Apple Tarte Tatin

A beautiful apple tarte tatin on a cooling rack.

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  • Puff Pastry or Flaky Pie Pastry, prepared (see note)
  • 2 cups apple cider, reduced to ¼ cup
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 cup (200 grams) pure cane granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons (60 grams) unsalted butter, cubed
  • ½ teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 4-5 large apples
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice


  1. Prepare Rough Puff Pastry of Flaky Pie Pastry. You will only need a half batch of either of those recipes. Freeze any remaining pastry for another use.
  2. Roll out the dough to a rough 10” circle, about ¼” thick.
  3. Place your 9” cake pan upside down on top of the dough and using it as a guide, cut a circle slightly bigger (by about ½”) than the cake pan.
  4. Using a fork, pierce the dough to create steam holes. Slide the cut pastry onto a sheet tray, cover in plastic and place in the refrigerator until ready to use.
  5. Reduce the apple cider: Place the apple cider in a large pot. Boil the cider over high heat until it is reduced and slightly thickened. Depending on the size of your pot, it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. It should reduce to about ¼ cup of liquid. Do not let it boil to less than this. You should use a measuring cup to ensure you have the correct amount of reduced cider. See notes about reducing apple cider for more information about this step.
  6. Make the caramel: Add water to a medium pot. Slowly stream in the sugar in an even layer. (This is to help dissolve the sugar without the need to stir). Turn on the heat to medium and let the dissolved sugar mixture cook undisturbed until it has come to a full boil. Let the mixture continue to cook, largely undisturbed. You can use a very clean whisk to gently stir around the mixture as it reduces to help it heat evenly. Cook until the sugar has caramelized, about 4-6 minutes total cooking time. You'll know it's caramelized enough when the sugar is a deep amber, and is fragrant.
  7. Carefully and slowly, whisk in pieces of the butter, a few at a time. Once the butter is whisked in, add in the reduced apple cider. Carefully whisk it together, being mindful of the very hot bubbling mixture.
  8. Bring the caramel back up to a boil, then shut off the heat.
  9. Remove the caramel from the heat, stir in the salt and let it sit for 5 minutes in the pan to slightly cool.
  10. Then transfer the caramel to a 9” nonstick cake pan. Do not let it cool more than 5 minutes or it may thicken too much to pour it into the cake pan.
  11. Set the caramel pan aside, it will be used later.
  12. Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
  13. Prepare the apples: Peel the apples, slice in half and scoop out the seeds with a melon baller. Slice each prepared half into six even wedges. As you prepare the apple slices, add them to a bowl with lemon juice and occasionally toss to prevent any browning.
  14. Arrange the apples in concentric circles on top of the caramel, starting from the outer edge and moving your way in. The apples can be placed in any direction or any side. Fill in any gaps with any remaining apple slices. The apples should be tightly packed in in an even layer.
  15. Place the cake pan on a rimmed baking sheet. Transfer the refrigerated prepared pastry on top of the apples. Tuck the edges of the pastry into the edge of the pan around the apples.
  16. Bake on the middle rack of the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes until the pastry is well browned and puffed up throughout.
  17. Let the tarte cool for 5 minutes.
  18. Meanwhile place a cooling rack (a circle one works best here) on top of a plate. Invert the rack and plate on top of the cake pan, and then carefully invert the cake pan. The tarte should fall out onto the rack.
  19. Let the tarte slightly cool, about 10 minutes, and any liquid run off onto the plate below.
  20. Transfer any liquid from the plate into the caramel pot. Cook until slightly reduced.
  21. Use a heat proof pastry brush to brush the reduced liquid back onto the tarte tatin.
  22. Let the tarte tatin sit on the cooling rack until ready to serve. Then transfer it to a serving platter. Slice and serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.


Given the extra steps taken to ensure this is the best tasting Tarte Tatin, I recommend making the pastry homemade. This Rough Puff Pastry recipe is simple to prepare, but does take some time. It makes about double the amount of pastry that you need for this recipe, but it freezes well and it’s always great to have on hand. This Flaky Pie Pastry recipe is yields a puff pastry like dough, but with few steps. It also will make about double what you need for this recipe but can be frozen for future use.

Have a question or looking for tips? The text written above the recipe is always a great first place to start! This Apple Tarte Tatin recipe was developed with love,  and I always include loads of explanations, tips, step-by-step photos and technical advice shared before the recipe.

Weighing your flour is the most accurate way to measure. If you aren't going to weigh it, make sure to spoon it into the cup, and then level it off. If you scoop the flour out with the measuring cup and then level, it could change the outcome of the final product.

I use Diamond Crystal coarse kosher salt in my recipes, if you use  Morton's kosher salt or fine salt you will likely need to decrease the amount of salt called for.

If you really didn't want to be bothered, you could skip the addition of the apple cider in the caramel. I would just suggest adding in 2 tablespoons of heavy cream in its place.