In this version of a classic French dessert, apples are first caramelized in a cast-iron pan and then topped with puff pastry and baked to a golden finish. The apples are left unpeeled, which adds a contrasting color and texture to the dessert. Peel them if you wish.
- 9-inch (23-cm) square frozen puff pastry, thawed
- Flour for dusting
- 4 Granny Smith apples
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1?2 cup (4 oz/125 g) sugar
- Vanilla ice cream for serving
Makes 6 servings
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Lay the pastry on a lightly floured work surface and roll out to roughly fit the diameter of a 10-inch (25-cm) frying pan. Core the apples, cut them in half, and thinly slice.
- In the frying pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter with the maple syrup. Add the sugar and cook, stirring, until the sugar has melted and the mixture looks syrupy, 2–3 minutes. Continue to cook until the syrup turns golden brown, about 5 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and arrange the apple slices in circles on the bottom of the pan, overlapping the slices as needed. Return the pan to medium-high heat and cook the apples until they are soft but still hold their shape and are golden brown, about 5 minutes.
- Turn off the heat, place the pastry over the apples, and tuck the edges of the pastry down around the sides of the pan.
- Bake until the pastry is golden brown and puffed up, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let stand for 2 minutes. Invert the tart onto a serving plate, cut into wedges, and serve right away with vanilla ice cream.
Appears with permission from Cooking in Cast Iron. Recipes by Valerie Aikman-Smith; photographs by Ray Kachatorian. Copyright 2010 by Weldon Owen Inc.