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Michel RouxThis recipe for Tarte des Demoiselles Tatin (Upside-down Apple Tart) is produced by kind permission of Monsieur Michel Roux and comes from his recently published book "Life is a Menu". Monsieur Roux's comment about this recipe was:

"This is a classic I first learned when working with Monsieur Loyal at his pâtisserie in Paris. It is as much a favourite now as it was then".

Ingredients for Tarte des Demoiselles Tatin
6 medium dessert apples, preferably Cox's
Juice of 1/2 lemon
120g unsalted butter
200g caster sugar
Plain flour
250g puff pastry (can be bought ready-made)
How to make Tarte des Demoiselles Tatin

Preparing the apples and pastry:

  • Peel, core and halve the apples. Put in a large bowl, sprinkle with lemon juice and place in the refrigerator.
  • Spread the butter evenly over the base of a heavy frying pan or round heatproof dish, 22 cm in diameter and 5 cm deep. Cover the butter evenly with the sugar, then arrange the apples, rounded side down, on the bottom of the pan.
  • On a lightly floured surface, roll the puff pastry out into a circle about 3 mm thick. Lay the pastry over the apples, allowing an overlap of about 2 cm all around. Trim off the excess pastry with a sharp knife. Leave to rest in a cool place for at least 20 minutes.

Cooking the tart:

  • Preheat the oven to 220ºC / 425ºF / Gas 7.
  • Set the pan or dish over a fierce heat for 5 - 10 minutes until the butter and sugar are bubbling and have turned an amber colour. With a small palette knife, lift a little of the pastry away from the edges to ensure even colouring.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes until the pastry has risen and is golden.

To serve:

  • As soon as the tart is cooked, invert it quickly on to a round serving dish, taking care not to burn yourself. The pastry will now be on the bottom of the plate, with the apples on top. If any apples have slipped, push them back into place with a small knife. Serve the tart piping hot.


Pears make a good alternative to the apples. In that case, I would recommend that you use Comice pears, which have a sweet taste. You must make sure, when you purchase them, that they are a touch under-ripe.

Michel Roux