Recipe: Tarte Tatin

by Alice White Walker
a tart tatin on a plate

Who better to turn to than Alain Ducasse for a lesson in classic French bistro food? And what better dessert to master than a classic tarte tatin? This timeless French dish was created by accident, at the Hôtel Tatin in the Loire region in the 1800s! A stunning discovery that’s loved worldwide.

Read on for how to make this delicious apple tarte tatin at home.

Photography by Pierre Monetta
Find more of these recipes in May/June 2020 edition of
My French Country Home.

a tart tatin on a plate

Tarte Tatin

Alice White Walker Sticky, sweet and melt in the mouth: tarte tatin is a French classic! Discover how to make it from the master - Alain Ducasse. Recipes Recipe: Tarte Tatin European Print This
Serves: 6 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat
Rating: 2.8/5
( 26 voted )


  • Basic (Shortcrust) Pastry Dough
  • 6 g (1 1/2 tsp) sugar
  • 100 g (3/4 cup plus 1 tbsp) flour
  • 2 g (1/4 tsp) salt
  • 50 g (3 1/2 tbsp) butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • Caramel
  • 150 g (3/4 cup) sugar
  • 1.5 kg (3 lb 4 oz) Reinette du Canada or other sweet, golden russet apples
  • 180 g (3/4 cup) heavy cream


Make the pastry dough:
Put the sugar into a bowl and add the flour and salt. Cut the butter into small pieces and incorporate. Add 10 ml (2 tsp water) and the egg, and mix until a smooth dough forms. Roll the dough into a ball and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).

Make the caramel:
Put the sugar into a tarte tatin pan and add 30 ml (2 tbsp water) - just enough to moisten the sugar. Heat on the stovetop over low heat until it turns dark, then remove the pan from the heat and cool.

Prepare the apples:
Peel and core the apples. Cut into large wedges.

Arrange the apple wedges in a rosette pattern over the cooled caramel, then add remaining pieces at random over the others.

Roll out the dough into a circle approximately the size of the pan, then place on top of the apples, trimming off any excess. Bake for 40 minutes. The apples should be soft and the pastry crispy.

Take the tarte out of the oven and wait a few minutes before turning it over onto a plate. Serve warm with the heavy cream.

Drink suggestion: farm cider from Brittany

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