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You can use this with apples or pears. Variation below. If using apples, be sure to use firm ones, preferably granny smith or golden delicious. To thaw puff pastry, thaw overnight in the fridge (preferred method). If you don't have that kind of time, thaw on the counter for 30-60 minutes. It should unfold easily, but feel firm. If seams crack, rejoin by rolling them smooth with a rolling pin. If the dough gets too warm and softens, place it in the freezer until firm again.
- Adjust rack to middle position in oven and then heat to 400. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the puff pastry on the parchment. Bake until golden brown and puffed, 10-15 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter; press lightly to flatten if domed.
- Meanwhile, melt butter in a 12-inch, nonstick skillet over high heat. Remove the pan from heat and spinkle evenly with the sugar. Lay the apples in the skillet. Return to heat. Cook, stirring apples halfway through, until the juices in the pan turn a rich amber color and apples are carmelized, about 15 minutes.
- Remove apples from the pan one at a time. Arrange them in overlapping rows on the pastry square, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Spoon about half of the pan juices over the apples.
- Whisk the cream and Grand Marnier (if using) into the remaining juices in the pan. Bring to a simmer. Pour some sauce over the tart just before serving, passing the remaining sauce separately.
- FOR PEAR TATIN: Substitute 2 lbs. pears (about 4) for the apples. You may need to increase the carmelization time to 20-25 minutes. Use Poire William instead of Grand Marnier if using a liquor.
- LIQUOR OPTION FOR APPLES: Cognac. I believe it is a classically French pairing with apple desserts. It's not the Cook's Illustrated version, tho, if you want to use strictly their recipe. I used it in a different tart recipe once, and it was awesome. Thanks to the first reviewer for this idea!
This was very good! And very easy to make. I used granny smith green apples and used Cognac instead of the Grand Marnier...very tasty! Thanks for posting! Made and reviwed for the Zaar Chow Hounds...WZT5