Apple Tart Tatin

November 9, 2017 Published by Dina

I have been baking up a storm lately, some of the creations have made to the blog and the rest hopefully will if I get to photograph them. Today I focused on beautiful apples from a local orchard that originally were  intended for an Italian apple cake but ended up in a classic French tart tatin. I made this same desserts last week but it was gone before I had a chance to photograph it so today was my chance as my husband was closing down his beloved sailboat for the season (yes, he waited to the last possible minute and then some).

For the pastry I used frozen puff pastry that I buy at a local bakery instead of using tart pastry. You can buy puff pastry in sheets or a roll so use as much as you need.

I make the tart in a cast iron skillet. There are special tart tatin pans  (also here) but I don’t have one (I used to) and the cast iron skillet works very well.

Start by making a caramel in the skillet, then add butter and let it melt into the caramel. Carefully arrange the apple quarters over the caramel in a concentric design, leaving one or two pieces for the center. The pastry circle goes on top of the apples and the edges tucked under a bit and that’s it. Into the oven it goes for 35-40 minutes and out comes a golden upside down tart tatin. You have to turn it over onto a serving plate but be super careful as the sauce is hot and can easily burn you. Use oven mitts for sure. You have to turn over the tart tatin while it is still warm so it doesn’t stick to the skillet. If you turn it over and a few wedges of apple got shifted or stayed in the pan – no worries – just rearrange them on top of the  tart caramelized side up.

I can hear the ooh-la-la’s and if you get them, you deserve them. This dessert is special and any pastry chef would be proud to serve it. With vanilla ice cream of course.



8″ cast iron skillt

1 sheet puff pastry

4-5 apples or as needed
Juice of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons water
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons butter


Core the apples and cut in 4 wedges and peel.

Place apple in a bowl with the lemon juice to prevent from oxidizing.

Place sugar and water in the skillet and bring to a boil. Cook until the sugar turns golden, no stirring. I cover the pan with a glass lid to keep the moisture in. When the sugar begin to turn golden wrap the handle with a towel or use oven mitts and swirl the caramel around so it golden all over.

Add the butter and melt it into the caramel.

Remove from heat and carefully arrange the apple wedges in a concentric design around the pan. save a couple of pieces for the center and fill empty spaces with remaining apple pieces (you can cut them to fit).

Cut the puff pastry just slightly larger than the pan so you can tuck the edges in. Prick it with a fork all over.

Lay the pastry over the apples and push the edges in to create a bit of a edge to catch the caramel when you flip it over after it is baked.

Place in a preheated 375F oven for 30 minutes or until the pastry is golden and juice caramelized.

Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack for about 15-20 minutes but not longer as you do not want the caramel on the bottom to harden.

Protecting your hands with oven mitts place a plate over the skillet and with a smooth motion turn it upside down.

Carefully lift the skillet. Hopefully everything is in place but if not, don’t fret, just replace the apple wedges in to their rightful place on top of the pastry. There will be indentations to guide you (happened to me too).

Serve warm with vanilla ice cream. This tart does not keep well, serve it the day you make it.

Apple tart tatin





  • Karen Sarmaga says:

    Dina, I just had the apple tart tatin tonight for desert. It was unbelievable. I bet yours is just as good. When we get back, we need to compare.

    • Dina says:

      Karen, do you have pictures? post on FB. Did they serve it alone or with whipped cream? How fun Karen, enjoy.

  • Judy Parker says:

    It looks wonderful, but as a celiac I can only admire the photos and not partake.

    • Dina says:

      Hi Judy, nice to hear from you and thanks for the comment. You can try it with gluten free pie crust if you would like. I think they even sell it already mixed (Bob’s Red Mill). Enjoy your home in Mexico, how fun.

  • Annette Stanwick says:

    Wondering if you forgot to include the recipe for making the caramel?
    Looks scrumptious!!

    • Dina says:

      Oooooops. Forgot to include the entire recipe Annette. Thanks for letting me know. Must have been too excited.