This Classic Apple Tarte Tatin is every bit as delicious as apple pie and it’s so much easier! It’s a show stopping apple dessert with tender, caramelized apples atop a flaky, buttery pie crust. It’s easy to make and it wows the crowd every time!

Slice of apple tarte tatin on a plate with ice cream

**This recipe was originally published in November 2015. The photos have been updated and include step by step instructions, and the post has been modified to include more recipe information.

We’re on the Thanksgiving home stretch, and while I really wanted to get this to you way back in September, this Classic Apple Tarte Tatin is a perfect dessert for T-Day.  ๐Ÿ™‚

Apple desserts are amongst our favorite, especially in the fall. It doesn’t get better than warm scent of cinnamon wafting through the house as my baked apples or apple crisp bake in the oven, and eating them is even better of course.

This French apple tart is something that we all look forward to as well. If you’re not familiar with tarte tatin, it’s a classic French dessert that was actually created by mistake.

Apparently a French hotel owner put her popular apple tart in the oven the wrong way around (this sounds like something I might do), creating an upside-down apple tart that was so popular that it got a permanent spot on the menu.  

This recipe was adapted from one I got at culinary school, and it was one of our favorites.  Each time it was served at lunch for our guests, it had that major WOW factor.

It’s flipped upside down onto a serving platter when it’s piping hot, resulting in a large amount of oooh’s and aaah’s.

Flipping a hot tart might give you a bit of anxiety, but trust me, it really is easy!  In fact, this entire dessert is easier than apple pie. ๐Ÿ™‚

Apple tarte tatin sliced on a wooden serving board

Why you’ll love this recipe:

  • This apple tarte tatin recipe is a classic French dessert that includes chunky caramelized apples and an all butter pie crust.
  • The tarte is inverted after baking, which makes an impressive, show stopping dessert.
  • It’s everything you love about apple pie and it’s even easier to make!
  • Apples and pie dough may be prepped in advance for an easy make ahead dessert.

Recipe ingredients

Tarte tatin is amazing in its simplicity. It transforms a few modest ingredients into a truly magical, unforgettable dessert.

Apple tarte tatin recipe ingredients

Ingredient notes

  • Pie crust. My homemade flaky pie crust is my go-to for this recipe, and it also includes instructions to prepare it in advance. Your favorite store bought pie crust is also a great time saver.
  • Apples. Be sure to use baking apples in this recipe as they hold their shape much better. Cut the apples into large chunks (quartered or halved) for a beautiful presentation.
  • Brown sugar. I prefer using brown sugar in this recipe because it adds a lovely caramel flavor, but it may be substituted with granulated sugar.
  • Butter. The butter adds richness and helps keep the apples from sticking.

How to make this recipe

This tarte tatin recipe is everything you love about apple pie but it’s a whole lot easier. The apples are cut into larger chunks (halved or even quartered), which is a huge time saver.

It also requires just one 9″ pie crust instead of two, and it comes together with just a few ingredients in a heavy bottomed skillet.

Pro tip: Prepare the pie crust up to a few days in advance. The apples may be prepped and even cooked on the stove top in advance and set aside until you’re ready to bake the tarte!

How to make apple tarte tatin
  1. Place the butter in the bottom of the skillet, and melt it over medium heat. Brush the bottom and sides of the skillet with the melted butter and remove from heat. Sprinkle evenly with the sugar.
  2. Pack as many apples as you can into the bottom of the skillet cut side up, and wedge any remaining apples over the top of them the way they fit best.
  3. Cook the apples over medium heat until the sugar melts, caramelizes and begins to thicken, and the apples begin to release their juices, about 10-15 minutes. If at any time the the liquid begins to darken, reduce the heat to medium low.
  4. Remove from heat and rearrange the apples in a nice pattern for presentation. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees while you roll out the dough.
  5. Roll out the dough until it’s large enough to cover the apples, cutting off any excess with a knife or kitchen shears. Place over the top of the apples and tuck the edges of the crust into the sides, then bake for 30 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.
  6. Remove from heat and immediately invert onto a serving dish. If any apples stick to the bottom of the skillet, simply remove them and place them on the tart.
Apple tarte tatin sliced on a serving platter

FAQ’s

What is the difference between a tart and a tarte tatin?

