A foolproof Tarte Tatin recipe that makes a quick and easy dessert. These individual apple tarts are ready in 20 minutes and take zero skill but taste just as good as the real thing! We add maple syrup and cinnamon sugar, which work so well with the apples on top of crunchy, flaky puff pastry.
This is a quick Tarte Tatin recipe without making caramel, we simply put everything into a shallow Yorkshire Pudding tin (or other similar shallow cake tin), and it goes straight into the oven. Which makes it a pretty foolproof Tarte Tatin recipe!
What is Tarte Tatin?
Tarte Tatin is a French apple tart with puff pastry named for the Tatin sisters, who invented and served the recipe in their hotel. It is traditionally made with apples or other fruit like pears or apricots, but there are savory versions too. The original recipe involves making a caramel first, then add apples and a piece of puff pastry on top before baking in the oven. It is flipped over after baking to reveal sticky caramelized apples on top of a crisp and buttery puff pastry base.
Why this is the best recipe
A foolproof Tarte Tatin makes an easy elegant dinner party dessert as you can prepare it ahead of time and then simply put it in the oven 15 minutes before you want to serve it. Apples are in season from summer into Fall, but our homegrown apples last into winter when stored correctly in a cool place. Meaning I get to enjoy apple desserts for a huge part of the year!
Love puff pastry? Try this salmon en croute with dill cream sauce; it's another excellent dish for a dinner party.
Here is what you will need to make a foolproof Tarte Tatin.
- Apples: The best apples for a Tarte Tatin are crisp and sweet varieties that have some acidity, like Braeburn apples.
- Puff pastry sheet: You can use homemade or store-bought puff pastry in this Tarte Tatin easy version. Be sure to buy the 'all butter' puff pastry sheets; it really does make all the difference.
- Ground cinnamon: This adds such delicious warmth and Fall flavors.
- Powdered sugar/icing sugar: We mix the cinnamon and powdered sugar together to lightly coat the buttered tray. It seasons the dish and helps promote caramelization.
- Brown caster sugar: You can use white sugar if you prefer, but brown sugar contains molasses which helps to give a rich caramel taste.
- Maple syrup: As we don't make caramel, the maple syrup gives a sweet sticky texture whilst also being a great flavor combination with the apples and cinnamon.
- Butter: Use high-quality, unsalted butter.
See the recipe card for quantities.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius/400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Generously grease the tray with butter, covering the sides and base.
Mix the ground cinnamon and powdered sugar together and place them into a fine mesh sieve. Dust over the tray, ensuring the butter is covered in a fine coating of cinnamon sugar.
Sprinkle the brown sugar into the base of the tray, then drizzle the maple syrup on top.
Quarter and core the apple, then slice it into thin pieces.
Lay the apples into the tray in a circular pattern (or however you like but try and keep them from stacking too much on top of each other).
Cut circles from the puff pastry sheet the size of the tray holes and lay them on top of the apples. Press down gently.
Bake the easy Tarte Tatin in the oven for 15 minutes until the puff pastry is golden brown on top, and you can hear the apples bubbling.
Lay a flat tray on top of the puff pastry and carefully flip them over.
Lift off the Yorkshire pudding tray (watch out, it will be hot), and your individual apple Tarte Tatin will be ready and waiting. If any are stubborn, carefully prise them out with a spatula.
Serve easier Tarte Tatin topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and an extra dusting of cinnamon.
Hint: I cut my ready-made puff pastry sheets with scissors, or if you have a cookie cutter the right size, that is useful too!
Substitutions and variations
Here are some ways to change up this easy apple Tarte Tatin recipe to suit you.
- Fruit - try using pears instead.
- Honey - you could substitute maple syrup for honey.
- Gluten-free - swap the puff pastry for a gluten-free version if you prefer.
For another fruity dessert that's easy to make ahead, try this caramelized fig pavlova with cardamom cream.
To make this foolproof Tarte Tatin, you will need a non-stick Yorkshire Pudding tray (or similar) like this one. It needs to be shallow, around 1.5cm or half an inch deep, but the size is up to you. I like to make this foolproof Tart Tatin as an individual dessert for a dinner party, so a palm-sized serving is perfect.
You will also need a fine mesh sieve, a good kitchen knife (I use Robert Welch), and a chopping board.
Store any leftovers in a cool place and consume them within 2-3 days.
This apple Tarte Tatin is best made and eaten fresh, but it can be frozen. Use it within one month and reheat from frozen, do not defrost first, or the apples will go soggy.
Don't slice the apples too thick, or they won't cook in time; a thickness of 2mm is perfect.
Foolproof Tarte Tatin
- 1 Yorkshire pudding tray or similar, with 4 shallow spaces that are around a palm-sized each.
- 1 fine mesh sieve
- 1 knife
- 1 Chopping board
- 1 large apple A sweet and crisp variety that also has acidity like Braeburn.
- 150 grams sheet of all butter puff pastry For ease, I use a store-bought sheet of puff pastry.
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon brown caster sugar
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius/400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Generously grease the tray with butter, ensuring the sides and base are covered.
- Mix the ground cinnamon and powdered sugar together and place them into a fine mesh sieve. Dust over the tray ensuring the butter is covered in a fine coating of cinnamon sugar.
- Sprinkle the brown sugar into the base of the tray, then drizzle the maple syrup on top.
- Quarter and core the apple, then slice it into thin pieces.
- Lay the apples into the tray in a circular pattern (or however you like but try and keep them from stacking too much on top of each other).
- Cut circles from the puff pastry sheet the size of the tray holes and lay them on top of the apples.
- Bake the Tarte Tatin in the oven for 15 minutes until the puff pastry is golden brown on top and you can hear the apples bubbling.
- Lay a flat tray on top of the puff pastry, and carefully flip them over.
- Lift off the Yorkshire pudding tray (watch out, it will be hot) and your individual apple Tarte Tatin will be ready and waiting. If any are stubborn, careful prise out with a spatula.
- Serve topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and an extra dusting of cinnamon.
The dessert Tarte Tatin originated in France and was created by the Tatin sisters.
Yes, you can freeze apple tarts and this Tarte Tatin will freeze well once it's been cooked. Wrap in tin foil and keep flat, then reheat from frozen until crisp before enjoying.
For apple Tarte Tatin you need apples that are crisp and sweet but with acidity. I use Braeburn apples in Tarte Tatin.