Tarte tatin (Upside down apple tart)

Every Parisian bistro has it à la carte, and for a good reason, this tarte tatin is a French favorite.

The French Tarte Tatin is not just an upside down apple tart. It has different textures: soft and lightly caramelized apples, held by a crusty butter cookie, and on the side a big spoon of crème fraîche where you can dip the apples before devouring them.

Serves: 6 people- Prep Time: 20 minCook Time: 20 min

  • For the shortcrust pastry dough:
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, softened to room temperature 
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • For the filling:
  • 5 medium apples
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter 
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar 


To prepare the shortcrust pastry: 

  1. Separate the egg, placing the egg yolk in a large mixing bowl. (Refrigerate or freeze the white for another use). 
  2. Add the sugar to the egg yolk and whisk together. 
  3. Add the softened butter, flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to combine, then use your hands to mix well until the dough is smooth and holds together. 
  4. Shape the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate while you prepare the apples.

To prepare the apples:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Peel and core the apples, and cut each into 6 wedges.
  3. In a large pan set over medium heat, melt the butter and sugar together. Cook until the sugar dissolves and the caramel turns a light golden color, about 5 minutes. 
  4. Add the apple wedges and cook, turning once, until the apples have softened and are coated with the caramel on both sides, about 7 to 8 minutes. 
  5. Transfer the apples to a 9” round cake pan. Add what is left of the caramel from the pan on the top of apples.
  6. Take the pastry out of the fridge. On a lightly floured surface, roll it into a 9-inch circle with a rolling pin. Place the dough over the apples and press down lightly, tucking the edges into the pan. With a fork make a few holes in the dough. (This will help release the steam while baking).
  7. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the dough is light brown.
  8. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack for 10 minutes. Put a plate on the top of the pan and flip everything together. With your hands, tap on the top of the pan, to make sure that the apples are not stuck. Serve warm.

Et voilà!

Tasting tips: 

The tarte Tatin is even better slightly warm.

Crème fraîche is not always easy to find in the US, if you can’t find some, you can replace it by sour cream, or a big scoop of vanilla ice cream. (The bigger the scoop is, the better, of course.)

Cooking tip: 

Save some time: You can use a store bought dough (Puff pastry or shortcrust pastry). There is no better taste than home made dough, but sometimes you just don’t have the time or the energy and that’s ok!