Recipes > Tarte Tatin

Tarte Tatin


A classic French dessert. Caramelized apples and flaky puff pastry with just a hint of lemon.
  • Serves: 4 to 6
  • Active Time: 1 hr
  • Total Time: 1 hr
  • Views: 59,772
  • Success Rating: 90% (?)
    0% - I fed it to the dog


Step 1: Preparing Your Mise en Place

Preparing Your Mise en Place
  • all-purpose flour (for rolling out the dough)
  • 1/2 lb puff pastry (approx.)
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon


To begin the tart, preheat your oven to 400° degrees Fahrenheit.

Flour the counter and puff pastry and roll out the dough to about 1/8’ -inch thickness. Sprinkle with cinnamon and roll into the dough.

Place a 9" -inch, oven-proof pan over top and cut around. Transfer the circle of dough to a tray and let it chill in the refrigerator, while you prepare the apples.

Step 2: Preparing the Apples

Preparing the Apples
  • 3 medium Golden Delicious apples
  • 1 to 2 tsp unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup sugar


Before cutting the apples, first measure out the butter and sugar. Peel and quarter the apples. Remove the core, trying to keep the natural shape of the apple. Then cut each quarter in half again.

Step 3: Cooking and Baking the Tart

Cooking and Baking the Tart
  • pinch of lemon zest


To cook the tart, preheat the oven-proof pan over medium heat. To make a dry caramel, sprinkle a bit of the sugar onto the surface and wait until it starts to melt. Continue to sprinkle the remaining sugar around the edge where the sugar has started to melt. Once all of the sugar has been added, and it has started to melt and caramelize around the edges, you can slowly stir it.

Once the sugar has fully melted, turn the heat to low and let the caramel take on a rich, golden color. This will happen rather quickly. Remove the pan from the heat and add the apples, being careful not to touch the caramel, as it is extremely hot.

As you add the apples, the caramel will start to seize because of the temperature drop, but this is normal. Try to place the apples as nicely as possible, as the tart will later be flipped over for pretty presentation.

The apples will shrink considerably during cooking, so it is important to pack in as many as you can. Place the apples back over low heat and cook for a few minutes. Once the apples start to absorb the caramel and release their water, gently turn them over with a pair of tongs, being careful not to damage them.

Continue to cook for about 5 minutes or until the apples are just cooked through. Turn off the heat and push the apples together to fill in the gaps. Place knobs butter over top, followed by a bit of lemon zest.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and place it over top, cinnamon-side down. Vent the dough in the center to allow steam to escape. Quickly place this into the oven, so the dough doesn’t warm up too much. Bake for about 12 to 15 minutes. Once the puff pastry is nice and golden, it’s ready.

While it’s still hot, place a large plate over top the pan. Very carefully flip the pan over to release the tart. Note: Make sure to use an oven mitt when flipping the tart over, as the pan will be very hot from being in the oven. If any pieces of apple happen to be stuck to the bottom of the pan, don’t worry. Gently remove them and place them onto the tart.

Let the tart cool slightly before serving. This delicious tart goes extremely well with vanilla ice cream.

Chef's Notes

Other great apples for baking: Crispin, Cortland, Granny Smith and Winesap.


