Apple Tarte Tatin with Pears—easy, slow cooked, caramelized, and delicious! Add a scoop of ice cream and you have a wonderful fruit dessert that’s elegant but simple. 

Side view of apple tarte tatin recipe with apples in the background.

A classic French dish, Apple Tarte Tatin is a wonderful concoction of apples that are cooked and covered with pastry, then turned out upside down. The whole thing comes out caramelized and rich and is way easier than our American Double Crust Apple Pie.

This version of Apple Tarte Tatin began from a recipe I found on Southern Fried French, one of my favorite blogs. However, with no time to make the pastry, I had to use refrigerated pie crusts. And, I only had Granny Smith apples so I had to change things up a bit and add some pears.

The result was fabulous!

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Helpful Tools and Ingredients

How to Make Apple Tarte Tatin:

You’ll need a dish that’s about 8 inches across and 2 inches deep. I use my cast iron skillet, which is perfect because it works from start to finish without messing up more dishes.

Step 1. Pre-heat oven to 350.

Step 2. Place the peeled and cut apples in a large bowl and add the brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir gently to coat all the apple pieces.

Step 3. Melt butter in the skillet, then remove from the heat and sprinkle a little sugar evenly over the butter.

Step 4. Place the apple halves, cut side down, on top of the sugar and then place the quartered pieces around and in all the spaces. Cook for about an hour. Apple Tarte Tatin is not a quickly made dessert!

Apples in a skillet.

Step 5. When the apples are done, remove the pan from the oven and place the pear pieces right on top of the apples.

Cook’s Tip: Pears are so much softer than apples, so it doesn’t take them as long to cook. You can also make this recipe with just apples if you like, which is more traditional.

Step 6. Place two pie crusts right on top of the pears. Tuck in all around the edges and bake for about 45-50 minutes more, then take out of the oven and leave it in the skillet. The crust should be a nice golden brown.

overhead photo of apple tarte tatin crust in a skillet.

When ready to serve the apple tarte tatin, place a plate over the top and flip the tarte onto the plate. Don’t worry about filling running off the plate, it’s all nicely contained.

Overhead photo of apple tarte tatin on a plate with a server next to it.

For a different take on this French favorite, try this Peach Tarte Tatin.

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5 from 1 vote

Apple Tarte Tatin

This version of Tarte Tatin uses apples and pears in a cast iron skillet with refrigerated pie crusts so it’s super easy!
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 2 hours
Additional Time: 20 minutes
Total: 2 hours 50 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
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Ingredients 

  • 6 (if medium) or 8 (if small) tart apples, such as Granny Smith, cored and peeled. 
Cut 4 – 5 in half and the rest in quarters. You can use other apples but if they are sweet apples then you may want to leave out the brown sugar.
  • 3-4 pears, peeled and cored, then cut into large pieces (don’t peel these until the apples are almost done)
  • 2 ½ tablespoons butter
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • freshly grated nutmeg, about 1/2 teaspoon
  • 1 box Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crusts (you can, of course, make your own pastry for this dessert but in a pinch these pie crusts are delicious)

Instructions 

  • Place the peeled and cut apples in a large bowl and add the brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir gently to coat all the apple pieces.
  • Melt the butter in the skillet, then remove from the heat and sprinkle 3/4 cup sugar evenly over the butter. Place the apple halves, cut side down, on top of the sugar and then place the quartered pieces around and in all the spaces. Cook for about an hour.
  • When the apples are done, remove the pan from the oven and place the pear pieces right on top of the apples. Pears are so much softer than apples, so it doesn’t take them as long to cook.
  • Take both pie crusts out of the box and lay right on top of the pears. Tuck in all around the edges and bake for about 45-50 minutes more, then take out of the oven and leave it in the skillet. The crust will be a nice golden brown.
  • When ready to serve, place a plate over the top and flip the tarte onto the plate. Don’t worry about the filling running off the plate, it’s all nicely contained in the crust. Serve with good vanilla ice cream.

Notes

You will need a dish that’s about 8 inches across and 2 inches deep. I use my cast iron skillet, which is perfect because it works from start to finish without messing up more dishes.

Nutrition

Serving: 8servings, Calories: 423kcal, Carbohydrates: 71g, Protein: 3g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 9mg, Sodium: 208mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 42g
Course: Desserts
Cuisine: French
Calories: 423
Keyword: apple tarte tatin, how to make tarte tatin, upside down apple cake
Love this recipe?Mention @southernfoodandfun or tag #southernfoodandfun!

Update Notes: This post was originally published September 18, 2010, and on November 7, 2019, was updated with one or more of the following: step-by-step photos, video, updated recipe, new tips.

You can read more about the history of the Apple Tarte Tatin.

More Fruit Desserts You’ll Love:

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About the author

Hi, I’m Lucy! I’m a home cook, writer, food and wine fanatic, and recipe developer. I’ve created and tested hundreds of recipes so that I can bring you the best tried and true favorites.

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1 Comment

  1. How nice to find your blog – and what a perfectly lovely name you have! This recipe sounds delish. I’ve always been intimidated by tarte tatin, it may be time to give it a try!