France Prep:20, Cook:1:30
Preparation - Medium
Crust baked on top of apples remains crisp, tarte is flipped before serving - serve with heavy cream, half-n-half, or vanilla ice cream.
Pastry for single 10" round
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
7 to 9 baking apples (Gala, Granny Smith - 3 to 4 lb), peeled, quartered lengthwise, and cored
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 TBSP lemon juice if apples lack flavor
10" cast iron skillet, or deep pie dish that will go on top of stove and in oven.
SPREAD butter thickly on bottom and side of skillet and pour sugar evenly over bottom. Arrange as many apples as will fit vertically on sugar, packing them tightly in concentric circles . Apples will stick up above rim of skillet.
COOK apples over moderately high heat, undisturbed, until juices are deep golden and bubbling, 18 to 25 minutes. (Don't worry if juices color unevenly.)
PUT skillet in middle of oven over a piece of foil to catch any drips. Bake 20 minutes (apples will settle slightly), then remove from oven and lay pastry round over apples.
BAKE tart until pastry is browned, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer skillet to a rack and cool at least 10 minutes.
JUST before serving, invert a platter with lip over skillet and, using potholders to hold skillet and plate tightly together, invert tart onto platter. Replace any apples that stick to skillet. (Don't worry if there are black spots; they won't affect the flavor of the tart.) Brush any excess caramel from skillet over apples. Serve immediately.
-Tart can cool in skillet up to 30 minutes. It can also stand, uncovered, up to 5 hours, then be heated over moderately low heat 1 to 2 minutes to loosen caramel. Shake skillet gently to loosen tart before inverting.