Tarte des Demoiselles Tatin

Caramelized Apple Tart

History records that this particular dish was unwittingly created by the Tatin Sisters, restaurateurs of Lamotte-Beuvron. It seems they put this tart into the oven and then rushed off to church forgetting about it. Upon returning to their restaurant, they were forced to serve the ruined tart to their hungry church-going clientele. They foisted it off as a new upside-down caramelized tart.

Most recipes direct you to put melted butter and sugar into a deep pan, or casserole, add apple slices, more melted butter, and sugar, and top with a crust and bake. I find this method unpredictable as to caramelization, and so offer you the following adapted recipe. Try making it both ways.


  • Pie crust
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • Apples, 6 to 8 depending upon size
  • ½ cup sugar
  • Dash salt
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • Melted butter


  1. Make pie crust. Use a round 8 inch metal pan about 2 inches deep, a pie pan, a square cake pan, or a similar container. Put sugar and water into pan. Heat-stir to dissolve the sugar and then caramelize the sugar to a medium brown. Remove from heat.
  2. Peel and core apples. If the apples are small, cut them into quarters; if large, into eighths. Place these, cut side down, on the burnt sugar. Fill pan to the top. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  3. Combine sugar, salt, flour, and cinnamon. Sprinkle mixture over apples and spoon lots of melted butter over the whole. Roll crust? inch thick. Lay crust over the top of the apple slices. Press dough down on edge of pan. Cut designs in the crust to allow steam to escape.
  4. Bake tart for about 30 minutes. When done, remove, let stand about 20 minutes, and then invert onto a serving plate. Serve with crème fraîche and sugar. Serve hot, or warm, but never refrigerator cold.