Tarte Tatin (Upside-down skillet tart)

Red Apple

Red Apple

By Cat, May 2009 (Photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons

Includes: 1. Tarte Tatin

See also:  1. Pie & Tart Crusts, Pastry2Pies, Tarts, Turnovers

This is an amazingly wonderful treat after picking apples in the fall; rich with apple, caramelized sugary juices, and rich pastry. Trust me, if you like apples, you’ll love it.

Tarte Tatin

This wonderful tarte, baked upside down in a cast iron pan, can be made with apples or pears. I don’t remember where I got this recipe….

Ingredients & Equipment:

Pastry Sucrée, ¾ recipe, as follows: *

  • ¾ cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • ½ cup unbleached white flour (plus more for dusting rolling surface and rolling pin)
  • 1 – 3 tsp sugar
  • ¼ Unrefined sea salt
  • 6 – 7 Tbsp butter, in 1-Tbsp pieces
  • 1 whole egg
  • grated zest of ¼ lemon (optional)
  • large bowl
  • rolling pin and cloth
  1. Whisk together flour, sugar, and salt in medium bowl. Cut in butter to resemble oatmeal; make a well in center of mix;
  2. In small bowl, beat egg and lemon zest (if using) with a fork;
  3. Pour egg into well, then blend together with a fork until it will form a ball, being careful not to over-mix;
  4. Wrap and refrigerate for later use; or let rest on counter until ready to use, at least 5 minutes. Roll to 11″ – 12″ circle.

*Alternately, you can use:

  • American Standard Pie Crust for 10″ pie, rolled to 11″ – 12″ circle
  • Or frozen puff pastry, thawed: unfold and then fold in each corner about 2 inches and press down–this makes an octagon shape.  Roll to 11″ – 12″ round.


  • 5 – 7  (3 pounds) golden delicious, McIntosh, Gala or Granny Smith apples * or a mix; or 3-4 bosc pears
  • 2 – 4 Tbsp butter
  • ½ – ¾ cup Rapadura sugar
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 10″ cast iron skillet

*refer to Apple Info (About) for chart on best uses for different varieties of apple


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Peel and core apples/pears, then cut each in half, and place in a bath of water and 1 Tbsp lemon juice to keep them from turning brown.
  3. Place butter and sugar in cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.  Cook briefly to warm the sugar and melt the butter, about 2 – 3 minutes, or until amber in color, swirling skillet frequently.
  4. Using tongs, quickly transfer fruit halves to skillet, coating flat sides first and then turning so that the rounded side is down.  Arrange them to fit all in a single layer.  Return skillet to medium low heat, and cook 2 – 3 minutes.  Do not overcook; they should still have some crunch.  If using pears, cook only 1 minute.
  5. Place dough round on top of fruit in skillet; tuck in edge of dough around apples.  With a sharp knife, cut six ¼-inch slits in dough to allow steam to escape, spacing the cuts evenly.
  6. Bake tart as assembled in cast iron skillet for 25 minutes, or until crust is golden.
  7. Remove skillet from oven and place on wire rack to cool 10 minutes.
  8. Center large plate upside down on top of skillet.  Using oven mitts, grab skillet and plate together and invert, so that tarte transfers to plate and the apples are on top.
  9. Cool 20 minutes and serve warm.

Assembly or Serving Suggestions

  • Serve with real Whipped Cream, lightly sweetened and flavored with vanilla;
  • Serve with Crème Fraiche;
  • Serve with vanilla or caramel ice cream.

About Cat

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