Apple Tarte Tatin Recipe - My Sweet Precision (2024)

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This apple Tarte Tatin recipe is a classic French dessert. It features delicious caramelized apples and a buttery pastry crust. In this post, I walk you through Julia Child's recipe step-by-step to ensure success! This is one of my favorite fall desserts and the finished product will easily be a show stopper at your next dinner party!

Jump to:
  • Why you'll love this recipe
  • Key ingredients and why we use them
  • Equipment
  • Frequently asked questions
  • More about Julia Child's recipe
  • Try these other apple recipes
  • Recipe
  • Comments

Why you'll love this recipe

Taste and Texture: Tarte Tatin consists of caramelized apple slices oven-baked in a skillet with the pastry on top. When done, it is turned upside-down, so the crust is on the bottom, and the apple slices remain in a design on top. The process of caramelizing the apples makes this dessert a delicious treat that is both sweet and tart.

Difficulty: This recipe is one of the easiest desserts I’ve attempted to make, but also has its distinct challenges. It’s easy because it’s baked upside down and the final presentation requires simply flipping the pan upside down! The tricky part is caramelizing the apples!

Key ingredients and why we use them

This apple Tarte Tatin recipe has a few key ingredients that I want to talk about a little more. Using quality ingredients is key to success with this recipe!

Apples: Apples are the star of this recipe. The best apples to bake with are firm enough to hold their shape during the baking process.I recommend golden delicious apples in the recipe below.

Butter: Cold butter is a must in this recipe. This is how you achieve that flaky and delicious crust that you want. I recommend using a quality brand of unsalted butter.

Cake Flour: This recipe uses a small amount of cake flour. Cake flour has a lower protein content and will produce a dough that is a little more tender. You don't want to omit this when making this recipe.


Perhaps the most notable part of this recipe is the pan I used to cook the tart. On a trip to Paris last fall, my parents visited E. Dehellerin. Tucked away on rue Coquillière not too far from the Louvre, this store has sold cookware for professionals and serious home chefs since 1820. Julia Child was a regular here purchasing kitchenware while attending school at Le Cordon Bleu.

Knowing that E. Dehellerin is famous for their copper, my dad purchased a Tarte Tatin pan explicitly made for this recipe. I was pleased to learn that not only does copper conduct heat faster, but it also does so much more evenly. This combination is perfect for temperature control when working with sugar at a high temperature. Thanks, dad!

Frequently asked questions

How to test if my tart is ready to be unmolded?

After you take your tart out of the oven, you can test whether it’s ready to be unmolded. Simply tilt the pan, and if the juices are runny rather than a thick syrup, boil down rapidly on top of the stove. However, be sure not to evaporate them entirely, or the apples will stick to the pan.

What if my apples stick to the pan?

If a few apples stick to the pan—which does happen—fear not! Simply rearrange the slices as necessary. This almost always happened to me, so it's pretty common.

What kind of apples are good for Tarte Tatin?

The best apples to bake with are firm enough to hold their shape during the baking process.I recommend golden delicious apples in the recipe below.

More about Julia Child's recipe

The following recipe is courtesy of Julia Child’s book The Way to Cook, published in 1994. A Christmas gift from my dad several years ago, this is a magnificent cookbook in which Julia distills her knowledge from a lifetime of cooking into one book. She states that this recipe is her fourth and definitive recipe for Tarte Tatin in the book.

Try these other apple recipes

Don't stop baking with this apple Tarte Tatin recipe! Check out some more of our delicious apple recipes linked below.

  • Apple Cinnamon Upside-Down Cake
  • Apple Praline Cake
  • Homemade Apple Pie
  • Apple Cake

Ourrecipe indexis a great place to search all My Sweet Precision recipes!


Apple Tarte Tatin Recipe - My Sweet Precision (8)

Apple Tarte Tatin Recipe

This apple tarte tatin recipe is a classic French dessert. It features delicious caramelized apples and a buttery pastry crust. In this post, I walk you through Julia Child's recipe step-by-step to ensure success!

Print Pin Comment

5 from 3 votes

Prep Time: 40 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes minutes

Chill Dough Time: 2 hours hours

Total Time: 3 hours hours

Yield: 8


  • 10-inch heavy ovenproof skillet or copper tarte tatin mold


Pastry Dough

  • ¾ cups flour
  • ¼ cup cake flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter chilled and diced
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening chilled
  • ¼ cup ice water

Tart Tatin

  • 6 golden delicious apples cored, peeled, and halved
  • 1 lemon zested and juiced
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • whipped cream or vanilla ice cream optional as accompaniment


Preparing the Dough

  • In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, place the flours, sugar and butter. Pulse 5 or 6 times in ½-second bursts to break up the butter. Add the shortening, turn on the machine and immediately add the ice water, pulsing 2 or 3 times.

  • The dough should look like a mass of smallish lumps and should just hold together in a mass when a handful is pressed together. If the mixture is too dry, pulse in more water by droplets.

  • Turn the dough out onto the work surface and with the heel of your hand, rapidly and roughly push egg-size blobs into a 6-inch smear. Gather the dough into a relatively smooth cake, wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 2 hours (or up to 2 days).

Preparing the Apples

  • Quarter, core, and peel the apples; cut the quarters in half lengthwise.

  • Toss in a bowl with the lemon and ½ cup of sugar, and let steep 20 minutes so they will exude their juices. Drain them.

Caramel Glaze

  • Set the frying pan over moderately high heat with the butter, and when melted blend in the remaining 1 cup sugar.

