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Apple Tarte Tatin with Vanilla Filo Crust

Course Dessert
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Cooling Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Author Eva Kosmas Flores


  • 1 pound Roll of Filo Dough thawed
  • 1 1/2 pounds medium-sized apples, such as Jonagold
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 cup solid unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup melted unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • Pinch of Cloves


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Peel and core the apples then cut them into quarters. Set aside. Unroll the filo dough and place the cast iron skillet or dutch oven you will be using upside down on the center of the dough (I used an 11.5-inch cast iron skillet for this recipe).

  2. Use a sharp knife to trace the edge of the skillet and cute through the layers of filo dough. Discard the cut off bits of filo dough, remove the skillet from the filo cough circle, and cover the filo dough with plastic wrap to keep it from drying out, and set it aside.

  3. Melt the 1/2 cup solid butter in a cast iron skillet or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Whisk in the sugar and continue to cook over medium-high heat until the mixture starts to turn a light gold color, whisking every minute or so. Remove it from heat and place the apples in the pan, rounded-side down, in a concentric circle starting at the outer edge and working your way to the middle of the pan. Sprinkle the cinnamon and cloves over the apples. Place the pan back over the heat and allow the apples to cook until the toffee sauce turns a deep caramel color.

  4. While the apples are cooking, prepare the filo. Whisk together the melted butter and vanilla extract. Place one sheet of the filo dough circle on a piece of parchment or wax paper and lightly brush it with the vanilla butter mixture. Continue layering and brushing the filo dough into a neat stack of filo circles. Filo is fragile so try to be quick but gentle, it helps if you try to layer the dough with opposing grains (if you look at a sheet of filo you will see fine lines which is the direction of the grain) so they won't be able to tear as easily. Once you've brushed and stacked all the filo dough, the apples should be ready.
  5. Remove the skillet from the heat, place the filo dough stack on top of the apples and tuck it in around the edges with a blunt knife. Then poke 5 slits in the center to allow air to escape. Place the skillet in the oven and place a sheet of aluminum foil on the rack underneath it to catch any toffee-y drippings that come off the sides. Bake until the top of the filo is a deep gold color, about 30 minutes.

  6. Remove from the oven, place a heat-proof serving plate on top of the skillet face side-down, and flip. Now the plate is resting on your counter surface. When you lift the skillet the apples of the tart tartin should be looking up at you, well seated on the filo crust which is resting on the heat proof plate. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before serving.

Recipe Notes

*Note* I made this Apple Tart Tartin in a cast iron skillet measuring about 11.5 inches in diameter and 2 inches deep, if you are using a much larger skillet or dutch oven you might want to double the recipe, or just use more apples.