Do you know the famous Tarte Tatin? The first Tarte Tatin was served in 1898. The two sisters who created this first upside down apple pie the Tarte Tatin were Stéphanie Tatin (1838-1917) and Caroline Tatin (1847-1911). According to tradition it was Stéphanie Tatin who accidentally placed her apple tart in the oven upside down. Despite that seeming unsolvable problem, Stéphanie Tatin, like any great chef when faced with disaster, knew the show must go on. Stéphanie carried on and served the pie as a new creation. The guests loved the new recipe and Stéphanie Tatin had found a place for herself and her sister, and the Tarte Tatin, in the history of French cuisine. The original recipe is protected by its own brotherhood and sisterhood: La Confrérie de Lichonneux de Tarte Tatin.

However you can still try this recipe. Bon appetit!


  • 250 g butter enriched puff pastry
  • 5 British Braeburn apples, peeled, cored and quartered
  • 165 g Fairtrade granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 0.5 tsp Madagascan vanilla extract
  • 50 g unsalted butter
  • A little plain flour for dusting

Preheat the oven to 200°C, fan 180°C, gas 6. Roll out the puff pastry on a lightly floured surface and cut out a 28cm circle. Place in the fridge to chill for 15 minutes

In a bowl, toss the apple quarters with 55g of the sugar, the lemon juice and the vanilla extract. Set aside.

In a 24cm ovenproof frying pan, melt the butter over a medium heat and add the remaining sugar. Turn down to a gentle heat and leave, without stirring, for 4-5 minutes, until the mixture turns a golden caramel colour – don’t worry if it looks as if it has separated, as this is normal. Remove from the heat.

Arrange the apples on top of the caramel, rounded side down, in a circular pattern. Cover with the pastry circle, tucking the edges inside the pan around the apples. Bake in the oven for 35 minutes, until puffed and golden.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes. Invert a plate over the pan and turn over. Serve warm.

Cook’s tip: when rolling out pastry, roll from the middle upwards then the middle downwards before turning 90 degrees and repeating. This helps the pastry roll evenly.