Tarte Tatin (French Apple Tart)

Tarte Tatin (French Apple Tart) - close up

The taste of caramelized apples on a sweet pastry crust is always worth the effort for me.


For the crust:

2 ½ cups flour

½ cup sugar

1 cup butter, softened

1 egg

1 egg yolk

Dash lemon juice

For the apple filling:

1½ cups sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

10 Tablespoons butter, cut in pieces

4 – 5 lbs apples, peeled, cored and halved – I prefer Golden Delicious apples as they have just the right amount of juice and crispness (that’s about 15 apples – depending on their size).


For the crust:

  1. Pulse the flour, sugar and butter together in a food processor then add the egg, egg yolk and lemon juice and pulse until the mixture comes together.
  2. Divide the dough in half and refrigerate or freeze one half.
  3. Refrigerate the dough you’ll use for the tarte as well. It should chill/rest for at least 1 hour.

For the filling:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425℉
  2. Spread the sugar evenly over a 10 inch heavy ovenproof skillet.
  3. Sprinkle the sugar with the vanilla and slice the butter and spread the pieces evenly over the sugar.
  4. Begin at the outside edge and stand the apple halves on their side, facing in one direction. Pack them as closely together as possible and make a second circle inside the first. Pack a few more in the center. The idea is to get as many apples into the pan as possible – while keeping them neatly arranged.
  5. Place the skillet over medium heat and cook the apples in the sugar and butter mixture until the sugar turns a golden colour. Tips: This will take at least one hour. Don’t let it get too brown. Remember it will still be cooking in the oven too. Watch that the apples don’t stick. As the apples release their juices, baste them periodically with a spoon or turkey baster.
  6. Remove the pastry from the refrigerator when the apples are a deep gold and carefully place it over the apples, tucking it in at the edges as much as able.
  7. Place the skillet on a baking sheet and bake in the center of the oven until the pastry is golden – about 25 minutes.
  8. Remove from the oven, use a small knife to loosen the edges then invert the skillet onto a serving platter that’s slightly bigger than the skillet.
  9. Lift the skillet away. If any apples have stuck to it, just loosen them and gently reinsert them in their rightful place in the tart.
  10. Enjoy warm topped with whipped cream or cinnamon or vanilla ice cream.

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