Sweet sticky caramel and tender apples, on a crispy puff pastry base, the classic apple tarte tatin is baked upside-down and is far easier than it looks.
Marie here again from Sugar Salt Magic and I’m dropping in this month with this gorgeous apple tarte tatin recipe. Perfect for a fancy afternoon tea, dessert or even an indulgent breakfast, this french tart is also the perfect treat for Fall.
What is apple tarte tatin
A combination of tender, caramelised apples and crisp, buttery puff pastry, apple tarte tatin is a classic French dessert that has become popular the world over.
The best part is this simple recipe has only 5 ingredients
- Sugar: cooked until golden and caramelised
- Butter: unsalted, added to the caramel for a rich buttery flavour
- Vanilla: classically you would add a whole vanilla bean but to keep it simple I use a vanilla bean paste or you can just use extract
- Apples: Granny Smiths to be exact – see the tips section.
- Puff Pastry: Life’s too short to make it so you’re looking for an all butter puff pastry at your local grocery store.
How to make Apple Tarte Tatin
Starting with a simple caramel, this tart just needs to be assembled then baked. It so much easier than it’s fancy name and look implies.
- Peel and cut apples: Peel the apples, cut in half then use a melon baller to scoop out the core. Now cut them into quarters and place them curved side down in a pie tin or dish.
- The caramel: heat sugar in a pan (image 1), stirring from time to time until it all melts and turns amber, then mix in some butter (image 2). Once it’s all combined, take it off the heat and add vanilla.
- Add caramel to apples: Pour the caramel evenly over the top of the apples in the pie tin (image 3).
- Add the pastry: Top with the puff pastry sheet, trim it to a circle slightly wider than the apples, then carefully tuck the edges under the apples all the way round (image 4).
- Bake: bake the tarte tatin until it’s golden and crisp – about 30 minutes.
It’s important to note, the caramel will likely harden once you pour it over the apples – don’t worry, this is fine. As it cooks, the apples will release their own juices which will combine with and soften the caramel.
Tips and variations
- Apples: Granny Smiths work best as they hold their shape plus their slightly tart flavour works well with the very sweet caramel. It doesn’t matter if the apples oxidize since it will all be hidden by the caramel so it’s best not to add any acid to stop that process as any excess liquid will just give you a soggy tart.
- Vanilla Bean: If you’d like to add a vanilla bean, slice the pod in half and scrape out the seeds. Add the seeds to the caramel where you would add the vanilla extract, then add the bean directly to the bottom of the baking tin before placing the apples on top. This makes it easy to remove when you invert the tart onto a serving plate.
- The right pan: So your caramel doesn’t crystallise, make sure to use a stainless steel or enamel interior pan that is perfectly clean. To make sure there is no fat lingering on the surface, I like to run a wedge of lemon around the inside, then rinse and dry it. Then you can go ahead and add the sugar.
- The right dish: I use an 8 inch pie tin for this. A ceramic dish will also work.
How to serve apple tarte tatin
Apple tarte tatin is best served fresh and still warm although you can eat it cold as well.
Make sure not to turn it out of the tin until you are ready to serve. While cooking the apples release their own juices which mix with the caramel. As soon as you invert the tart, the caramel can start soaking into the puff pastry making it soggy.
You can serve this gorgeous apple tart with fresh whipped cream or ice cream. You could also serve it with crème anglaise, a French vanilla custard sauce.
For such an impressive dessert, this classic tarte tatin is truly simple to make. You should definitely make this special treat as soon as possible.
More amazing apple recipes
- Warm Apple Crostata (with Quick Caramel Sauce)
- Apple Cinnamon Pancakes
- Apple Empty Tomb Rolls
- Easy Apple Dumplings with Sprite
- Apple Pear Pie
- Apple Brown Betty
- Pecan Apple Bundt Cake
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Apple Tarte Tatin
- 1/2 cup (100g / 3.5oz) sugar
- 1/4 cup (2oz / 57g) unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract
- 3 medium Granny Smith apples
- 2 sheets all butter puff pastry
- Ice cream or whipped cream to serve.
- Preheat the oven to 410F / 210C / 190C fan forced.
- Peel the apples then quarter them and remove the core. Place them curved side down in an 8 inch pie tin or dish.
- Sprinkle the sugar over the base of a clean stainless steel or enamel interior pan. Place it over medium heat and cook stirring every so often until the sugar has melted and is amber in colour.
- Add the butter and stir until combined. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
- Pour the caramel evenly over the apples.
- Lay both sheets of puff pastry together over the apples then trim so they are about 1 inch wider than where the apple sit. Tuck the edges under the apples
- Poke 3 little holes in the top to vent the steam.
- Bake 25 - 30 minutes until the pastry is golden and crisp
- Stand for a couple of minutes then place a serving plate over top and carefully flip over.
- Serve immediately.
- So that your caramel doesn’t crystallize, make sure to use a stainless steel or enamel interior pan that is perfectly clean.
- Apple tarte tatin is best eaten fresh. Don't turn onto plate until ready to serve or the pastry may soften.
- You can substitute shortcrust pastry if you prefer.