tart tatin

Hello I am new to this site and would appreciate some advice/thoughts on what is a good cooking container for a tart tatin. I have my eye on a Mauviel new pan and a less expensive Bourgeat pan. Both are copper and tin lined. I am aware that one needn’t be too alarmed by cooking at say 400 degrees with a tin lining, but I am wondering if, over time, that might affect the lining. If anyone has any other suggestions, I am interested. (However, my heart is set on copper!) many thanks Mae from beautiful Burnaby, B.C.

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I use my stainless steel All-Clad skillets for tarte Tatin and have never had a problem. I don’t think you need a special pan for this - any oven-safe skillet will do.

Hi, sadly I don’t have a regular skillet at the moment, so I need to get something I like. I gave my old ones to my kids. I currently am the proud owner of a beautiful 10 inch 10+pound retinned beauty (extra fort) from a wonderful guy in Cornwall (U.K.) who does retinning. There is no way I see myself hoisting this ship out of the oven and flipping it!
Which leads me to the question whether copper lined with stainless steel is in any way preferable to copper lined with tin (for a tart satin). Any views anyone? Mae

Hello, Mae. With you there on the weight of a big heavy copper pan. I tend to reserve my coppers for dishes that require some temp control on the stovetop before finishing in the oven.
A quick survey of YouTube shows a variety of non-stick pans, from steel baking to steel skillet w/nonstick surface, to enamel cast iron. Men speaking french use lightweight (apparently) non-stick steel baking pans. So perhaps a large investment is not necessary. Let us know how you do!

How does the SS surface of the All Clad skillet work? It sounds as if it isn’t too ‘sticky.’
Cast iron people, how does the thermal mass contribute to the dish?

There’s such a thing as a “moule à tatin” or a tatin pan. It’s generally non-stick stainless or aluminium, sometimes tinned copper and less often enameled cast iron.

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Hi, jammie:

You don’t make your Tart Tatin on the stovetop? You do not press and rotate the cooking apples, or it in more slices as they cook down?


My TT pan is the tinned Mauviel and it hasn’t worn a bit.

The only reason I can see to prefer a SS-lining is freedom from worry that some uncaring person will scratch through the tin.

True, but the stovetop work doesn’t require as much temp control as other preparations. Or maybe I just can’t handle flipping an 8 pound pan.
Nice to hear you chime in. I responded because the thread traffic was slow and I am interested in why some people say cast iron is essential. What do you use?

Jacques Pepin uses naked cast iron. So, I believe, does Martha Stewart, even though she is a big fan of copper.

Well, I’m not so sure. As the Tart Tatin progresses, the moisture from the apples decreases, and the probability of scorching the caramel and hot-spotting increases. It’s a little like making jam. I like to have more (and faster) control.

I do not know why cooks might favor cast iron for this application. If it’s done entirely in the oven, the material really doesn’t matter.

Yes, traffic is down. Keep the OPs coming.


I make the caramel on the stovetop, but transfer the whole thing to the oven after adding the apples and crust. How else would the crust cook through? Or was that what you meant (just making the caramel on the stovetop as opposed to in the oven)?

The All-Clad works perfectly, no complaints. I have had no issues with sticking. To be honest, though, I have never given it much thought - I don’t make tarte Tatin that frequently, and I’d never buy a special pan for it.

This is definitely not a 1-trick pony. It can be used as a gratin and an all-around pie plate.


Hooray! I am glad to hear the tart tatin pan can be used for other things. I am wanting to get something beautiful as I am at a stage of life where I want to enjoy my cookware. Also I hope it will improve my cooking! And I will feel more like cooking. So I started this conversation hoping to hear some positives about a tin lined copper pan and I have, thanks to you. The other matter I want to ask about is a tourtiere pan. I have seen a couple of old ones that have been retinned, and they have lids that look like hats! What purpose do those lids serve? Does one bake the meat pie in the oven with the lid on? With or without a crust? many thanks Mae

Hi, mae:

The tall cover lid is to accomodate taller braised joints and food rising. The ones with a rim around the cover are intended to hold live coals from the hearth for baking.

If you squint and think a bit, it looks like a camp oven.


I am laughing as I see these pix… Does it make any different if the handles and lids are steel instead of cast iron? Would that indicate a different age for the item? Or is it just stylistic…thanks again Mae

If you have given away your daily use skillets why would you want to purchase a unitensil vs. an every day pan?

because I can! cheers Mae

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