Caramelized Apple Tart

This is it—the famous tarte Tatin from France, the secret of which is the apples’ giving up their juices in the cooking process, combining with the sugar and butter, and caramelizing, so that the full range of flavors is in the caramel (quite different from making caramel and pouring it in the pan to start with).

Ingredients

  • 8 large green apples, Newtown Pippins or Granny Smiths
  • 1 cup sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 9-inch circle tart pastry, rolled ¼ inch thick, chilled
  • 1 cup chantilly cream

Method

Heat the oven to 375°F.

Peel and core the apples and cut them in sixths. Toss them in a bowl with the sugar and salt.

Spread 2 tablespoons butter in a heavy nonstick 10-inch skillet. Place the apples side by side in the skillet and dot with the remaining butter. Place the pastry over the apples, leaving a ½-inch gap all around between the pastry and the edge of the pan.

Bake until the apples are tender and the crust golden and cooked through, about 45 minutes. Look along the sides of the tart to see if the juices have started to caramelize. If they are deep golden brown, the tart can be left to cool for 5 minutes and then turned over onto a plate. If they are not, put the pan over medium heat and cook, moving the pan slowly around the burner, for 5 to 10 minutes to let the juices caramelize. Then let cool for 5 minutes and turn it out onto a platter. Serve warm with the chantilly cream.

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