Easy Tarte Tatin with Plums and Basil

Celebrate late summer with this Easy Tarte Tatin recipe with Plums and Basil, a simple classic French dessert that’s made with puff pastry and is easier than pie (pinky promise!)

overhead shot of an Easy homemade Tarte Tatin with Plums and Basil

I’ve got the yummiest end of summer dessert for you today. And the best part is, it’s easier than pie. Side note- who else is super sad that summer is coming to an end??

overhead shot of an Easy Tarte Tatin with plums and basil on a white marble kitchen table

I will sure miss it, but we still have a few weeks left, and I plan on celebrating it with delicious seasonal  treats like this Easy Tarte Tatin recipe with Plum and Basil. This Easy Tarte Tatin seriously lives up to its name, and it’s quite impressive to boot.

Why this plum tarte tatin recipe will knock your socks off:

  • It’s so easy to prepare and comes together very quickly.
  • No need no make your own pastry here – this recipe works just fine with store-bought puff pastry.
  • Tarte Tatin is assembled upside down and creates an extravagant presentation when it’s turned out. Minimal effort, maximum effect!

ingredients for making Plum Tarte Tatin recipe assembled on a marble kitchen table

Have you ever made a tarte tatin? If not, have no fear, because this beauty comes together in a snap thanks to store bought puff pastry and beautiful, ripe plums.

halved red and yellow plums on a wooden cutting board

How to make Tarte Tatin with Plums and Basil:

To start, we toss those gorgeous plum slices in a mixture of sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla bean and let it all mingle together for a bit.

plum slices in a mixture of sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla bean

Additionally, I like to add a touch of basil to this easy tarte tatin because I love how it both complements the flavors of the plums and elevates this dessert into straight up fancy territory.

So before the plums go down I lay a big, fat sprig of fresh basil over the butter and sugar mixture, to let the basil flavor infuse into the caramel sauce that forms while the tarte tatin cooks.

caramel being infused with a twig of fresh basil for making tarte tatin recipe

Next, it’s time to nestle them into a cast iron skillet that’s been coated in melted butter and sugar.

Easy Plum Tarte Tatin being assembled in a blue skillet

The tarte tatin cooks on the stove for a bit to let the plums soften and the juices caramelize. Then, it gets covered with a sheet of puff pastry- don’t forget to cut some slits in the crust to allow steam to vent!

a woman cutting some slits in the puff pastry crust of a tarte tatin to allow steam to vent

Into the oven it goes until that crust gets nice and golden…

a woman holding a freshly baked plum tarte tatin in a skillet over a marble kitchen counter

The most intimidating part of this easy tarte tatin (and it’s really not difficult- I promise) is inverting the contents of the skillet onto a plate for serving.

overhead shot of a homemade plum and basil tarte tatin with fresh basil in the background

Tips for inverting your tarte tatin:

  • Cool the tarte tatin in the skillet almost completely after taking it out of the oven.
  • If the tarte tatin seems like it has adhered to the skillet, you can reheat it gently on the stove for a few minutes to loosen it.
  • You can also run a knife around the edge of the skillet to loosen the crust.
  • Place your serving plate on top of the skillet. Use oven mitts to grab the skillet from both sides, pinning the plate tightly to the skillet with your thumbs. In one swift motion, flip the skillet upside down so that the plate is on the bottom, then gently lift the skillet away.

overhead shot of Easy Tarte Tatin with Plums and Basil

After you’ve successfully inverted the tarte tatin onto its serving plate, you can discard the basil sprig- it has done its job of infusing flavor into the sauce.

I also like to garnish the tarte tatin with additional basil leaves just before serving. I find that the smaller, baby leaves make for the prettiest presentation.

overhead shot of two slices of Easy Plum Tarte Tatin served on small white plates

Then just slice it up and serve!

Tips for making this easy plum tarte tatin recipe:

  • Arrange the plums tightly in your skillet with the rounded side down. It’s okay if you have small spaces between the plums. This is where the butter and sugar will turn into ooey gooey caramel in which the stone fruits will bake until soft and caramelized.
  • Allow your plum tarte tatin enough time in the oven. The sugar and butter need to turn into a dark golden caramel and the plums need time to soften. Also, the pastry needs to become nicely golden and crispy. You will know it’s done when the crust is golden brown and the plum caramel is bubbling up on the sides of the baking pan.
  • This easy tarte tatin tastes best with a dollop of whipped cream, creme fraiche, yogurt or a scoop of ice cream.
  • For a stunning presentation I recommend using a variety of plums if you can find them.

two slices of homemade plum and basil tarte tatin served with whipped cream

Variations on this recipe:

  • You can leave out the basil or use another fresh herb like rosemary or thyme.
  • Try this recipe with fresh nectarines instead of plums and fresh thyme in lieu of plums.
  • Not a fan of whipped cream? Tarte tatin also tastes amazing with creme fraiche, yogurt or homemade ice cream.

Looking for more late summer desserts with stone fruits? Check out my Apricot Skillet Cobbler and my Poached Plum & Coconut Cream Parfaits.

Thanks for reading Le Petit Eats! To keep up with my kitchen adventures, follow me on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest. And if you make this Easy Tarte Tatin recipe with Plum and Basil, please share it using the hashtag #LePetitEats!

Easy Tarte Tatin with Plum and Basil
5 from 5 votes
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Easy Tarte Tatin with Plum and Basil

Celebrate late summer with this Easy Tarte Tatin with Plum and Basil, a dessert that's made with  puff pastry and is easier than pie (pinky promise!)  

Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Keyword easy tarte tatin, French plum tart, tarte tatin recipe
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Author Denisse

Ingredients

  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry half of 17.3-ounce package, thawed
  • 2 1/4 pounds sweet firm plums quartered and pitted
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2/3 cup sugar divided
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 vanilla bean split lengthwise
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large sprig fresh basil plus extra basil leaves for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss plums, 2 tablespoons sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla beans in a large bowl. Let stand 30 minutes.
  2. Melt the butter in a heavy ovenproof 9-inch-diameter skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle remaining 2/3 cup sugar evenly over melted butter. Place basil sprig in the center of skillet. Tightly arrange plums, cut side up, in concentric circles over the basil in skillet. Cook over medium heat until syrup turns deep red, pressing plums slightly to form a compact layer, about 20-30 minutes depending on the firmness of the plums. Shake the pan slightly every now and then to prevent sticking Remove skillet from heat and cool for 10 minutes.

  3. Slide chilled puff pastry crust over the plums in skillet. Press crust edges down around plums at the edges. Cut several slits to allow steam to escape. Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Cool tart completely in skillet.
  4. If the tarte appears to stick to the skillet, rewarm over high heat to loosen, about 3 minutes. Place a large platter over skillet. Using oven mitts, hold skillet and platter together and invert, allowing the tart to settle onto the platter. Slowly lift off skillet. Discard basil sprig and garnish with fresh basil leaves before serving.

Recipe Notes

  • Arrange the plums tightly in your skillet with the rounded side down. It’s okay if you have small spaces between the plums. This is where the butter and sugar will turn into ooey gooey caramel in which the stone fruits will bake until soft and caramelized.
  • Allow your plum tarte tatin enough time in the oven. The sugar and butter need to turn into a dark golden caramel and the plums need time to soften. Also, the pastry needs to become nicely golden and crispy. You will know it's done when the crust is golden brown and the plum caramel is bubbling up on the sides of the baking pan.
  • This easy tarte tatin tastes best with a dollop of whipped cream, creme fraiche, yogurt or a scoop of ice cream.
  • For a stunning presentation I recommend using a variety of plums if you can find them

 

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