Apple tarte tatin, how to make the classic dessert step by step

Apple tarte tatin, how to make the classic dessert step by step. The Tatin is a caramelized apple tart that is baked upside down, that is, with the base on top. When presenting it, it is turned over and served normal, with the fruit facing up. This way of cooking it makes the apples melt with the caramel, giving them that unique flavor and texture.

Legend has it that the cake was invented by accident at the Hotel Tatin, near Orleans, which, by the way, is still active and continues to serve the dessert in question. This establishment, at the end of the 19th century, was run by the two sisters of the same name, to whom the cake is attributed.

Portion of tarte tatinDamian Serrano

In a first version, it is said that one day one of the Tatin sisters forgot to put the dough on the cake and put it on top halfway through baking. In the end, she turned it over so it looked like nothing had happened. Another version says that the elaboration broke and in order not to waste the apples, they reused them to bake another tart, putting the dough on top.

Today, it is known that the origin of the Tarte Tatin was no accident, as the “inverted” tart was very typical in the region where the sisters lived and had been made long before. What is certain is the effort and dedication that Stéphanie and Caroline put into achieving a sublime cake, which borders on perfection.

Apple tarte tatin seen from aboveDamian Serrano

recipe information

    • Preparation time: 15 minutes
    • cooking time: 1 hour and 25 minutes
    • total time: 2 hours
    • rations:8
    • Category: desserts
    • type of cuisine: French
    • Calories per serving (kcal):439

Ingredients for apple tarte tatin for 8 people

    • 200 g of sugar or liquid caramel
    • 60 ml of water (4 tablespoons)
    • 100 g butter (plus a little more to grease the pan)
    • 11 or 12 medium apples
    • 1 level teaspoon of ground cinnamon
    • 300 g of homemade or commercial shortcrust pastry (1 sheet)
    • A little flour to stretch the dough
    • 1 tablespoon apricot jam (optional)

Necessary utensils

    • 26 cm diameter round mold

Apple tarte tatin ingredientsDamian Serrano

How to make apple tarte tatin

To start, we need 200 g of sugar to make a caramel. To do this, we put the extended sugar in a saucepan with 60 ml of water and heat over medium heat until it is dark brown. Do not stir the sugar, so that it does not crystallize. In addition, we will avoid touching the caramel while it is cooking as it causes significant burns. If you want to avoid this whole step, you can always use liquid caramel.

Caramel for the Tarte TatinDamian Serrano

Once we have the caramel ready, we are going to add about 50 g of butter cut into cubes and mix well until it becomes light brown and has a smooth texture. This step requires care, since adding the butter can cause splashes due to the change in temperature between the two ingredients. If we use the liquid caramel, we simply heat it with the butter.

Add the butter to the caramelDamian Serrano

Now we take a round mold of 26 cm in diameter and grease it with a little butter. If we want, we can also put a circle of baking paper on the base to facilitate unmolding at the end. Once this is done, pour the caramel into the mold and reserve.

Cover the tarte tatin mold with the caramelDamian Serrano

We now turn to the stars of the recipe: the apples. We are going to need about 11 or 12 apples, if possible of medium size. As for the variety, the golden apples are quite good. However, you can make the Tarte Tatin with the variety that you want, as long as it is not one of those that quickly turns into a compote when cooked. What we have to do with the apples is peel them, cut them into quarters and finally remove the core.

Peel and cut the apples for the tarte TatinDamian Serrano

Immediately afterwards, we put another 50 g of butter to melt in a wide frying pan over medium heat. Add the apples together with 1 level teaspoon of cinnamon, mix well, cover and let them cook for about 10 minutes. We uncover and leave another 5 more minutes. Remove and let cool.

Cook apples with cinnamon and butterDamian Serrano

When we can handle the apples without burning ourselves, we place them inside the mold, on top of the caramel, so that they form a single layer. Since they are already a little soft, do not hesitate to squeeze them so that they all fit. In addition, that will give a better final appearance to the cake.

Spread the apples on top of the caramelDamian Serrano

Next, we take 300 g of homemade shortcrust pastry and roll it out with a rolling pin on a floured surface to obtain a circle of about 28 cm in diameter. We can also use 1 sheet of those that are already prepared in the supermarket that only needs to be unrolled. In this case, we will opt for a good quality dough, made with butter. We put the dough on the apples and fold the edges inward. Finally, we make a hole in the center and prick the dough several times to allow the steam to escape.

Cover the tarte tatin with shortcrust pastryDamian Serrano

Bake the cake for 1 hour at 180ºC, with heat up and down, and in the low position of the oven.

Baking the Apple Tarte TatinDamian Serrano

After the baking time has elapsed, we take the tarte tatin out of the oven and let it rest for about 15 minutes inside the mold so that it settles. Then, we turn it over on a large plate, being very careful not to burn ourselves.

Unmold the tarte tatinDamian Serrano

If desired, an extra touch can be added to enhance the presentation and make the cake shine. To do this, nothing is easier than taking 1 tablespoon of apricot jam and diluting it in 1 tablespoon of hot water. If the jam had pieces of fruit, we pass it through a strainer. With this mixture, we paint the surface of the cake.

Paint the tarte tatin with apricot jamDamian Serrano

And we would have our apple tarte tatin ready. The traditional way of serving it is warm along with a good coffee. It is also very typical to crown it with whipped cream, a scoop of vanilla ice cream or even both options together.

Serve the tarte tatin warm or coldDamian Serrano

Easy preparation summary

    1. Heat the sugar until caramelized
    1. Add half of the butter and mix well.
    1. Grease the mold, line the base with baking paper and fill with the caramel
    1. Peel the apples, cut them into quarters and remove the core
    1. Cook the apples with the rest of the butter and cinnamon for 10 minutes covered and 5 uncovered
    1. Distribute the apples in the mold
    1. Roll out the dough, cover the apples, fold the edges and make some holes
    1. Bake the tarte tatin for 1 hour at 180 ºC
    1. Let the cake rest for 15 minutes inside the mold and turn it over
    1. Paint the cake with apricot jam diluted with a little water
    1. Serve the tarte tatin warm or cold