Recipe by Cheryl Janz
FOR THE PASTRY:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cane sugar
Pinch of salt
½ cup unsalted butter, very cold, cut into small cubes
¼ cup ice water
FOR THE APPLES:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
¾ cup granulated sugar
5-6 Granny Smith apples, small to medium size, 2-2 ½ lbs total wt., peeled, cored, and quartered
French Vanilla ice cream or crème Fraiche for serving
Pastry Basics Note
For a tender flaky pastry, start with well-chilled ingredients and handle the dough as little as possible to avoid developing the gluten in the flour (the culprit in tough or leathery pastry). Every batch of pastry will take a slightly different amount of water, depending on the dryness of the flour and the humidity of the day. Add just enough water to make the dough come together. Letting the dough rest in the refrigerator before using helps prevent shrinkage while making the dough easier to roll out. For the simplest cleanup, roll the dough out between two sheets of waxed paper or plastic wrap.
- In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, and salt. Pulse a few seconds to blend. Add the butter, and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
- With the motor running, slowly add the ice water, one tablespoon at a time, and process just until the dough comes together and adheres when pinched.
- Transfer the dough to a floured surface and bring together in a rough mass. Press into a disk and roll out into an 11-inch round. Loosely wrap with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for about 45 minutes until well-chilled.
TO MAKE THE APPLES
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a nonstick 10-inch oven proof frying pan or cast iron pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the sugar and stir to combine. It may look a little lumpy.
- Arrange the apple quarters, round sides down, in the bottom of the pan, using just enough apples so that they fit very snugly in a single layer. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the caramel is brown and the apples are slightly tender.
- Transfer the frying pan to the oven and bake the apples for 5 minutes. Remove using oven mitts, place on a trivet, and let cool for 10 minutes. Raise the oven temperature to 450 degrees.
- Carefully place the pastry round over the apples, using a small knife to tuck the excess pastry inside the rim of the pan. Bake until pastry is crisp and golden brown, about 20 minutes. Using the oven mitts again, carefully remove the frying pan from the oven. Run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the tart.
- Place a 12-inch serving platter upside down on top of the pan. Wearing oven mitts, quickly invert the pan and platter together. Be careful, as the pan and juices will be very hot. Lift off the pan. Serve warm or at room temperature with ice cream or crème fraiche.