Molly Wizenberg of Orangette provided this Tarte Tatin recipe adapted from David Rosengarten’s Taste and Julia Child’s The Way to Cook. We featured the recipe in our second issue of Desserts Magazine. Molly Wizenberg wrote a memoir, A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table, with stories revolving around food, family, and friends, and of course she couldn’t leave out recipes, with illustrations by Camilla Engman.
Makes 8 servings
5 to 6 large apples, preferably Golden Delicious or Ginger Gold
Juice of 1 lemon
1-½ cups granulated white sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
About 14 ounces puff pastry (store-bought, such as Dufour brand, is just fine; if frozen, be sure to let it thaw for about an before using)
1. Peel and quarter the apples, removing the cores such that each quarter has a flat inner side. Toss the apple quarters in a large bowl with the lemon juice and 1/2 cup of the sugar. Set aside for 30 minutes.
2. In a 9-inch cast-iron skillet set over medium heat, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter. Add the remaining 1 cup sugar, along with a few tablespoons of the apple-lemon juices. Stir to mix. Cook the mixture over medium-low heat, stirring regularly with a wooden spoon, for about 15 minutes, or until the mixture is a smooth, bubbly, pale caramel color.
3. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully add apple quarters, arranging them rounded-side-down in a decorative pattern. Arrange a second layer of apples on top wherever they fit, closely packed. This second layer need not be terribly neat. Top the apples with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, cut into dice.
4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
5. Cook the apples over medium-low heat for about 20 minutes, occasionally spooning the bubbling caramel liquid over them. Press them down gently with the back of a spoon and watch to make sure that no one area of the pan is bubbling more than another. (Don’t worry if they shift a bit in the liquid; just move them back to where they were.) Shift the pan as necessary so that the apples cook evenly. They are ready when the liquid in the pan has turned to a thick, amber ooze. The apples should still be slightly firm. Do not allow them to get entirely soft or the liquid to turn dark brown. Remove the pan from the heat.
6. On a floured surface, roll the puff pastry out to a thickness of about 3/16-inch. Using a sharp, thin knife, trace a circle in the pastry about 10-inches in diameter (1/2-inch wider all around than the skillet), and trim away any excess. Carefully lay the pastry circle over the apples in the skillet, tucking the overlap down between the apples and the inside of the pan.
7. Place the skillet on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake for about 30-35 minutes, until the pastry has risen, and is dry and golden brown. Remove the skillet from the oven, and let it to rest for a minute or two. Tilt the pan and look down inside the edge: if there is a lot of juice, pour most of it off into the sink. (Do not pour it all off, or the apples may stick to the pan.) Place a serving platter upside-down over the skillet and, working quickly and carefully (It’s hot!), invert the tart onto the platter. Rearrange any apple slices that may have slipped or stuck to the skillet. Serve warm or at room temperature, preferably with a tokaji, a Hungarian wine from the region of Tokaj.