Tarte Tatin

October  5, 2014
3 Ratings
Photo by Erin McDowell
  • Makes one 9-inch tarte
Author Notes

This is one of those simple desserts that is so impressive and craveable. Feel free to substitute a round of frozen puff pastry instead of the homemade pie crust. —Erin Jeanne McDowell

What You'll Need
  • Pie Crust
  • 2 1/2 cups (12 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 6 tablespoons (2 to 3 fluid ounces) ice water, or more as needed
  • Tarte Tatin
  • 6 tablespoons (3 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (3 ounces) granulated sugar (bonus points if you have vanilla sugar!)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons fleur de sel
  • 4 large baking apples (like Honeycrisp, Braeburn, or Granny Smith), peeled, cored, and quartered
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 splash Chilled heavy cream, for serving
  1. Preheat the oven to 425º F.
  2. Make the pie crust: In a large bowl or in a food processor, combine the flour and salt. Add the butter and toss to coat. Cut in the flour or pulse in the food processor until the butter resembles the size of walnut halves.
  3. Add the water and mix to combine. The dough should come together easily but not be wet or sticky. Wrap the dough and chill for at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
  4. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle about 1/2-inch thick. The size of the rectangle isn’t important, but the thickness is. Once the dough is rolled out, visually divide it into thirds. Fold the first third of the dough (on the left) toward the center. Fold the second third of dough (on the right) over the first piece, like you’re folding a letter. Then fold the finished piece of dough in half -- it should make a square. Wrap the dough and chill if for about 30 minutes.
  5. Repeat the folding process a second time. Wrap and chill the dough for another 30 minutes. Roll out the dough to 3/4 inch thick. Use a plate or a cake pan to cut the dough into a 9-inch circle, then transfer the circle to a parchment-lined baking sheet and chill for at least 20 minutes more.
  6. Prepare the skillet: Coat the bottom of an oven-safe 9-inch skillet with the room temperature butter. In a small bowl, mix together the sugar, cinnamon, and flaky salt, and sprinkle that into an even layer in the base of the pan.
  7. In a large bowl, toss the apples with the lemon juice. Arrange the apples, round side down, into the prepared skillet. Transfer the chilled dough round on top of the apples, and press around the edges to seal.
  8. Bake the tarte tatin until the crust is golden and caramel bubbles up on the sides, 35 to 45 minutes.
  9. Cool the tarte tatin for 5 minutes inside the pan, then invert the whole thing onto a large platter. (It should release easily.) Serve with a drizzle of chilled heavy cream.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Dorene Inglis
    Dorene Inglis
  • Liz Summers
    Liz Summers
  • Nancy Henderson
    Nancy Henderson
  • Jesse Mojica
    Jesse Mojica
  • Michelle M
    Michelle M
I always have three kinds of hot sauce in my purse. I have a soft spot for making people their favorite dessert, especially if it's wrapped in a pastry crust. My newest cookbook, Savory Baking, came out in Fall of 2022 - is full of recipes to translate a love of baking into recipes for breakfast, dinner, and everything in between!

8 Reviews

Dorene I. October 18, 2022
I only had a 12” cast iron pan which is what I used, and added a few more apples. I used several varieties of apples for this and the taste was wonderful. I took it to a dinner party and several people asked for the recipe. I have made tarte tatin before, but this recipe by Erin was the best. You don’t have to be fussy with the apples before laying your pastry down. Easy peasy with a result that looks like it was made by a pro. Thank you EJM!
Liz S. November 2, 2020
I made this almost as written, except 1/4 in a 5 inch cast iron skillet ... I did have fleur de sel which I think makes a bit difference! I backed off a little on the fleur de sel because I only buy salted butter. I used a circle of Erin's rough puff pastry for the crust. In the little skillet, all was bubbly and brown and beautiful at about 30 min. I waited the 5 per recipe and it released easily. Delicious!!
OceansEdge March 14, 2016
I'm with Michelle on this one; 2 tsps of salt sounded like wayyyyyyyyy too much - but I give every recipe the benefit of preparation as called for the first run out. It . was literally inedible - threw the whole thing in the garbage. Way too much salt, way too much cinnamon, couldn't even taste the apples. Going looking for a better recipe.
ghainskom July 14, 2015
Dh was having lunch with colleagues on a theme French because on July 14. Tarte tatin iq the first thing tha came to my mind. Plus, I had a self.made pie doigh rest in the freezer. Halved the amount of salt cos using table salt. In no time the pie was done. And it was a hit! So thank you.
Nancy H. October 26, 2014
Thanks for this recipe and the quick answer(s) to my question posed today - just what i needed to know! Tarte tatin tasted every bit as good as it looked - it's a keeper!
Jesse M. October 20, 2014
This was so perfect. Thank you!
Michelle M. October 14, 2014
I made this version of tarte tatin last night. I hesitated when I saw the 2
teaspoons fleur de sel listed. I cut back to 1 teaspoons, based on my pastry background, and wished I had only used ½ teaspoon. The first and lasting taste was saltiness. The caramelized apple and crust were perfect but nothing could erase the overwhelming taste of salt. I'll make the crust again but use my own measurements for the filling. Interesting baking adventure.
Kitspy October 13, 2014
Made this weekend. It was delicious!

My only problem was I was unsuccessful in turning it out of the pan. I probably should've given it another minute or two to set, but I was afraid of it sticking. I started to flip the pan but it slid out before I could get it flipped all the way, so the apples were still under the crust and everything was kind of folded and lopsided, though miraculously the crust stayed in one piece.

No biggie, I just shoveled the crust into a pie dish with a spatula and spooned the apples over. Not pretty, but very good. Thanks for a great recipe!