A tart is similar to a pie in that the crust is filled with fruit or custard and is baked traditionally. Tarte tatin is an upside-down apple tart — the apples are cooked on the stove top in caramelized sugar for a bit, then topped with pastry dough and baked. It’s inverted when it comes out of the oven for a show stopping presentation.

What is the best pan for tarte tatin?

A heavy bottomed non-stick pan that is oven safe is best for tarte tatin as it starts off on the stove top, then it’s baked in the oven. Cast iron skillets work perfectly for this dessert!

What apples are best for tarte tatin?

Any type of baking apples may be used to make apple tarte tatin because they hold their shape well. Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Jonagold and Pink Lady are all wonderful options.

Recipe notes

  • Pro tip: Prepare the pie crust up to a few days in advance. The apples may be prepped and even cooked on the stove top in advance and set aside until you’re ready to bake the tarte!
  • For best results, quarter or halve the apples as they held their shape better and it makes for a prettier presentation.
  • If there are some pieces of apple stuck to the pan after you’ve inverted the tarte tatin, just remove from the pan and place them on the tart.
  • Serve warm as-is or topped with my homemade whipped cream or ice cream.
Slice of apple tarte tatin with a bite taken out of it

More apple dessert recipes you’ll love:

If you make this recipe, Iโ€™d love to hear from you!  Leave a comment and rating below, or tag me @flavorthemoments on Instagram!

Slice of apple tarte tatin on a plate with ice cream

Classic Apple Tarte Tatin

Classic Apple Tarte Tatin is every bit as delicious as apple pie and it's so much easier! It's a show stopping apple dessert with tender, caramelized apples atop a flaky, buttery pie crust, and it wows the crowd every single time!
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Ingredients

  • 1 batch Flaky pie crust or one store bought 9" pie crust
  • 2 1/2 lbs. pink lady apples peeled, cored and quartered (or use your favorite baking apples)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar

Instructions 

  • Prepare the pie crust ahead, and form it into a flattened disk. Wrap it in plastic wrap and chill it a minimum of 30 minutes before rolling.
  • Place the butter in the bottom of the skillet, and melt it over medium heat. Brush the bottom and sides of the skillet with the melted butter and remove from heat. Sprinkle evenly with the sugar.
  • Pack as many apples as you can into the bottom of the skillet cut side up, and wedge any remaining apples over the top of them the way they fit best. Cook over medium heat until the sugar melts, caramelizes and begins to thicken, and the apples begin to release their juices, about 10-15 minutes. If at any time the the liquid begins to darken, reduce the heat to medium low.
  • Remove from heat and rearrange the apples in a nice pattern for presentation. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees while you roll out the dough.
  • Roll out the dough until it's large enough to cover the apples, cutting off any excess with a knife or kitchen shears. Place over the top of the apples and tuck the edges of the crust into the sides, then bake for 30 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.
  • Remove from heat and immediately invert onto a serving dish. If any apples stick to the bottom of the skillet, simply remove them and place them on the tart. Serve warm with ice cream or fresh whipped cream, if desired and enjoy!

Notes

  • Pro tip: Prepare the pie crust up to a few days in advance. The apples may be prepped and even cooked on the stove top in advance and set aside until you’re ready to bake the tarte!
  • For best results, quarter or halve the apples as they held their shape better and it makes for a prettier presentation.
  • If there are some pieces of apple stuck to the pan after you’ve inverted the tarte tatin, simply remove from the pan and place them on the tart.
  • Serve warm as-is or topped with my homemade whipped cream or ice cream.
  • Recipe adapted slightly from Tante Marie Cooking School, San Francisco, CA.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice, Calories: 343kcal, Carbohydrates: 48g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 35mg, Sodium: 99mg, Potassium: 204mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 33g, Vitamin A: 470IU, Vitamin C: 7mg, Calcium: 35mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.

Tried this recipe?Mention @flavorthemoments or tag #flavorthemoments!

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