Another French Dessert Made Easy: Shortcut Individual Tart Tatin Recipe

Individual Shortcut Tart Tatins

Individual Shortcut Tart Tatins

Julia Child was not the only master of French Desserts – before Julia were the Tatin sisters. They created the now famous apple dessert recipe “Tart Tatin”  that has stumped many accomplished home cooks and even chefs for several generations now – including me!

I love this dessert so much, I decided to come up with a fool-proof version – perfect for your superbowl buffet or a special sweetheart dessert – this is your stress-free Valentine’s Day recipe!

I used three basic steps (I remember it by “CAP”): C) caramel in the bottom, A) apple slices next, then P) pastry on top. I used purchased frozen puff pastry here for convenience, or you can make this dish even more frugally by making up a batch of my Five Minute Puff Pastry!

If you are not an actual French pastry chef yourself, these little yummies will fool you – the taste is that close to the Real Deal!  And, instead of hours of frustration, usually involving tears and cursing, you will be singing and smiling because they are a snap to throw together! The apples have that same slow-braised taste and the crust stays crispy and delicious!

Use any firm baking apples for this recipe – such as Jonathans, Red Romes, Granny Smiths or Golden Delicious, or any combination of these. If you’re going to use a few pears, you MUST use firm Anjou pears for this recipe – other pears are turn to mush in this recipe.

I used Corningware glass baking cups for this – I like being able to see how brown the apples are getting when you peek in the oven.

Layering the apple and pear slices in the cup on top of caramel

Layering the apple and pear slices in the cups on top of caramel

Placing puff pastry on tops of fruit in baking cups

Placing puff pastry on top of fruit in baking cups


Prep time 30 minutes
Baking and resting time 90 minutes total
Serves 8

1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
3/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
4 large firm baking apples
4 large firm but ripe D’anjou pears
Two sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed

Place brown sugar, corn syrup, cream, butter and cinnamon in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a slow simmer and cook for 3 minutes without stirring. Remove from heat and let cool to warm.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Using 8 10-ounce ramekins or glass baking cups, Place 3 tablespoons caramel sauce in the bottom of each cup. (Use remaining caramel sauce to drizzle over tarts before serving.)

Peel and core apples and pears, then slice them a little thicker than 1/4 inch thickness. Arrange slices so that they fill the cups as snugly as possible.

Cut puff pastry in circles slightly smaller than the tops of the baking cups. Prick pastry circles with a fork all over to decrease puffiness of the pastry. Place pastry circles so that they fit just inside the cups and cover tops of fruit slices.

Place filled cups on a baking sheet and bake at center of oven for about 50 minutes, or a little longer until well browned.

Remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Invert onto serving plates.

Finished tarts out of the oven - before inverting onto serving plates

Finished tarts out of the oven - before inverting onto serving plates

Other food bloggers’ adventures with Tart Tatin ( the classic apple version):
The Wonders of Tart Tatin, Mark Bittman on Food
Tart Tatin, Chocolate and Zucchini
Tart Tatin, Tender Crumb
Apple Tart Tatin, Playing House
Tart Tatin, Blue Ridge Baker
How to Make Tart Tatin, Joe Pastry
Tart Tatin with a Cheddar Crust, She Craves
Tart Tatin, King Arthur Flour
Tart Tatin, The Food Librarian
Tart Tatin, Taste Food

— posted by Donna


  1. Liz says

    Tried it the other day for the first time and it was a big hit. Delicious and enjoyed by everyone, I will be making it again and again and again


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