  • Stir about with a wooden spoon for several minutes, until the syrup turns a bubbly caramel brown – it will smooth out later, when the apples juices dissolve the sugar.

Arranging Apples in Pan

  • Remove from heat and arrange a layer of apple slices nicely in the bottom of the pan to make an attractive design.

  • Arrange the rest of the apples on top, close-packed, and only reasonably neat. Add enough so that they heap up 1 inch higher than the rim of the pan – they sink down as they cook.

Preliminary Stovetop Cooking

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F for the next step, placing the rack in the lower middle level. Set the pan again over moderately high heat, pressing the apples down as they soften, and drawing the accumulated juices up over them with the bulb baster – basting gives the apples a deliciously buttery caramel flavor.

  • In several minutes, when the apples begin to soften, cover the pan and continue cooking 10 to 15 minutes, checking and basting frequently until the juices are thick and syrupy. Remove from heat, and let cool slightly while you roll out the dough.

The Dough Cover

  • The dough cover. Roll the chilled dough into a circle 3/16 inch thick and 1 inch larger than the top of your pan. Cut 4 steam holes, ¼-inch size, 1 ½ inches from around the center of the dough. ween the apples and the inside of the pan.

  • Working rapidly, fold the dough in half, then in quarters; center the point over the apples. Unfold the dough over the apples. Press the edges of the dough down bet

Bake and Serve

  • Bake and serve. Bake about 20 minutes at 425 degrees F. Bake until the pastry has browned and crisped.

  • Being careful of the red-hot pan handle, remove from the oven. Still remembering that the pan is red-hot, turn the serving dish upside down over the apples and reverse the two to unmold the tart. Serve hot, warm, or cold, with the optional whipped cream or ice cream.

Notes and Tips

After you take your tart out of the oven, you can test to see whether it’s ready be unmolded. Simply tilt the pan, and if the juices are runny rather than a thick syrup, boil down rapidly on top on the stove. However, be sure not to evaporate them completely or the apples will stick to the pan. If a few apples stick to the pan—which does happen—rearrange the slices as necessary.


Serving: 1slice | Calories: 466kcal | Carbohydrates: 72g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 45mg | Sodium: 72mg | Potassium: 187mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 55g | Vitamin A: 602IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 1mg

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Did you make this recipe?! First, let me say THANK YOU for giving it a try!

Please leave us a rating and feedback in the comments section at the bottom of this post. I always love to hear your thoughts and ideas on what went well — and didn't — with a recipe!

Happy Baking!

Apple Tarte Tatin Recipe - My Sweet Precision (2024)


How do you keep tarte tatin from getting soggy? ›

This may be more of an issue with apples than with pears. Some bakers suggest cutting the fruit and placing it in the refrigerator overnight to dry out and prevent this. Another reason the dessert may become soggy is if it sits out too long. Tarte tatin is best enjoyed warm as the crust will get soggy as it cools.

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 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.

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.

Why does my tart have a soggy bottom? ›

Soggy bottoms

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.

How do you avoid a soggy bottom in pastry? ›

A metal pie pan placed on a preheated surface will set the bottom crust quickest; once cooked, the liquids from the filling above won't soak in, and as a result: no soggy bottom. (Using metal is crucial: Glass or ceramic pans don't transfer heat as efficiently, so they can be accomplices to a sad, soggy bottom.)

Can you make tarte tatin in a Pyrex dish? ›

In a 24cm diameter and 5cm deep Pyrex cooking dish (to follow the cooking process of the caramel and apples), scatter the diced butter and sugar.

Is tarte tatin served warm or cold? ›

Quickly and carefully invert the tart onto the platter so the apples are on top. If any apples stick to the skillet, set them back into the tart. Serve warm or at room temperature, with dollops of crème fraîche, whipped cream, or ice cream.

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.

How to get tarte tatin out of pan? ›

Allow to cool to room temperature for 1 hr before running a knife around the edge of the dish and inverting it onto a large serving plate that is deep enough to contain the juices.

What does Tatin mean in English? ›

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

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

I simple use either my carbon pan ( if its seasoned correctly) or my metal handled non stick frying pan. The easiest option is the non stick as its more forgiving. Some people like to use a proper Tarte Tatin tin. For me its not about perfecting how it looks but the perfection of the flavour and taste.

What does La tarte tatin mean in english? ›

Meaning of tarte tatin in English

a sweet dish of apples that have been cooked in sugar and butter until they are brown, covered with pastry, baked and then turned upside down: My friend chose the tarte tatin served with whipped cream. She tucked into an enormous slice of tarte Tatin.

What time of year is tarte tatin eaten? ›

A tarte Tatin is best made in season, with freshly picked fall apples that are bursting with flavour. I rarely make this dessert unless I can pick the apples myself.

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.

How do you keep tart pastry crisp? ›

Par bake the shells, then egg wash with a mixture of 100 grams yolks & 10 grams heavy cream. The tart shells will keep for 48 hours easily.

Can Tarte Tatin be made in advance? ›

You can cook the tart a day in advance, keep it in the mould and reheat it at 150°C for 20 minutes.

Why is my puff pastry tart soggy? ›

Richard's solution: Soggy bottoms can be a right nuisance, even though they don't really alter the taste of your bake. They are usually the result of either a filling that's too wet in your bake or an under-cooked or thin pastry base.

How do you crisp soggy puff pastry? ›

Preheat oven or toaster oven to 350 degrees. Bake a foil-wrapped pastry until it springs back when you gently press down on the top (about 10 minutes). Peel back the foil to expose the top of the pastry and bake until crisp to the touch (about 5 minutes).

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