Dive into the heart of French dessert cuisine with our Classic French Tarte Tatin, a sumptuous upside-down pastry featuring caramelized apples and buttery crust. This beloved recipe, originating from the picturesque Loire Valley, has enchanted palates for over a century. Perfect for any occasion, the Tarte Tatin is a simple yet sophisticated dish that turns humble apples into a sublime treat. Read on to master this traditional favorite and impress your guests with a delectable slice of French culinary heritage.

Classic French Tarte Tatin Recipe


  • 6 large apples (preferably a firm and slightly tart variety like Granny Smith)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (cut into small pieces)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
  • 1 sheet of puff pastry (thawed if frozen)
  • A pinch of salt


  1. Preheat the Oven: Begin by preheating your oven to 375°F (190°C). This ensures a consistent cooking environment for your tarte.
  2. Prepare the Apples: Peel, core, and halve the apples. Some prefer to cut them into quarters for easier caramelization and arrangement.
  3. Caramelize the Sugar: In a 9-inch (23 cm) heavy ovenproof skillet, sprinkle the sugar evenly and cook over medium heat. Watch carefully as the sugar begins to melt and turn golden brown. Stir the caramel gently to ensure even cooking.
  4. Add Butter and Apples: Once the caramel is a deep amber color, add the butter, stirring until it’s melted. Arrange the apple halves round side down in the skillet. Sprinkle with cinnamon and a pinch of salt.
  5. Cook the Apples: Cook the apples in the caramel over medium heat for about 15 minutes, or until they start to soften.
  6. Prepare the Pastry: While the apples are cooking, roll out your puff pastry into a circle slightly larger than your skillet. Once the apples are ready, place the puff pastry over the apples, tucking the edges down around the apples inside the skillet.
  7. Bake: Transfer the skillet to the preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the puff pastry is golden and puffed.
  8. Cool and Flip: Remove the tarte from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes. Place a large plate over the skillet and, using oven mitts, carefully flip the tarte onto the plate.
  9. Serve: Serve your Tarte Tatin warm or at room temperature, ideally with a dollop of crème fraîche or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Pro Tips:

  • Be vigilant while caramelizing the sugar, as it can burn quickly.
  • Use a skillet that is both stovetop and oven-safe to avoid transferring the apples and caramel.
  • Allow the Tarte Tatin to cool slightly before flipping to prevent the caramel from being too runny.

Enjoy your homemade slice of French culinary tradition!

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