Apple Season – A Recipe for Tarte Tatin

It’s apple season again. Why not charm your guests by making a French Tarte Tatin this year instead of the traditional Apple Pie?

Tarte Tatin is reminiscent of an upside-down cake in that you actually turn the tart upside down after baking it.

Photo of a Tarte Tatin

It’s said to have first been made by mistake by one of two sisters who ran a hotel in France in the late 1800’s. Her name was Stéphanie Tatin. The story goes that one day Stéphanie was in a rush while making an apple tart. She forgot to put the tart dough on the bottom of the tart pan. Realizing her mistake, she put the dough on the top of the apples. She cooked it that way and turned it upside down when it came out of the oven. It was délicieux! The tart was such a success that Stéphanie decided to start serving it to her guests thereafter!

The ingredients to make this tart are very simple. We used Red Delicious apples and bought pre-made pie dough to make it. The apples need to be firm, non-baking apples, so they don’t get mushy.

Here’s our recipe…

Tarte Tatin

5 Apples
1/2 cup Sugar + 2 T. to Coat the Pan
1/2 Stick Butter + 1 T. to Butter Pan
Pie Dough

Preheat oven to 350˚ F.

1) Peel and core the apples. Then cut them into quarters. Then cut the quarters in half in the other direction. Mix apples with the sugar to coat.

2) Melt the butter in a frying pan over medium to low heat. Sauté the apples until slightly tender on the outside.

3) Butter and heavily sugar a tart or pie pan. Place sautéed apples into pan.

4) Roll out pie dough so that it’s big enough to cover the apples. Put the dough over apples and tuck edges of the dough down around the apples to touch the bottom of the pan.

5) Cook for 30-40 minutes or until the crust is golden.

6) When the tart is done, turn it over into a dish that has sides. The tart will now be upside down.

7) Serve warm with heavy cream poured over each slice if desired. You can also serve Tarte Tatin with vanilla ice cream.

Bon appétit!

-Mama Lisa

Many thanks to Monique Palomares of Mama Lisa’s World en français for sharing this recipe with us!

I recommend that you cook this tart while singing Pomme de reinette!

UPDATE: Someone pointed out in the comments that the apples aren’t caramelized enough in the photo above. I noticed in Julia Child’s version of Tarte Tatin that she puts the tart under the broiler after turning it over (in step 6 above) to caramelize the apples more.

This article was posted on Tuesday, October 9th, 2007 at 9:31 pm and is filed under Countries & Cultures, Desserts, France, French, Languages, Mama Lisa, Recipes of the World, Tarte Tatin. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

7 Responses to “Apple Season – A Recipe for Tarte Tatin”

  1. TulipGirl Says:

    I found your site while looking for Ukrainian nursery rhymes–and found a couple here on your site that our Ukrainian nanny sang to our boys. Wonderful memories.

  2. Mikemasters Says:

    It’s all well and good to sound like an expert on tarte tatins, but if that picture above the recipe is how your tarte tatin turned out, you should be embarrassed. The apples aren’t caramelised, the pastry isn’t cooked properly and it doesn’t look anything like a tarte tatin that I’ve ever seen made or eaten. I don’t have a problem with people experimenting or doing things their own way, just don’t call it a “tarte tatin”, when it’s actually “raw apples inside raw pastry inside a glass bowl”.

  3. Lisa Says:

    We didn’t caramelize the apples as much as usual in order to cut down on the butter and sugar used.

    The whole tarte was cooked – none of it was raw.

    It was a healthier version of a tarte tatin. Sorry you weren’t there to try it!

    Mama Lisa

  4. marilyn Says:

    I made this with apricots, carmelized them first, used a docked puff pastry (from the market) and baked it in a cast iron pan. All I can say is yum. My only recommendation is start at the center and make concentric circles to edge of pan, and crowd them in..Again…easy, and very yummy, Marilyn

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