with melted butter mixture. Sprinkle with cinnamon and cook until apples have softened slightly and take on some color, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
  3. Arrange the apples in a shallow 9 inch baking tin
  4. Roll out the refrigerated dough on a floured countertop into a 12-inch disk and lay over the top of the apples, trimming any excess. Prick with a fork in several places to let steam release.  
  5. Bake for 40 minutes or until golden browned.
  6. Cool for 20 minutes and then invert tart onto serving dish
  7. Serve warm with a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream



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