Arrange apples in a continuous circle starting at the outside edge of the pan.
Sprinkle sugar over the apples.
Dot with small chunks of butter.
Using a large plate cut out a circle of dough a little larger than a 10-inch baking pan.
Wolfgang's Classic Apple Tart
There are many versions of the classic French apple tart called tarte tatin. This is my favorite. Cooking the apples and puff pastry separately and combining them at the last moment ensures the pastry will be light and stay crisp.
1/2 cup unsalted butter
12 medium Golden Delicious apples, cored, quartered, and peeled
Using half the butter, heavily coat the bottom and sides of a 10 x 3-inch round cake pan.
Arrange apples in the pan in a continuous circle (starting at the edge of the pan), piling one on top of the other the first row of apples with rounded side down, the remaining rows with rounded side up. Sprinkle top with 1 cup sugar and dot with remaining butter.
Bake for 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350° and continue to bake 1 hour longer, or until apples are soft and brown on top. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
While apples are baking, prepare the crust. Roll out enough puff pastry to form a 12-inch square, 1/8-inch thick and place it on a buttered cookie sheet. Cut out a circle a bit larger than the 10-inch apple-baking pan (a larger plate can be used to form the circle). With tines of two forks, prick pastry over the entire surface to prevent curling during baking. Bake in a 350° F oven until lightly browned, 25 to 35 minutes. Cool.
To assemble: Set pastry shell on a serving dish and place it upside down over the apples. Invert pan. Apples are now on top of shell. Sprinkle sugar liberally over the surface of the apples and place 3 to 4 inches from heat under a broiler until the sugar caramelizes.
Cut into wedges and serve warm with whipped cream.
A dessert wine, something luscious, fat with fruit and not too cloying is my choice with apple pie. My favorite is Bonny Doon’s Vin de Glaciere from California. Or perhaps a French Muscat from either Beaumes de Venise or Rivesaltes.
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