Tarte Tatin

The minute I felt a little bit better this past weekend, I decided my first cooking project in days was going to be one I’ve never made before, but always wanted to. Tarte Tatin.

Tarte Tatin is the French cousin of an apple pie. Whereas an apple pie is plump, rustic and homely albeit delicious, a Tarte Tatin, equally delicious, is skinnier, more glamorous, somehow, and more pared-down when it comes to the ingredients. In fact, all that goes into this fabulous dessert is apples, flour, sugar and fat. No cinnamon, no nutmeg, nothing.

Mind you, though, that this doesn’t mean it is necessarily low calorie or low fat, although the fact that it has a single crust does mean it has fewer calories than a slice of apple pie which typically has a top and bottom crust. I also cut down on the saturated fat by using trans-fat-free shortening and soy “butter” which is actually heart-healthy.

And heck, we all need some indulgence some of the time, and what can be more wickedly good than apples baked in bubbling caramel sitting atop a crumbly, delicate crust? Just remember to limit yourself to a slice, although let me tell you, it can be a little hard to stop eating this one.

The Tarte is also easier to bake than apple pie, and because some of the cooking happens on a stovetop, it takes less time in the oven. And, cherry on the pie, the end result is a treat for the eyes. The apples, caramelized to perfect tenderness, look like glistening slivers of amber. This would be a perfect one for company you want to impress.

My Tarte Tatin, heavily adapted from a Joy of Cooking recipe, goes to Sunshinemom Harini’s Food in Colors: Brown event, and to Sweet Vegan, which I’m hosting through Oct. 31.

Enjoy, everyone!

Tarte Tatin


5 medium golden delicious apples, cored and then cut into eight slices, lengthwise. I do this by cutting the apple in half, then quarters and then eighths.

1 cup vegan “butter” like Smart Balance

1 cup sugar (I use turbinado for all my baking, but you can use regular)

For the crust:

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour

8 tbsp transfat-free shortening

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

2-4 tbsp ice-cold water

To make the crust, cut the shortening into the flour with a fork until the shortening is in small, pea-sized pieces. You can also do this in a food processor as I did, but be careful to run the motor in a few, short pulses.

Add the salt and sugar and mix with the fork.

Then drizzle in the water a few drops at a time, mixing with the fork or in the food processor until the dough starts to stick together.

Form the dough into a disc and put it in the refrigerator while you get the rest of the ingredients ready.

In a 10-inch cast-iron skillet, met the vegan butter.

Remove from heat and sprinkle the sugar evenly around the skillet.

Arrange the apple slices in a ring around the edge of the skillet, filling the hole in the center with more as needed.

Return to heat and cook on high heat about 10-12 minutes until the sugar and butter form a rich amber sauce. Remove from heat and with a fork or a spatula, carefully turn the apple slices over.

Return to heat for another 5 minutes.

Take the refrigerated crust and on a floured surface, roll it into a crust slightly larger than 10 inches in diameter.

Put the crust on top of the cooked apples, and, very carefully so as to not burn yourself, tuck in the edges along the edge of the skillet.

Bake in a 375-degree oven between 25 and 35 minutes. Remove to a rack and allow it to cool at least half an hour.

To unmold, run a knife along the edges of the tart. Place a dish on top of the skillet and, with a quick motion, invert the skillet.

Et voila! I served this with a dollop of vanilla soy ice cream and it was a dessert to relish and cherish.

I can’t wait to make this again!

(C) All recipes and photographs copyright of Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes.

34 thoughts on “Tarte Tatin

  1. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    October 7, 2008 at 2:47am

    Skinny tarte tatin… beautiful color. A little indulgence never hurt anyone!

  2. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    October 7, 2008 at 6:23am

    Lovely treat for your recovery! Caramelized apples are really delicious!

  3. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    October 7, 2008 at 8:18am

    hi, I’ve never heard of Tarte Tatin before, but definitely love apple pie. And this looks so good, love the colour. Perfect for the events. It is tough to have just one slice of such sweets:-)

  4. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    October 7, 2008 at 12:45pm

    this is so tempting.. brilliant color.. lovely texture.. never heard of this b4.

  5. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    October 7, 2008 at 2:20pm

    Hi first time here..I’ve never heard of Tarte Tatin.it looks lovely and yummy ..love the colour.

  6. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    October 7, 2008 at 4:01pm

    I have never even had this one let alone make it….but your pictures are very tempting,wonderful color :)

  7. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    October 7, 2008 at 4:07pm

    In the fall our family goes apple picking and always picks way too many apples. Thus I’m always on the look-out for new apple recipes. Yours is so pretty and seems relatively simple. Thanks!

  8. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    October 7, 2008 at 4:18pm

    hope u r feeling better. Had never heard of Tarte tatin and to know that it has slightly lower calories than an apple pie is a little comforting (since i m currently watching what i eat:() It is pretty tempting though- i usually love the apple pie from Panera’s.

  9. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    October 7, 2008 at 4:23pm

    Sounds and look really interesting…must have tasted superb too…..

  10. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    October 7, 2008 at 4:23pm

    I remember having small tarte in Patisserie :) It has the same glossy look :) Tasty one

  11. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Happy cook

    October 7, 2008 at 5:02pm

    That looks really delicius.
    I love tart tatin, but till now have never made them

  12. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    October 7, 2008 at 5:51pm

    Wow tarte tatin..love them..they looks delicious Vaishali..

  13. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    October 7, 2008 at 6:24pm

    looks delicious Vaishali! I’ll try to cook up somethign for yoru event soon!:)

  14. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    October 7, 2008 at 8:41pm

    oooh, yummy dear! what a lovely color.

  15. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    October 7, 2008 at 8:54pm

    just popped in to ask, is regular sugar allowed for the sweet vegan event? thanks.

  16. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    October 8, 2008 at 2:25am

    Yes i guess so,frozen okra is fine, just make sure to bring them to the room temperature before u start cooking :)

  17. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Gita's Kitchen

    October 8, 2008 at 11:52am

    Hi Vaishali,
    First time to your blog. Love all your recipes. The tarte tartin looks delicious.

  18. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    October 8, 2008 at 12:10pm

    Vaishali this is wonderful :). Looks mouthwatering and tempting. Good one.

  19. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    October 8, 2008 at 2:46pm

    It sure looks easier to bake than apple pie. Thks

  20. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    October 8, 2008 at 9:51pm

    Beautiful vaishali……wonderful dish…..rich color and attractive pic…

  21. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    October 8, 2008 at 11:48pm

    That first picture is just beautiful… looks scrumptious. I don’t think I’ve had this before but how I want to try.

  22. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    October 9, 2008 at 5:01pm

    Oh this looks amazing, great colour too. Yummmm entry!!!

  23. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    October 10, 2008 at 1:24pm

    I could use one of these indulgences right now after all those chundals and laddoos and what not during Navratri! Thanks for the delish entry:)

  24. Permalink  ⋅ Reply


    October 14, 2008 at 7:53am

    Does your tarte look yummy? Its mouth watering ;)

    Lovely click that is.

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