Tarte Tatin

It’s a perfect time of year for a warm, sweet dessert to follow a hearty warming main course and I recently had the good fortune to get some lovely russet apples from our neighbour.

The recipe is vegetarian and gluten free but could easily be adapted to suit vegans, changing the butter that the apples are cooked in for a vegan butter or reduced flavour coconut oil and making pastry with rapeseed or other oil and adding egg replacer or aquafaba should work. Maybe an update for another time!

Anyway, the apples have a great flavour and are perfect for the dish as they caramelise perfectly and absorb the butter and cinnamon flavours in the cooking.

Russet Apples

The only real issue with making the dish is cooking the caramel, the sugar can burn quite quickly so be vigilant when colouring the sugar and take care when adding the butter, very occasionally the caramel can spit and the sugar is very hot and can cause a nasty burn.

Apples caramelising beautifully in the pan.

I hope you enjoy cooking this classic dish, if you cook it please post your version using one of the links at the end of the recipe section below. Bon appetite!

Tarte Tatin

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Recipe by Iain Bozier Course: DessertCuisine: FrenchDifficulty: Medium


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A warming autumn/early winter dessert with soft caramelised apples, cinnamon and butter, served hot or cold with cream, ice cream or just as it is!


  • 5-7 Each Russet Apples (A)

  • 50 g Caster sugar

  • 100 ml Water

  • 50 g Butter

  • 1/2 tsp Powdered cinnamon

  • Pastry
  • 175 g Gluten free plain flour

  • 75 g Butter

  • 1 each Medium egg

  • 2 Tbsp Water

  • 1 tsp Cinnamon


  • Core your apples, peel them and then cut them into quarters. Set them aside. If you want to you can rub lemon juice on them to stop them browning, however when they cook they will brown anyway so I don’t waste the time or juice on doing that.
  • Add the sugar and water to the pan that the whole dish will be cooked in. Start to heat the mix, try not to stir, just use the pan to swill the mix around on occasions.
    You are making a caramel so the hotter the pan the faster it will caramelise. The mixture will come to boil, then as time passes you will get larger bubbles forming until the caramel starts to look almost shiny. After this the caramel will start to colour. When it starts to turn a light golden colour add the butter. CAUTION! The caramel is extremely hot, sugar holds a large amount of heat energy and will cause painful burns. At this point you can stir the butter into the caramel which will stop the caramel cooking. Add your cinnamon to the mix.
  • Gently place your apple quarters into the pan starting with the cut side down into the mix. Cook for about 10-12 minutes until the apple surface starts to brown, then turn the apple over so that the uncut side is touching the pan. Allow to cook on until the apple pieces are soft when you inset a knife. Try to cook the apple until the uncut side has some colour on also as this is the side that will be presented when you invert the tart to serve. Once you are happy turn off the heat leaving the apples in place in the pan and allow to cool.
  • Pastry (By hand)
    Rub together the flour and butter until you have fine even crumbs, mix in the cinnamon, add and mix in the egg with a knife and then add just enough water until the mix pulls together. It should be a homogenous mix not too stick and not too crumbly. As always with pastry, add water if dry, flour if too wet. Try not to over handle the mix and chill for at least half an hour.
  • Pastry (By food processor)
    Pop on the blade attachment and add the dry ingredients, blend until you have a fine mix. Don’t over blend otherwise the butter will start to melt from the action of the blade. If this does happen, pop the bowl in a fridge for 30 minutes then pulse a few times to get the mix to where it needs to be. Add the egg and pulse until the mix starts to pull together. Very slowly add the water and keep pulsing until you have a smooth dough. Chill for at least half an hour.
  • Once the apples have cooled sufficiently and your pastry is rested, take your pastry and roll out. The mix is a bit more brittle than a standard pastry so sometimes it can be helpful to roll either on clingfilm or between two pieces to help it stay whole.
    It needs to be rolled large enough so that when you put the pastry over the apples you can tuck some all the way round the sides, which will form the edge of your tart.
    I rolled on a single piece of clingfilm then used the plastic to wind the pastry around my rolling pin, then transferred to the pan and gently unrolled and tucked the edges in with a small spoon.
  • When you have completed the last step put the whole pan into the oven at 180C Conventional/170C Fan for about 25-35 minutes. !REMEMBER – LEAVE A CLOTH OR OVEN GLOVE ON YOUR PAN HANDLE WHEN YOU TAKE IT OUT OF THE OVEN UNTIL IT HAS COOLED – FORGETTING IS NOT FUN…..


  • A) You can replace the russet apples with any apple of your choice, most russet apples are naturally sweet so taste your chosen variety to see if they are similar. You may need to add some sugar, honey or vegan sweetener if they are more acidic.
  • If you want to add some extra flavour you could substitute the water (for the caramel) for apple juice or calvados. Maybe add a scraped vanilla pod into the caramel or some vanilla extract, don’t use vanilla flavouring however as it can impart a chemical taste to your food depending on brand.

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