Plum Tarte Tatin

This Plum Tarte Tatin is simple and yet so perfect for the best of summer’s produce.

Plum Tarte Tatin

I receive a bi-weekly delivery of fresh/organic produce from Door to Door Organics and I love that the system has morphed into allowing us make online revisions to the basic order so we can now pick a substitute for any produce they have scheduled to deliver in the next week.

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Well, I went nuts apparently with that capability this past delivery period and recently ended up with a box half full of plums. Always a bit anxious when it comes to plums.

I’ve bought them and never seen them ripen before going bad so no matter that I love baking with them, I don’t use them as much as I would like. Purchasing plums in season makes all the difference and these were perfect so I was only left with deciding what to do with them.

I love those fruits that require sink eating…you know, standing over the sink and eating something so juicy, so ripe that the juices trickle down your chin and forearm and make you a mess. A marvelous experience without a doubt but a sticky one too!

This time around I decided that as good as these babies were, I wanted to bake; it’s only in the past couple of years that I’ve taken to baking plums and I regret those years of lost opportunity.

Their sweetness is heightened; their firmness is totally resolved and yet they keep their shape and offer some texture and bite to the finished dish. Added to all that is one luxury…they do not need to be peeled! How perfect is that?

I knew what I wanted to make; it’s a summertime favorite and simple beyond compare. Suzanne Goins recipe for a Plum Tarte Tatin uses puff pastry in lieu of the standard pastry/pie dough.

Maybe one reason I love it is because I allow myself the luxury of using purchased puff pastry without guilt. I’ve never made my own puff pastry and I doubt I ever will. Try to find an all butter product but if you can’t, I have yet to try one that has not worked beautifully.

There are still tons of plums available; the only thing I would recommend in your purchase is to try and get ones that are freestone; meaning their pits will release easily.

Trying to use plums with pits that are not will result in a much less attractive finished product although I’ve done it and it still tastes great but just saying…if pretty is important; check the variety.

Ask your grocer for assistance, what is available here in Denver might not be where you live but they should be able to tell you. One thing I really love when using them for baking? No need to remove the skin, no peeling, pulling or prodding required.

I hope you had some great plums this year…maybe you need to get just a few more and make this tarte!

Plum Tarte Tatin

Plum Tarte Tatin

Creative Culinary
Crispy puff pastry with the best of summer fruit makes a wonderful dessert for friends and family.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Inactive Time 30 minutes
Course Pastry and Pie
Cuisine French
Servings 8


  • 3 lbs plums
  • 8 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 sheet puff pastry
  • 1 egg Lightly beaten
  • 8 ounces Whipped cream or creme fraiche Optional, for topping


  • Cut the plums in half and remove the pits. Toss the plum halves with 1/4 cup of the sugar and let them stand for at least 30 minutes.
  • Place a 10 inch cast iron skillet (or any heavy-bottomed pan that can be transferred from the stove to the oven) on the stove over medium heat and add the butter.
  • Once the butter is melted and foamy, add 3/4 cup sugar and cook, swirling the pan regularly, until the caramel is a deep golden color (about six minutes).
  • Remove the pan from the heat and let the caramel cool in the pan for 20 minutes.
  • Drain the plums over a bowl, reserving their juices for a future recipe (cocktail?).
  • Arrange the plum halves, cut side down, in the skillet of caramel, overlapping them slightly in order to pack in as much fruit as possible (they will shrink when cooked). I even cut some in half to fit areas around the outer edge.
  • Return the pan to the heat and cook over medium-low for 20 minutes without stirring or touching the fruit at all. Let the plums and caramel cool before proceeding to the next step (I let mine sit for an hour).
  • Preheat the oven to 375 and remove the puff pastry from the freezer.
  • Allow it to just thaw until you can work with it.
  • Cut a circle from the puff pastry the size of the top of your skilled and place it over the top of the plums; pinching the outer edge to fit if necessary.
  • Pierce the pastry a few times with a fork, and brush it with the beaten egg. Sprinkle the remaining two tablespoons of sugar over the top, and bake the tarte for 45-55 minutes, until the pastry is golden and cooked through.
  • Just before serving, invert the tarte onto a serving platter. The author suggests serving with creme fraiche but I've done it with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream too.


My plums did not release much juice after a half hour so I let them got for a full hour. Still not much so I went forward. I love that they are so juicy but if some of the juice is not released your tart will end up mushy.
Keyword plum, tarte tatin
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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    1. Thank you…I am late to the table for baking with plums and now am trying to catchup…when they are good, desserts like this are simply amazing.

