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Prep 45 mins
Cook 1 hr 30 mins
As the cover feature of Bon Appetit's Best of the Year for 2005, this classic recipe was liked best for its taste, simplicity and rustic approach. The whole thing is cooked in a 12-inch skillet started on stove top and then finished in the oven. In Bon Appetit's words, "After everything else we tasted it was something that we could actually sink our teeth into." I second that emotion.
- To make crust, whisk flour, 1/2 cup sugar, and salt in large bowl. Add 1/2 cup chilled butter cubes and egg yolks. Using fingertips, rub butter and yolks into flour mixture until coarse meal forms. Gently knead crust in bowl until ball forms, about 4 minutes. Flatten ball into disk. Wrap in plastic and 1 hour. (Crust can be made 1 day ahead and kept refrigerated.).
- Preheat oven to 350.
- For filling, scatter 1/2 cup butter cubes over bottom of a 12-inch ovenproof skillet. Sprinkle 1 cup sugar on top. Arrange apple halves, cut side up, over sugar (you will have some halves left over). Cut remaining apple halves into thin slices; tuck enough apple slices between apple halves to fill in gaps.
- Heat skillet over medium heat until sugar and butter melt. Cook, shifting pan often for even cooking, until sugar syrup is deep amber, tucking in more apple slices as more gaps form, about 45 minutes. Cool until bubbling stops, about 10 minutes.
- Roll out crust on floured surface to an almost 13 inch round. Place crust atop hot apples, pressing in around apples at edges of pan. Bake in preheated oven until crust is golden brown, about 35 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool to room temperature.
- Heat skillet over medium high heat 3 minutes to loosen apple pie filling. Place large plate over skillet. Using oven mitts, hold plate and skillet together and invert, shaking gently to release tart onto plate. Rearrange any apples that may have become dislodged. Cut tart into wedges; serve with vanilla ice cream.
This dessert is amazing! I've made it several times now and have tweaked it just a little. First, I had to use 2 T. more butter in the crust for it to come together nicely. Also, while cooking and tucking in apple slices and waiting for the syrup to turn amber, I found that it can be closer to 35 minutes than the 45 suggested by the recipe - pay more attention to the changing color of the syrup than the clock. It can burn easily (but still tastes good when it's dark, so don't fret if that happens). This tarte tatin is a delicious alternative to traditional apple pie. When I made it for my father-in-law, he took one bite and said, "let's make another one." He was serious.