Tarte tatin plated full featured

Dreamy Tarte Tatin

Tarte Tatin is a classic French dessert that is not “too heavy or too sweet” (see our rule of thumb when offering more than one dessert in our Coconut Key Lime Tart post). It’s a dessert that is all about the apples. No cinnamon or nutmeg here. It’s pure APPLE. And that is a good thing because you will get all your holiday spices in the final dessert that comes your way tomorrow.

Honey Crisp apples simmer in a simple sugar mixture and are transformed into transcendent golden gems.
Really, they are.

Tarte tatin platter close up

As the sugar and butter simmers it becomes thicker and almost caramel like. I added brandy, because why not? If you follow my recipes at all, I’m sure that doesn’t surprise you at this point.

Tarte tatin in pan full adding sugar

Tarte tatin in pan full adding syrup

Tarte tatin in pan full overhead adding apples

Store-bought puff pastry serves as the crust, keeping this dessert feasible. Considering everything else you have going on in your kitchen and fridge, and possible guest bedroom or basement…shortcuts are welcomed (who knew your daughter was bringing home two friends from college this year? Not YOU!).

Tarte tatin in pan full adding dough

Tarte tatin in pan full overhead uncooked

Tarte tatin in pan full cooked

Tarte tatin in pan full flipping pan

Its beauty lies in the simplicity.

Pastry. Sugar. Butter. Brandy. Apples.

Tarte tatin platter full side shot

Tarte tatin platter full

Tarte tatin plated close up

A quarter, wedge or sliver of the flaky crust and caramelized apples will put you in that post-turkey dreamland. I would say this is what dreams are made of.

Tarte Tatin

  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 50 mins
  • Total: 1 hr 15 mins
  • Yields: 8 servings
Tarte tatin plated full featured


  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, defrosted but still cold
  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons brandy
  • 7-8 Honey Crisp apples, peeled, cored and cut into quarters


Roll the puff pastry into an 11-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Place the pastry on a baking sheet and keep in the fridge until ready to use.

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

Spread the butter onto the bottom of a 5 QT SmartSteam ™ pan or a cast iron skillet. Pour the sugar over the butter evenly and drizzle with the brandy. Arrange the apples, packing them tightly into a concentric circle (remember they shrink as they cook).

Cook the apples over medium heat until the juices are bubbling and turning golden, about 20 minutes.

Place the pan into the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the pan and lay the puff pastry over the apples. Return the pan to the oven and bake about 20 minutes more, until the pastry is puffed and golden brown.

Allow the tarte to cool in the pan for about 10-12 minutes. You want to invert the dessert while it is still warm.

Place a plate flush with the puff pastry and invert the tarte onto the plate.

Cut it into wedges and serve.








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