  • Julie S
    Julie S
    I made this dessert for a Sunday dinner at the last minute and was impressed how quickly it came together. In fact I could probably make this recipe next time from memory. I did notice how important it is to crowd the apples together because they shrink a lot during cooking. I made this dessert using granny smith apples which is what appears to be used in the video? The print recipe calls for golden delicious which I imagine would be sweeter. Alas…just a picky observation. The final result is delicious and perfect with vanilla ice cream.
  • Aileen G
    Aileen G
    My family thought I picked this up from a bakery because the presentation was excellent. Being a new cook trying to learn easy to make recipes this is a winner. Thanks rouxbe!
  • Tanya H
    Tanya H
    This looks yum! I'd like to serve it after dinner without letting my guests wait for an hour... Can I make-ahead and reheat it in the oven? How long and at what temperature?
  • Dawn T
    Dawn T
    You can absolutely make it ahead of time. This tart is great even if it's served at room temperature. If however you would like to reheat it, I would put it in a preheated (about 350°F) just to heat it up a bit. You don't really want to serve it piping hot, so 5 minutes or so should be enough to just warm it through. Hope this helps. Good Luck!
  • Merumo C
    Merumo C
    I just made this cute tarte in this morning and absolutely love it! The video instructions was nice and easy to follow, and really had good time to make :)
  • Sally T
    Sally T
    This dish was just simply delicious.With its buttery taste and creamy texture,this dish is sure to please all. :)
  • Juliana A
    Juliana A
    Hi, Is it possible to make this recipe one day ahead and store it on the refrigerator? Or is best to make it on the same day that you will serve it? Thanks!
  • Dawn T
    Dawn T
    You could certainly eat any leftovers the next day, but as far as making it for the next day, it is not recommended. The crust will become soft as it sits. Also, this dessert is really good while it is still slightly warm from the oven. Hope this helps!
  • Jerome M
    Jerome M
    OK, my mom used to make this all the time, so I know how tempermental this recipe can be...I did not leave the apples or caramel unattended at any time. I used a copper pan along with an oven thermometer. Everything seemed to go fine until I flipped the tart. The apples appeared mushy and fell apart, at least the ones in the middle. The ones along the outer edge looked better, but the apples lost their shape a little. My guess is I overcooked the apples when I initially had them in the pan for about 8 minutes. Is this correct?
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    I would say go with your instincts - you may have taken the apples a bit too far initially...and make sure you are using apples that are suitable for cooking. Don't give up, practice makes perfect!
  • Cynthia  H
    Cynthia H
    I also made this with pears. I just love this recipe.
  • Riley M
    Riley M
    What kind of apples did you use? Apples with too high a water content can exude too much juice and turn mushy during cooking.
  • Ian P
    Ian P
    You can't go wrong with Granny Smith's or Golden Delicious
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    We used Golden Delicious as stated in the text recipe attached. Ian is right, you can also use Granny Smith apples. You will often find in the "Notes" section at the bottom of the text recipe additional information about the recipe. Here we also state that Crispin, Cortland, and Winesap apples can also be used. Cheers!
  • Milan D
    Milan D
    What are general guidelines on handling puff pastry? Assuming puff pastry is in the freezer, what are next steps? Do we put it in refrigerator or directly on room temperature? For how long before we start to prepare it/ roll it?
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    Puff pastry needs to stay cold. Thaw puff pastry in the refrigerator - not at room temperature. Once it has thawed, make sure to work with it as quickly as possible before getting the product in the oven. If you are taking too long to work with it at room temperature, it's better to keep returning the dough to the fridge in between steps to keep it as cold as possible. It's the cold butter between the layers of dough that will create the necessary steam when the product hits the oven. This steam will "puff" up each layer in the dough to its maximum potential. Hope this helps!
  • Henry W
    Henry W
    So So Happy to have found this heart warming recipe on Rouxbe !! Encore Merci !!!
  • Albert D
    Albert D
    I am sure i am the most inexperienced cook in the class,and,still,it came out looking so professional ! And delicious, too ;-) many thanks to all of you at Rouxbe!
  • Cassandra R
    Cassandra R
    I have made this recipe before and it always is beautiful but i did have someone request to have me make it with peaches. . . do you think this would be possible?
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    You can use fresh peaches but keep in mind that if they are really juicy, they could make the pastry soggy. Cheers!
  • Fatima A
    Fatima A
    Can you give me or show me how to do the puff pastry, I cannot find any recipes for pastry in all your classes. I am very interested in learning how to make different kinds of doughs. Thank you. Fatima from Egypt
  • Dawn T
    Dawn T
    Currently, we do not have a recipe for puff pastry. If you search "puff pastry" on the site, you will see that there are quite a few discussions on this. Here is a link to a post that someone else commented on and also provided a link to another video. Cheers!
  • Jan C
    Jan C
    I have a lot of Macoun and MacIntosh apples frozen from last season's harvest. Would I use them the same way in the intial cooking? I have made apple crisp with them and found the apples are a bit soft but have wonderful flavor. The apples were peeled, dropped in slightly salted water and frozen individually. I am really enjoying the site!
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    It is best to use crisp, fresh apples in this tart (or any other apple that is listed in the Notes section at the bottom of the recipe). You can definitely try using the apples that you froze, but they will likely have too much water content. You can try caramelizing them and if they are too soggy, don't top with the pastry crust. They will be yummy in the caramel regardless. Cheers!
  • Darren S
    Darren S
    Is it possible to make just using a flan tin - by putting the puff pastry at the bottom and lay the apples on top? Or will it not cook/come out as nicely?
  • Kimberley S Rouxbe Staff
    Kimberley S
    Tatins are inverted tarts. If you place the fruit on top of the pastry, you are essentially making a tart. Because the caramel and apples are warm, they can potentially make the dough soggy when you place them over top and then bake the dough. You could cool them but the caramel may become too sticky and you would also be cooking the apples for a second time, so they may become mushy/overcooked. In this instance, it's better to invert it as shown in the video. Cheers!
  • Joseph  S
    Joseph S
    Try to melt some butter and add a dash of calvados brandy and brush it on the apples. having tried it, its wonderful, I am sure you will love it and your apples too - even will thank you for it. :)
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    Hmm, hard to say without tasting it myself. If you took the caramel too far, some may find it bitter but it's still very sweet. Lemon zest would add lemony flavor, not bitterness, as long as there was no excess of pith/white that can be bitter vs flavorful/aromatic. ~Ken
  • Kendrick W
    Kendrick W
    Cooked this per the instructions, using Pink Lady apples. The apples didn't release quite as much liquid as I would have liked, but it was enough. We also used a pre-made puff pastry bought in the local market--they are pretty good here. The resulting tarte was delicious! One note--instead of throwing them out, we took the trimmed pieces of pastry, cut them into squares, sprinkled with sugar and baked them in the hot oven for a little bonus treat!
  • A. D
    A. D
    Hello. It turned out super bitter, not sweet at all. Looked good by taste was bad.

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