This recipe is a great way to use all those apples laying around your kitchen! If you’re not up for making a handmade pie crust like the recipe calls for below, feel free to substitute a store-bought crust.
What You’ll Need:
1 ¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
3 oz. (or 6 Tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 large egg beaten with 1 Tablespoon cold water
5 – 7 firm Granny Smith apples; peeled, cored and quartered
½ cup unsalted butter
¾ cup granulated sugar
What to Do:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
For dough: combine the flour, sugar and salt and pulse in a food processor a few times. Add the butter and pulse until coarsely mixed into the flour. Then, add the egg mixture in three additions, pulsing after each. Continue pulsing until you have a soft, shaggy dough that holds together when pinched.
Turn the dough out onto a work surface and gather it into a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for about 1 hour or overnight. Dough can also be frozen and thawed when ready to use.
Sprinkle counter top with flour and roll dough into a circle that’s about 1/8 inch thick and 11 inches wide. Prick the dough all over with a fork, then cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight.
For apples: use a heavy-duty ovenproof skillet (avoid using cast iron, which tends to get too hot and can burn the apples).
Peel, core, and quarter 4 of the apples. In a 10-inch heavy-duty ovenproof skillet, heat butter over medium heat. When melted, use a pastry brush to coat the sides of the skillet with butter. Cover the butter with the sugar and cook just until the sugar is evenly moistened, or about 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat.
Lay the apple wedges in the skillet with their rounded sides down or against the side of the skillet. Build concentric circles, packing the apples in a snug single layer—it’s fine if there are gaps.
Peel, core, and quarter as many of the remaining apples as you need to fill in any gaps. If necessary, cut the pieces smaller to make it easier to wedge them in. The gap-filling pieces of apple will form a haphazard second layer, but they’ll shrink as they cook, and you’ll be able to nudge the pieces into the newly widening gaps.
Put the pan over medium to medium-high heat and cook until beginning to bubble, or about 2 minutes. Continue cooking until the apple juices are mostly boiled away and the caramel is a deep golden color, or about 15 to 20 minutes. Adjust the heat and reposition the skillet as needed for even cooking. The heat shouldn’t be too low (the apples will get mushy) or too high (you’ll burn the caramel). As the apples shrink, gently nudge the top layer of apples into the gaps.
While the apples cook, position a rack in the center of the oven. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
When the apples are done, transfer the skillet to the baking sheet and let sit for a few minutes before proceeding so the caramel can settle down. Meanwhile, let the dough sit at room temperature until pliable.
Place dough on top of apples and tuck in overhang. Bake tart until pastry is golden, or about 25 – 30 minutes. Let tart rest on baking sheet until the bubbling caramel stops; about 3 – 5 minutes. Gently run a table knife around the edges to loosen any apples that may have stuck to the sides.
Cover the skillet with a large serving platter and carefully invert tart onto platter and remove skillet. If some of the apples are stuck to the skillet, gently remove and press back into the tart. Let tart cool for 15 minutes before serving.