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Apple Tarte Tatin Recipe

This Apple Tarte Tatin is a delicious, French-inspired apple tart, baked in rich caramel sauce, that’s perfect to serve during apple season, or anytime you’re craving sweet baked apples with cinnamon and nutmeg.

Top view of apple tarte tatin with whipped cream and star anise

What is the difference between a tart and a Tarte Tatin?

What is the difference between a tart and a tarte tatin? Much like a pie, a tart begins with a pastry crust that is filled with fruit or custard and baked in the oven. Tarte Tatin is an upside-down apple tart where the apples are cooked on the stove top in caramelized sugar, then topped with puff pastry and baked.

Side view of sliced Apple Tarte Tatin on a brown and white transferware plate.

Kitchen Tools Needed to Make Apple Tarte Tatin

  • Heavy bottom sauce pan for making caramel sauce
  • 10-inch ovenproof nonstick skillet
  • Heatproof spatula is helpful and a melon baller makes coring the apples a simple job
  • Serving platter or plate that is slightly larger than your skillet
Top view of tarte tatin ingredients on a round wood board

Apple Tarte Tatin Ingredients

The specific measurements are in the recipe card at the bottom of this post. Here’s what you need to make this Tarte Tatin:

  • Sheet of thawed puff pastry
  • Dessert size or lunchbox size apples
  • Granulated sugar
  • Butter
  • Seasoning: cinnamon and nutmeg

How to Make Apple Tarte Tatin

Step-by-step instructions are in the recipe card at the bottom of this post. But here’s an overview of how to make this Apple Tarte Tatin.

Step 1: Puff Pastry

Cut a circle from the thawed puff pastry that is roughly the same size as your 10-inch skillet.

Step 2: Peel and Quarter Apples

Peel, core, and quarter the apples. Add to acidulated water to prevent over browning. Set aside.

Step 3: Make Caramel Sauce

Combine water and sugar in a saucepan and cook until light amber in color. Stirring constantly, add the butter, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Immediately transfer to 10-inch oven-proof nonstick skillet.

Step 4: Cook the Caramel Sauce and Apples on the Stovetop

Quickly but carefully add the apples to the skillet with caramel sauce, arranging them in concentric circles. Cook on the stovetop for 15 to 20 minutes.

Step 5: Bake the Tarte Tatin

Lay the circle of puff pastry on top of the skillet and tuck edges down. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the puff pastry is golden and firm and the apples are tender.

Step 6: Cool and Invert

Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes before carefully inverting onto a plate or platter that is slightly larger than the skillet.

How to Serve Tarte Tatin

I like to let the tarte cool before serving. Unless, of course, you’re adding vanilla ice cream and want it to melt down into the apples. Oh my– so good!

But it’s also delicious with a dusting of powdered sugar, or a dollop of whipped cream. Now about that star anise you see in the photos. My guys aren’t fond of star anise with it’s sweet licorice-like flavor. So I garnish with it at the end, only because I think it’s pretty!

More Apple Recipes You May Also Enjoy

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Top view of Tarte Tatin serving with powdered sugar
Top view of apple tarte tatin with whipped cream and star anise

Apple Tarte Tatin

Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

This Apple Tarte Tatin is a delicious, French-inspired apple tart, baked in rich caramel sauce, that's perfect to serve during apple season, or anytime you're craving sweet baked apples with cinnamon and nutmeg.

Ingredients

  • 1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
  • 6 to 7 apples, dessert size or lunchbox size
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg

Instructions

  1. Cut a circle from the thawed puff pastry that is roughly the same size as your 10-inch skillet. Poke holes all over to provide ventilation. Set aside.
  2. Peel and quarter the apples, using a spoon or melon baller to remove the cores. Add to a bowl of acidulated water (water with about 1 teaspoon of lemon juice) to prevent from the apples from browning too much. Although, if they do brown, don’t worry because they are going to be brown in the caramel sauce anyway!
  3. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  4. Combine water and sugar and pour into a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over low heat to dissolve the sugar. Make sure the water doesn’t boil before the sugar is dissolved. Increase the heat to medium and bring it to a boil. Be sure to not stir during this process.
  5. Boil the caramel syrup until is has an even golden color. To encourage an even color, you can gently swirl the pan. Once an amber color is reached, add the butter, cinnamon, and nutmeg, stirring constantly until the color is light brown. Immediately transfer to a 10-inch oven-proof nonstick skillet.
  6. Quickly but carefully add the quartered apples and arrange them in concentric circles on the bottom of the skillet. Add apples into the middle of the pan as well. It’s important to pack as many apples into the skillet as possible to completely fill the pan.
  7. Over medium-low heat, cook on the stovetop for 15 to 20 minutes. Once the caramel has reduced, remove it from the heat.
  8. Lay the circle of puff pastry on top. Tuck it down the sides of the pan with a spoon.
  9. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the puff pastry is golden and firm and the apples are tender. Remove from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes before carefully inverting onto a plate or platter that is slightly larger than the skillet. Serve dusted with powdered sugar, whipping cream, or vanilla ice cream. You can also garnish with star anise for a pretty touch.

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