Caramelized apples cooked inside a crusty puff pastry, drizzled with sweet caramel sauce, served hot. French Apple Tarte Tatin is very similar to an Apple Tart or ‘Tarte aux pomme’ as French, call it, but so much easier to make just with sugar, puff pastry, apples and butter.
This dish is a French origin, rumour has it that this was originated by mistake in an effort to make a traditional French apple tart. well, thank goodness this mistake happened as this is one of the simplest and easy desserts to make and requires only 4 ingredients. I love to make this dessert in winter as it is such a comforting dish.
Can you make apple puff pastry (Tarte Tatin) ahead?
you can definitely make this ahead and bake later, but you cannot bake it and leave it.
This dessert is actually enjoyed hot, with a scoop of vanilla icecream. you can also enjoy this dessert cold, but when you cook puff pastry its always better to serve it immediately as it deflates after some time.
What pan to use to bake tarte Tatin?
You can make this in an oven-ready pan like a cake pan, a cast iron pan or an ovenproof pan. Just make sure it can be placed in the oven and if you are using a pan, the handle cannot be plastic, as it will melt in the oven.
The reason why many make this in a pan is that this is essentially a one-pot dessert, the caramel is made in the same pan, then the apples are caramelised in the same pan and it gets covered by puff pastry and baked in the oven, sounds so simple and I can assure you it’s simple as well.
How to make tarte tatin caramel?
The caramel is basically a normal caramel that you would make for a creme caramel with the addition of butter. This part is a bit technical because the caramel needs to be spot on.
If you don’t caramelise it enough then you will not have that dark rich colour, and if you caramelise it too much then it will burn and have a bitter taste. For this recipe, I take the caramel a tad bit far to really caramelise it and have a rich dark colour as I love the bitter notes that comes with the sweet apples. Some recipes try to balance that flavour using apples that are sour, but I prefer balancing it out with the caramel.
Tarte tatin pastry
The pastry used for Tarte Tatin is puff pastry, the french apple tart uses a sweet short cut pastry but this uses a puff pastry and it holds itself really well when flipped upside down. which is the main difference between a Tarte Tatin and apple tart.
With a sweet short cut pastry, it is very hard to flip it upside down so make sure to use puff pastry. I have not made puff pastry from scratch for this recipe as it takes 3 days to make it, I used store-bought puff pastry. I always recommend all-butter puff pastry as it is very buttery and has an amazing flavour.
What apples to use for tarte tatin?
I used pink lady apples. I recommend red apples and not green apples, there are many recipes suggesting green apples. Green apple tent to be a bit sour and it doesn’t marry quite well with the caramel, thus I always recommend to use red apples.
Few tips and tricks
Apples turn brown very quickly when peeled, so it’s very important to soak them in lemon water as soon as it is peeled, now the downside of it is, when you add the apples to the caramel sauce it will release its water and the sauce will turn brown, but what I do in this recipe is, I cook the apple mixture on medium fire, until its thick and has a glossy sauce, this way, you will get a beautiful golden colour as well as a thick sauce. Remember, don’t add too much liquid to this pie as the pastry will get soggy once turned upside down.
You can also check my other desserts,
Watch how to make french apple tarte tatin
Step by step recipe how to make french apple tart tatin
French Apple Tarte Tatin Recipe
- Pots and Pans
- 100 g Sugar White
- 3 tbsp Water Tap
- 50 g Butter Unsalted
- 1 Sheet Puff Pastry Defrosted
Soaking the apples
- 1 Lemon Juiced and with peel
- 3 Pink lady apples quartered
- Water Tap
- Preheat oven to 190C
- Make a solution with water, lemon juice and peel (enough to cover all the apples)
- Peel the apples, cut in half then take off the eye of the apple and cut into quarters. Place them in the lemon water mixture until needed
- Heat a pan on medium heat, place the sugar and water
- Let it simmer on a medium fire, until it turns brown and caramelised. this might take some time to turn brown
- Once the sugar is caramelised and dark brown in colour, add in the apples and cook on low fire until the apples are a bit soft and the caramel is glazing the apples. ( Note when the apples are added the caramel will become liquid but keep cooking the apples in the caramel until reduced and thick)
- Either in the same pan or a separate tray or pan arrange the apples as you wish ( see video)
- Cut the puff pastry same diameter as the pan ( use the pan as a guide to do this) Note puff pastry needs to be defrosted.
- Add rest of the caramel on the apples and place the puff pastry on top of the apples, and tuck the sides in, so the apples are well secured inside
- Bake in the oven for 20-25 mins
- Cool down for 5 minutes and turn it upside down, serve warm.