This iconic dessert was allegedly created by the Tatin sisters of France's Loire Valley. Legend is that while trying to repair a baking error, they ended up with this upside-down dessert of flaky pastry and apples bathed in caramel.
4.5 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 cup)
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons ice water
3 1/2 pounds small Gala apples (about 9), peeled, cored, and each cut into 8 wedges
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
How to Make It
To prepare crust, weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a food processor; pulse until combined. Add 6 tablespoons chilled butter; pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add 2 tablespoons ice water, and pulse until mixture forms clumps. Gently press dough into a 6-inch circle on heavy-duty plastic wrap; cover and freeze 30 minutes.
To prepare filling, combine apples, juice, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl, tossing to coat. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a 9 1/2-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add 3/4 cup sugar to pan; cook 4 minutes or until golden brown, stirring constantly. Remove pan from heat. Arrange half of apples, rounded side down, in a circular pattern over sugar mixture in pan. Top with remaining apples, rounded side up. Cook over medium heat 15 minutes. Remove from heat; let stand 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400°.
Working quickly, roll dough into an 11-inch circle on a heavily floured surface. Place dough over apples; fold edges under. Cut 4 (1-inch) slits into top of pastry using a sharp knife. Bake at 400° for 40 minutes or until crust is lightly browned. Remove from oven; let stand 5 minutes. Place a plate upside down on top of pan. Carefully invert tart onto plate. Serve warm.
I made one change. I subbed 1.5 oz of whole wheat flour for all purpose flour. Made this for a dinner party. It was a big hit. Everyone asked for 2nds and 3rds. I used a nonstick pan and it came right out. The crust tasted like a shortbread cookie!
Recipe was huge hit for special occasion. First attempt, crust stuck to pan...I reduced the sit time to just 2 minutes on my 2nd attempt and it came out beautifully. I also worked on seasoning my cast iron pan more between the 2 attempts (lots of bacon and greasy foods!). My husband thought it was too sweet...but everyone else said it was one of the best Tarte Tatin's they've had (even in France!).