  1. Hmm, yours is not the first baked plum recipe I’ve seen this week, maybe that’s a hint? I tend to get peaches and nectarines a lot but rarely plums. Maybe baking them is the way to go. Sometime I’d like to get a nice cast iron pan like yours, perfect for a dish like this.

  2. That looks wonderful! A few years ago I got a lovely copper tarte tatin pan – I’m going to have to pull that sucker out. I made an apple tarte tatin and everyone so impressed. Just saying tarte tatin makes you feel fancy!

  3. I just adore tatins. Yours is so pretty with those luscious and ripe plums. I would love a slice now with my coffee for breakfast:)

  4. Simply stunning! We have lots of plums right now, but I haven’t baked yet with them. I am a fan of anything with puff pastry, so can’t wait to make this scrumptious tart.

  5. What a fun recipe, and I could make it on my grill I bet too! I did not know about getting plums that free from the stone easier…..see we do learn something new everyday! Beautiful, Hugs, Terra

  6. LOL I thought I was the only one who labeled plums as either “sinkers or tossers”. Either I can eat them over the sink and they’re great or they need to be tossed away because they’re like they’re no longer alive.

    Your plum tarte tatin sounds wonderful and looks beautiful.

  7. I love baking with plums (and pluots, and plumcots – LOL!!) too! There is something about the heat that just intensifies the flavors!! Absolutely love tart tatin as well and plums in it would be divine! Wish more stores carried all butter puff pastry but alas, I’ve yet to find one that does!!

    1. I’m with you…although I’m over the heat of this summer…I’m already starting to miss tomatoes and plums and peaches just knowing their wonderfulness will soon be over. Sobbing just thinking about it. 🙂

  8. 1. Thanks for the reference to Door to Door Organics. I will have to check them.
    2. You may have convinced me that my next set of plums will be better served by being baked than by being made into jam. Though you may have to convince my long-distance friends otherwise. 😉

  9. I just saw a van with the advertisement for door to door on it last week, I wondered what it was. This tart looks amazing. I lived in Germany for a while and plums are something they use frequently in baking.

    1. My grandmother was German; you would have thought I might have learned from her; I know she used them a lot too. I guess better late than never right? And thanks…wish I could have invited everyone to join me!

    1. Thanks Dara and glad I’m not alone. I still recall the cartoon I saw once of a restaurant for singles. It was sinks lined up against walls. That might not be me so much but whenever I do exactly what I said in the post I’m reminded of it and can imagine a stone fruit restaurant too! 🙂

  10. Looks wonderful! I love two things especially about this recipe– no peeling of the plums and no guilt about the puff pastry! Hope I can still find more plums at the store this week.

  11. Don’t feel bad, I’m not a big plum baker either. I just usually prefer some fruits like plums and strawberries in their natural state, but may you have convinced me to give this recipe a try. The colors are just beautiful

    1. I tried something with strawberries once, think it was a cake and never again…but plums are another story; I think more akin to peaches so great in a tarte like this which really still has the wonderefulness of the fruit shine.

  12. I almost positive that I have never cooked with plums. Don’t know why, exactly. Maybe because they never make it long enough without being simply eaten out of hand 🙂 But now I’m inspired! And I saw some beautiful ones at my local grocery store on Saturday. Going back for them.

    1. You won’t regret it I promise. I was torn between a plum upside down cake and this tarte and it was the right choice; just plums and crust. SO good.

  13. You know I don’t think I’ve ever eaten a dessert made with plums. I normally just do *sink eating* (love that term) with them. This tarte tatin, baked in the cast iron skillet looks rustic and wonderful.

    I like that you are able to go on-line and make changes to your order from Door to Door Organics.

    1. Seems I am not alone…which means you must try something! I did find two I thought too ripe to cut up (or used that as an excuse) so me, the sink and those plums had a date. 🙂

  14. How simple is this recipe? Yet wow extra spectacular! I am crazy about plums and they are just bursting onto the market and I cannot wait to get baking. This is one fab recipe, Barb!

    1. Unfortunately I too often get ones that never ripen well, which I know is my own fault, thinking I could try some out of season. Maybe it’s why I love them so much…I just won’t do that anymore and can only enjoy them for this brief period at the end of summer. But boy do I enjoy them then!

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