Iconic dessert of France, discover the recipe for the mythical tarte tatin, a delicious upside-down cake with beautiful caramelized apples, a thin dough… the simplicity of a dessert to be enjoyed warm accompanied by a nice thick crème fraîche.

Origin and history

The origin of this pie is located in Sologne, more precisely in a small town in Loir-et-Cher, less than 200 km from Paris (France), the village of Lamotte-Beuvron.

It was named after two sisters, Stéphanie and Caroline Tatin. They ran the family establishment, the Hôtel Tatin from 1894 to 1906. Caroline, the eldest, received customers, while Stéphanie busied herself in the kitchen, notably preparing famous apple pies. tender and caramelized.

Many legends surround this mythical pie “Tarte Tatin” :

It is said that one Sunday when the hunt opened, Stéphanie forgot the dough and in the heat of the moment, put it in her mold filled only with apples and sugar. Realizing that she had forgotten, she simply added the dough over the apples and finished baking the pie like this.

Another version of the legend says that Stéphanie Tatin knocked it over when it came out of the oven. Wanting to make up for her mistake, she picked up the pie and served it upside down.

Another version, less romantic, says that the “reversed” apple pie is in fact an old regional specialty! The Tatin sisters have simply made her famous.

It was at this time that the owner of Restaurant Maxim’s in Paris, a certain Louis Vaudable, discovered this pie during a hunting meal. Under the spell of this tasty preparation, he asked for the recipe which was kindly refused by the two sisters. He then sent one of his pastry chefs to Lamotte-Beuvron. He pretended to be a gardener looking for work… and discovered the secret of making this famous pie. Copiers but honest, the Vaudales baptized it “Tart of the young ladies Tatin”.

It was then the famous culinary critic Maurice-Edmond Sailland, known as Curnonsky’s “Prince of gastronomes” who made it go down in history. He published the recipe in one of his books, thus distributing it in Paris and among all fine gourmets. It is even said that he invented the whole story, in particular the clumsiness of the Tatin sisters, to amuse the journalists!

Notes and tips

  • We’ve chosed Golden apples because they hold up well when cooked and are both sweet and slightly acidic. You can also use: Pink Lady or Reine des Reinettes.
  • For a successful tarte tatin, you have to focus on two things: the dough and, the caramel. You can find the recipe for the dough here. As for the caramel, you always have to keep an eye on it so as not to let it burn.
  • You can use a shortcrust pastry, a puff pastry or a shortbrad pastry but the authentic recipe is made with a shortcrust patry.
  • Turn the tart over while it’s hot. As soon as you’ve cooked it, wait 5-10 minutes after removing from the oven and then, immediately unmold it. If you wait for it to cool, the caramel will set and the pie will break when you turn it over.
  • The original recipe does not contains cinnamon but since it goes so well with apples, we’ve add it. You can also use vanilla extract.


The best way to eat it is 1-2 hours after cooking, when it is still warm and the pastry is crisp.

You can serve the tarte tatin with fresh cream to play on the contrast between the acidity of the cream and the delicacy of the tart. Or the english way by serving the slices with a scoop of ice cream.


  • Apple pie.
  • Pineapple tart tatin
  • Peach tart tatin.
  • Upside-down cake.
  • Apple cake.
  • Tarte au citron.

Tarte Tatin : French style apple tart

Iconic dessert of France, discover the recipe for the mythical tarte tatin, a delicious upside-down cake with beautiful caramelized apples, a thin dough… the simplicity of a dessert to be enjoyed warm accompanied by a nice thick crème fraîche.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Dessert, Pies
Cuisine French
Servings 6 servings
Calories 333 kcal


  • 250 g shortcrust pastry
  • 1 kg apples
  • 100 g sugar
  • 50 g butter
  • 45 ml lemon juice (1 lemon)
  • ½ tsp cinnamon


  • Start by preheating the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  • Peel the apples and cut them into quarters.
  • Add lemon juice to the quartered apples.
  • Prepare a circle mold of 9.5 in (24 cm) in diameter.
  • In the mold, start by preparing a caramel by mixing the sugar and the butter. Then, cook over high heat.
  • Remove from the heat, add the apples and cinnamon, and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes. Then, remove from the heat.
  • Roll the shortcrust pastry into a circle with a diameter of 10 in (26 cm). Spread it over the mold
  • Cook it in the oven for 30 minutes.
Keyword Apples, caramel, French, fruits, pastry, Pies, shortcrust pastry, Tarts

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 serving
Servings Per Container 6

Amount Per Serving
Calories 333 Calories from Fat 171
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 19g 29%
Saturated Fat 4.3g 22%
Trans Fat g
Cholesterol 18mg 6%
Sodium 50mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 40.4g 13%
Dietary Fiber 1.5g 6%
Sugars 20.7g
Protein 2.3g 5%

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.