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This recipe is classed as easy

Rating 3.77 / 5 (26 votes)

Prep time:
20 min, plus chilling time
Cook time:
35 min

The classic French upside-down dessert from Matt Tebbutt that marries gently spiced apple with buttery puff pastry


1. Peel and core the apples then cut in half from top to bottom. Set aside.

2. Press the butter into the base of a 20cm diameter copper/heavy-based pan with the back of a wooden spoon until it melts to completely cover the base. Sprinkle over the caster sugar in an even layer. Place the cinnamon stick, star anise, vanilla, and a twist of black pepper in the pan and then lay the halved apples on top, cut-side facing up.

3. On a floured surface, roll out the puff pastry to 3mm thick or so, then cut around a plate about 3cm larger than the cooking pan. Place in the pan, tucking the pastry down between the side of the pan and the apples to create the sides of the tart, make sure the whole pan is tightly packed. Prick the top all over to allow the steam to escape when cooking, and then chill for 30 minutes or so.

4. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 7. To cook, put the pan over a moderate heat and shake the pan every few minutes to prevent the apples from burning. Look for a golden caramel colour to appear around the side of the pan, after about 6-8 minutes.

5. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, until the pastry is firm and golden. If you are not serving the tatin immediately, you can leave it in the pan and reheat it later, or you can turn it out warm and serve with clotted cream.


  • 3 cox's apples, peeled, halved and cored
  • 100 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 vanilla pod, split lengthways
  • 200 g bought or homemade puff pastry

Tips and suggestions

If the pastry starts to melt when you're cooking the apples on the hob, you’ve rolled it too thin. Remove, cool and start again with a new layer of pastry on top.

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Latest Comment


The problem for me is that I don't have a tin that can go on the gas flame. With other recipes I tend to prepare the whole thing and then place the caramel and the apples on the tin before putting it in the oven. I do have a pirex tart mould but would be worried to put it on the flame. I have no idea what other people use! I also have tins with a loose bottom but even those I wouldn't dare to put on the flame.

FranciscaW94790 FranciscaW94790  Posted 10 Feb 2013 9:28 PM

Great easy recipe now mastered and a firm favourite of my 10-year old. A must try.....

terrymu terrymu  Posted 25 Oct 2012 10:52 AM

Works perfect every time. This is the best apple tarte tatin recipe that I have used.

Natsumi Natsumi  Posted 30 Oct 2011 12:26 AM


MARTINB8339 MARTINB8339 Posted 14 Oct 2011 7:34 AM