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Tarte Tatin

This classic upside-down apple tart is best served the day it is made; otherwise, the puff pastry crust loses some of its crispness. To achieve the delectable caramelized surface that defines this rustic tart, you will need to use a cast-iron skillet.

  • Yield: Makes 1 ten-inch tart

Source: Martha Stewart Living, May 2002

Ingredients

  • All-purpose flour, for work surface
  • 1 pound Puff Pastry Dough
  • 3 1/2 pounds Granny Smith apples (about 7), peeled and cored, each cut into eight wedges
  • Juice of 1 lemon (about 3 tablespoons)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar

Directions

  1. Lightly flour a clean work surface. Using a rolling pin, gently roll out dough into an 11-inch round about 1/8 inch thick, being careful not to press too hard around the edge. Transfer to a baking sheet; cover with plastic wrap. Place in refrigerator at least 1 hour.

  2. In a large bowl, toss apple wedges with lemon juice. Heat a 9-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat; melt butter in pan, and sprinkle sugar in an even layer on top. Remove from heat; arrange apple wedges around bottom of pan in a circular pattern, starting from the edge and working toward the center. Since this layer of apples will be the top of the tart, once inverted, it should be arranged attractively. Once bottom of pan is covered with apples, lay remaining wedges on top, distributing them evenly throughout.

  3. Place pan over medium-low heat; cook until apples start to soften and their juices are thickened and bubbling, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat, and let cool slightly, about 10 minutes.

  4. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place pastry round over apples, and press around the edge of pan to fully enclose. Bake until pastry is puffed and golden brown all over and apples are well caramelized, 35 to 40 minutes. If during this time the pastry is browning too much, cover it loosely with aluminum foil.

  5. Transfer pan to a wire rack; let tart cool slightly, about 1 hour. When ready to turn out, place pan over medium heat to loosen caramel and apples from the bottom, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat; run a sharp knife around the edge, and carefully invert tart onto a large serving plate. Allow pan to sit for 1 minute on top of tart after inverting to allow the apples to completely loosen. Gently lift off pan; replace any apples that may have stuck. Cut into wedges, and serve.

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