2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 sticks of cold salted butter (1 cup) cut into small pieces (tbsp sized)
1/2 cup ice water
8 apples cored, peeled, and quartered
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups water
Utensils: 13-inch heavy cast iron skillet, rolling pin, wooden spoon, stand mixer bowl
I prefer making the pate brisée dough the day before and storing it in the fridge. You can also use ready-made pie dough or puff pastry, but you will not regret making your own. It's fun, and you will have earnt bragging rights.
Pate Brisse Dough:
Combine all dry ingredients in a mixer bowl (flour, salt, sugar)
Add pieces of butter and mix on medium speed for a minute.
Slowly add the ice water and mix for 30 seconds. Scrape the bowl and form a ball with the dough.
Wrap in plastic wrap and store in the fridge for up to 24 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350 F
Put sugar and water in the skillet you’ll be baking the Tatin with—ideally, heavy cast iron.
Now, this part needs your undivided attention. Cook on medium heat, stirring continuously until it turns light brown, and lower the heat. Be very careful not to burn the caramel (trust me, I’ve had a few flops)
Once you have a syrup consistency turn off the heat. Then add apple slices in circles allowing no gaps; start at the edge of the skillet and work your way to the center.
Roll out the dough 1/4 inch thick and lay it on the skillet. Cut the dough around the skillet and tuck it inside by pinching the edges to create a pattern. Pierce a few small slits with the tip of a knife on the dough to allow for aeration.
Bake on the middle rack for 30-35 minutes; I test it by lightly tapping on the crust: When it’s done, it sounds dry and hollow, like a crisp country bread.
Remove from oven and let rest for at least 30 minutes. This will allow the juices of the caramel to solidify and be easier to flip.
Now the heart-stopping moment: take a plate or serving stand. Make sure that the dish is larger in circumference than the tart itself. Turn over the skillet on the plate in one quick move and make sure all apples are unstuck.
Before placing it on the dinner table, I sprinkle a touch of Maldon Sea Salt.
Serve with a little whipped cream or a dollop of Crème Fraiche.