The Tarte Tatin Flop Not Flop

Even though I hadn’t quite finished yet, I thought I’d give myself and you all a bit of a break from the White Villages with a bit of tarte Tatin. This was my first time making a tarte Tatin. It was a both a flop and not a flop at the same time. I’ll explain. I wanted the caramel to be a bit more compact, perhaps a tad more of a darker golden bronze colour. To my dismay the caramel turned out sort of runnyish and quite pale in colour intensity. On the other hand it was not a flop because it was really good, and even the French part of the Papaya Pieces household thought it was fantastic.

Tarte tatin apples

Apple for tarte tatin

My personal tarte Tatin history started off with my quest last year to make tarte Tatin. To begin with, I needed a special tarte Tatin dish, because you’re supposed to make the caramel and cook the apples on the stove, and then put the pastry on top and shove the whole thing in the oven. The recipient would have to be stove and oven resistant. Like a skillet for example. I wandered around Barcelona looking for such a thing. Whenever such a scarce object was found it was ridiculously expensive and I wasn’t willing to pay for it.

Then last year during our bike ride to Montreuil-sur-Mer, I bought a tarte Tatin dish thing there. I say dish thing because it’s not exactly a skillet. It looks more like a normal cake dish but is sort of more thick, strong and resistant.

I guess I took so long in actually making a tarte Tatin because – typical of me – I assumed it was be extremely difficult. But it was not.

Peeling apples

Cooking apples

Tarte tatin 01

My lesson learnt in this batch of tarte Tatin was that I am used to not following recipes properly, and maybe that’s the way things should be. As it was my first time and I wanted to make it properly, I actually followed a recipe.


What went wrong was that within the recipe it stated: Be very careful not to burn the caramel. So I decided to be very careful. As in, very careful. It turned out that I was too careful, and probably didn’t allow the sugar to caramelise enough.

Not to worry, lesson learnt there. Apart from that, I’ve read loads of cool tips so that my future tarte Tatin take 2 should turn out exactly how I want it to.  When I do perfect my recipe, then I’ll publish it. Meanwhile, here is my finished tarte Tatin photo. Pardon the atrocious lighting. When I started peeling the apples there was a gorgeous evening light. By the time I had finished baking the sun gone down and there was just my ugly orange kitchen lighting. If not, here is how it looked the next day with a dollop of dulce de leche ice cream. Gosh, I need to make it again soon. If possible tomorrow.

Tarte tatin 02

Thank you for reading!

(Visited 7 times, 1 visits today)


  1. Saskia (1=2) 2015-09-30 at 23:33

    It doesn’t look like a flop to me Sofia! Those bubbling apples look beautiful, and I reckon you were wise to err on the side of caution. There’s *nothing* worse than burnt caramel!

    1. Sofia 2015-10-04 at 20:31

      Ok that’s true, but next time I’ll try to make it a darker thicker caramel. I have all the ingredients, I just need to find the time! (Hopefully tomorrow night).. xx

  2. Guillermina Bósquez Stover 2015-10-01 at 06:59

    Cooking is an art…and furthermore, it’s an ADVENTURE! You did great. Did you see my facebook post about baking the Pecan Toffee Bars? It could have been a disaster, let me tell you! But it was NOT. Whew! Several lessons learned on this recipe also. And it’s delicious, wow, as I’m sure your Tarte Tatin is!!

    1. Sofia 2015-10-04 at 20:32

      I don’t think I did, pecan toffee bars sound like a great energy snack so I need to see your post!

  3. Patty Nguyen 2015-10-01 at 07:45

    Like I said before, it looks fabuuulous! Now, will you make a post on celery gratin? 😉

    1. Sofia 2015-10-01 at 19:24

      No way! 😉

  4. Mabel Kwong 2015-10-01 at 12:30

    This looks amazing. Not a flop at all in my eyes. And I think the orange lighting worked well in the photoshoot as well 🙂 I’m guessing it tasted quite sweet. There are many apples in Australia that are very sour, like the Granny Smith apples and I don’t like that to go with apple pies.

    1. Sofia 2015-10-04 at 20:34

      Let me confess it was more orange and I tried to photoshop it into a little less orange, the maximum possible without it looking weirdly artificial hehe. I don’t think Granny Smiths go well with apple pies either…

  5. Kiss & Make-up 2015-10-04 at 14:21

    Uuuuuuuuuuuuuugh, that looks soooooo delicious! <3

  6. Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward 2015-10-04 at 19:40

    I am so happy apple season is here. Your photos are gorgeous, as is your tatin. We have a LOT of apples in our area. 🙂

    1. Sofia 2015-10-04 at 20:34

      Oh thanks Shanna. I hope you’re making apple pies or something with them then 🙂 xx

      1. Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward 2015-10-04 at 23:25

        We usually eat them on salads, roast them with winter squash or pack them in lunches. 🙂

  7. Mitzie Mee 2015-10-05 at 20:01

    I also usually have troubles following recipes, especially if there aren’t a lot of pictures, so you know what it’s supposed to look like. I don’t remember seeing an apple tarte tatin before, and your tarte tatin Iooks so delicious and absolutely perfect to me. I also like the picture of the apples in the beginning. It made me want to bite my screen:)

    1. Sofia 2015-10-08 at 16:11

      Really? Apple tarte tatins are the original tarte tatins! Yeah, I don’t like recipe books if they have pictures. I hope you’re screen isn’t missing a piece! hehe

  8. Dalo 2013 2015-10-06 at 07:36

    A most delicious post…you’d be very welcome in our family where in my hometown we have many apple in the backyard and nothing is quite as tasty as a good ole’ apple pie (or anything apple…taste is all that matters). Great photos Sofia, you are becoming a natural.

    1. Sofia 2015-10-06 at 21:13

      Would I? Haha am blushing!


Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *