French Cuisine

Tarte Tatin with shortcrust pastry

Tarte Tatin with shortcrust pastry
Centre Val de Loire France
🇫🇷 France, Val de Loire

To spoil a cake and still serve it? Not many restaurants will risk their reputation like that nowadays as we are living in the era of internet reviews. But at the end of the 19th century, one could allow himself to be more greedy adventurous.

The legend tells us that one day Stéphanie Tatin burnt the apples for a traditional apple pie. She and her sister owned a hotel with a restaurant not far from Paris and Stéphanie was doing the cooking. For an unknown reason, she didn’t throw the apples away but covered them with the dough, put into the oven for some time and then just turned the dessert upside down. Bon Appétit! The accidentally created dish became known as Tarte Tatin.

Though some meticulous scholars point out that it is just a “tarte solognote” – upside-down tarte typical for the surrounding Sologne region – and the sisters themselves never called it Tarte Tatin. But whether they borrowed it or not – this is an amazing warm tarte for upcoming winter!

There are many variations of this recipe – puff pastry instead of shortcrust, different fruits and even veggies instead of apples, different types of caramel. We don’t pretend that ours is an authentic one but it tastes great!

We make Tarte Tatin with shortcrust pastry. For the pastry, we use wheaten cornflour (wheat starch) in order to reduce the amount of gluten and make the pastry more crunchy. You can buy wheaten cornflour in Pak’n Save or New World or choose another starch such as cornflour, tapioca or potato starch. If you prefer, you can just replace it with flour, but it will make the crust tougher.

We recommend NZ Braeburn apples for this tart. They are firm enough, sweet and sour at the same time and full of flavour. You can use other apples that will hold the shape during the caramelization and add some lemon juice to the caramel to regulate the acidity if they are too sweet.

A non-stick ovenproof frying pan is the best choice for the tarte. Alternatively, you can make caramel in a pan and pour it into a baking tin.

Tarte Tatin with shortcrust pastry
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
50 mins
Total Time
1 hr 20 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Servings: 4 serves
Calories: 420 kcal
  • 65 g Butter, softened
  • 35 g Sugar
  • 75 g Flour
  • 25 g Wheat starch
  • Grated zest of 1/3 average lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla essence
  • 2-3 Braeburn apples, just enough to fill all the pan
  • 100 g Sugar
  • Lemon juice, optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 30 g Demerara sugar
  1. Mix the softened butter with sugar.

  2. Add the flour, starch, lemon zest and mix everything together

  3. Press the mixture into a ball. Roll it out to a 20 cm disc between 2 pieces of cling wrap and put into the fridge.

  1. Peel the apples, quarter and remove pips.

  2. Preheat the oven to 210 C fan.

  3. Pour the sugar into an ovenproof non-stick 20 cm fry pan and shake to distribute evenly. Caramelize it over high heat until slightly golden.

  4. Optional: Pour the lemon juice into the caramel.

  5. Put the apple pieces onto the caramel (standing, not lying). The pan should be full of apples so that they are not falling.
  6. Dust the apples with cinnamon and brown sugar.
  7. Cover the pan with the dough, tuck in edge and dock the top.
  8. Put the pan into the preheated oven for 40 minutes. The dough should become golden.
  9. Take the tarte out and leave for 5 minutes.
  10. Run a spatula between the edges and the pan. Cover with a big flat plate and flip over. If any apples remain stuck to the pan put them back on tarte with tongs.

  11. Leave for 5 more minutes.
  12. Serve warm with whipped cream, or vanilla ice cream, or by itself.

Sign up for Newsletters

One thought on “Tarte Tatin with shortcrust pastry

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *