autumn food – the tarte tatin

by Sharon Santoni


When I was writing my entertaining book, with all the different tablescapes and ideas for entertaining through the seasons, my editor Madge Baird suggested that we include some recipes.   Just a few to illustrate how we like to live and eat by the season here in France.

Having grown up in a large family, then having raised our four children, it was easy to come up with a list of favorite dishes, that are more about traditional family food than fancy cuisine.   The Tarte Tatin or upside down apple tart is the perfect example.   This tart is baked in homes all over France.   It is easy to prepare and totally delicious, the most important ingredient being the apples which must be full of flavour and able to hold their shape while cooking.

This recipe is for a 25cm or 10” tart, and it is the recipe included in the book accompanied by Franck Schmitt’s fantastic photos.

Before I give you the recipe, and on another note I apologise for the silence on the blog over the past week or so.   All is well here, but on the technical front we have been battling with an unwelcome intruder which some of you have experienced in the form of pop-up windows and other spam links.   We thank everyone who cared enough to tell us about the problem, and believe that it is now fixed.  Hopefully you’ll be able to browse uninterrupted from now on!

This is what you will need for the tart:

Eight apples,

½ cup, 100g or 3.5oz butter

¾ cup   100g or 3.5oz sugar

A batch of home made pastry, or if you prefer a pack of good quality puff or sweet pastry

To make this tart I use a heavy based frying pan that lost its handle many moons ago, which allows me to start cooking the fruit over the heat and then transfer it to the oven to bake the pastry.  

Peel and core eight apples.  Be sure to use a variety that has plenty of flavour but will also maintain a good shape during cooking.   I speak from experience, the first tarte Tatin that I ever made, I used an apple that was ideal for purée but not for tarts and the final result was not at all presentable!

Melt the butter in a heavy bottomed pan and swirl it around, add the sugar then carefully position the apple halves core side down.  Turn up the heat and let the apples cook gently in the butter and sugar with little interference, remember you want to keep their shape intact.  Just be sure to keep moving the pan around on the heat so that the butter and sugar caramelize equally in the pan without getting too dark.   After about ten minutes on a medium heat, gently use a fork and a large spoon to flip the apple pieces, so that you now can see the centre of the apples.  

Cook for another five minutes then turn off the heat.  Roll out the pastry wide enough to cover the pan, and carefully lift and position over the fruit.  Tuck the pastry into the edges of the pan like a blanket and cut off any excess.

Pop the tart into the oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until golden.   Remove from the oven and leave to cool a little before laying a large plate on top of the pastry and gently turning the plate and the tart pan upside down.   Set the plate on a table and ease the pan upwards; your fruit should remain in place on the pastry base, but if a piece of fruit remains stuck to the pan, simply slide it back into place with a knife.

Serve warm, with or without cream or ice cream.  Bon appetit!


Recipe and photos from My French Country Home – Entertaining through the Seasons


Taste of France November 4, 2017 - 3:50 pm

I love tarte tatin, warm with a little chantilly. It works well with not much sugar, just enough to caramelize.

stitchinsweetsue November 4, 2017 - 3:52 pm

hiya sharon ~ my absolute fave treat ever! or… maybe a fat cannoli, such a difficult decision:) wishing you a peaceful weekend…

Colleen Taylor November 4, 2017 - 9:45 pm

This looks so incredibly good Sharon! Can’t wait to try this and thank you for sharing this.X

Our French Oasis November 4, 2017 - 10:05 pm

One of my absolute favourite desserts with the family. Your photos are simply stunning as always and totally make me want to be outside in autumn and inside cooking, both at the same time! Hope you are having a lovely weekend.

Elizabeth November 4, 2017 - 10:27 pm

Can you suggest the name of an apple to use for this..Thank you and it looks so delicious.

Liz Campbell November 7, 2017 - 11:34 am

I would love to know what variety Sharon shows in the photo but I suspect the name has been lost in history as so many growing in the gardens of old houses,but it looks like an eater. I have Bramley the best for going fluffy, Howgate Wonder said to be the largest cooker that keeps some texture and stores till April,bread here in Howgate Road,Bembridge, IW, Discovery an eater would be my choice for the tart.I had never cooked with it untill my friend David Ellison the creator of ‘Further Tales of the Riverbank’ and a great cook said I should try,it cooks to a lovely pink,they keep till April in a fridge turned down in my log cellar.

Sharon Santoni November 7, 2017 - 5:57 pm

Hi Elizabeth and Liz, actually for this picture I used Golden Delicious apples because I know they keep their shape so well, and I often use Reinette apples too.
Hope that helps


Liz campbell November 8, 2017 - 11:31 am

Thank you Sharon,I will try both of your suggestions,Reinette is one that is new to me.I always have so many home grown apples that I don’t look at what the supermarket has.

Brenda November 4, 2017 - 11:11 pm

It is currently raining (all day) and cold. This sounds wonderful. Have you ever tried this with peaches?
I am enjoying your new book.

Sharon Santoni November 7, 2017 - 5:58 pm

I do make this tart with peaches, and it is delicious! 🙂

Janice Rivenburg November 4, 2017 - 11:40 pm

Wow, this looks so delicious! Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe and gorgeous photos with us”:-)”

Have a wonderful weekend!!!

Hazel Lavelle November 5, 2017 - 12:30 am

Missed your blog Sharon !!! Wondered if there was some thing rong … Glad things are fixed now

Lovely autumn pictures

Hazel Manchester uk X

Sharon Santoni November 7, 2017 - 5:59 pm

Thank you Hazel! We are relieved to have this fixed 🙂

Teresa Person November 5, 2017 - 2:29 pm

Yum…. beautiful photo of the dessert and basket of apples…

Pat November 5, 2017 - 3:41 pm

YUM!! Don’t see oven setting…am assuming 350 ? Rainy here in central VA today, will make this up, thanks for sharing!

Susan November 5, 2017 - 10:34 pm

Happy to know all is well with you and yours. Hoping your kinks are worked out ~ I wasn’t able to send a comment as rather risqué photos of young women were popping up!

Recommendation for type of apples?

Denise November 6, 2017 - 12:45 am

E it when you blog your cooking. This is definitely an old favourite that I haven’t made since the kids were little. A lovely reminder that sometimes simple can be just perfect.

classic • casual • home November 6, 2017 - 6:09 pm

Love that first photo! This sounds so straightforward…have to try it.

Steven November 6, 2017 - 6:52 pm

My children have grown up eating what they affectionately have named “flapple pie” (flat apple pie) – an open faced salad plate sized rustic confection that may be the redneck version of your beautiful presentation. My wife makes them with peaches, pears, apricots, blueberries, blackberries, etc. but they are “flapples” regardless of the filling (sort of like every soft drink in the south is referred to as a coke, even if its not). Perhaps we should elevate our modest flapples to the status of tarte. 🙂

Nancy Pollock November 12, 2017 - 9:52 pm

Tried this for friends as few nights ago… they loved it! However, the pastry did not brown like yours (in the picture) what tempature did you use to bake?
Thank you

Brigitte Dossor October 2, 2018 - 12:44 am

It has been a while since I made one of these. Your looks so scrumptious that it must be time.

Apple Tarte Tatin, Single Serving Sizes – The Simply Luxurious Life® June 6, 2020 - 7:23 pm

[…] as I was enjoying Sharon Santoni‘s most recent book My French Country Home: Entertaining Through the Seasons which showcases […]


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