Traditionally made with apples, this classic upside-down French tart was created by the Tatin sisters who ran a hotel in France in the early 1900s.






Skill level

Average: 3.5 (70 votes)


  • 1 x shortcrust pastry
  • 80 g butter, cubed
  • 110 g (½ cup) caster sugar
  • 1.1 kg small (about 7) pears (such as Josephine), peeled, halved and cored
  • ground cinnamon, to sprinkle
  • vanilla ice-cream, cream or crème fraîche, to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Cooling time 1 hr 25 minutes

Chilling time 20 minutes 

If you don't have a ovenproof frying pan, transfer the cooled caramel and pears to a base-lined 22 cm round cake tin before covering them with the pastry and baking.

Prepare the shortcrust pastry.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a 20–22 cm (base measurement) heavy-based frypan over medium-high heat. Sprinkle with the sugar and then arrange the pears, cut-side up, in the pan, cutting some of the halves into quarters to fill the gaps. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes or until the liquid becomes a dark caramel and the pears are almost tender and golden underneath. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside for 1 hour 15 minutes or until cooled completely.

Preheat oven to 190°C.

Use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll the pastry out on a lightly floured benchtop to about 5 mm thick and then cut into a circle about 26 cm in diameter. Place the pastry over the cooled pears in the pan and carefully tuck the pastry edge around the fruit and down the side of the pan. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes or until the pastry is deep golden and cooked through and the pear juices are bubbling. Remove from the oven and set aside for 10 minutes to cool slightly.

Place a serving plate with a lip over the top of the tart and invert. Serve immediately cut into wedges and accompanied by ice-cream, cream or crème fraîche.


Anneka's mission is to connect home cooks with the magic of baking, and through this, with those they love. Read our interview with her or for hands-on baking classes and baking tips, visit her at BakeClub. Don't miss what's coming out of her oven via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.


Photography by Alan Benson. Styling by Kristine Duran-Thiessen. Food preparation by Tina McLeish.


For more recipes, view our online column, Bakeproof: baking like a French housewife.