Written by: Mpho Deane

Isn’t it amazing learning the stories of how certain dishes were created?  Especially the one’s that are appreciated around the world.  In my household, this is the case with the French Tart Tartin.  My husband claimed he was not a stewed fruit person until he tasted this buttery, tarty and sweet pastry, and the kids?… well, they absolutely love it and the process of making!

According to Wikipedia, “The tarte Tatin was created accidentally at the Hôtel Tatin in Lamotte-BeuvronLoir-et-Cher, 169 km (105 mi) south of Paris, in the 1880s.[1]The hotel was run by two sisters, Stéphanie and Caroline Tatin.[2] There are conflicting stories concerning the tart’s origin, but the most common is that Stéphanie Tatin, who did most of the cooking, was overworked one day. She started to make a traditional apple pie but left the apples cooking in butter and sugar for too long. Smelling the burning, she tried to rescue the dish by putting the pastry base on top of the pan of apples, quickly finishing the cooking by putting the whole pan in the oven. After turning out the upside down tart, she was surprised to find how much the hotel guests appreciated the dessert.”  – Whichever way, we thank these sisters for discovering this family favourite.

 Serves: 6

Time: 40 min total

Prep 20 min

Cooking 20 min


  • 300g all-butter puff pastry
  • Flour or dusting
  • 6 Granny Smith Apples
  • 100g castor sugar
  • 85g unsalted butter (chilled and cubed)


Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas  then Lightly flour your surface and roll your thawed pastry to about 3mm thickness round on a lightly floured surface and cut a circle using your cast iron pan to trace. Then prick all over with a fork, place on a baking sheet cover and freeze while preparing your apples.

Peel, all apples and remove the core and cut into quarters and core the apples.

  • Heat the butter in your cast iron pan with the sugar and lemon juice.  Once all has melted, arrange the apples in a tight circle in the sauce ensuring that the sauce covers the apples.  Let the apples simmer in the pan until softening then remove off the stove. Then gently press and tuck in the edges of your frozen puff pastry circle  then prick a few holes and bake for about 35-40 min until pastry is crispy and golden

Allow it to cool down after baking then use a knife to loosen the sides before turning it carefully by using a plate or board to catch it.

Enjoy on its own or with crème fraîche or ice cream!