(a classic French dessert that will impress even the most un-impressible of mothers in law.)
½ recipe pie crust recipe (see my gluten free pie crust)
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
Pinch of cinnamon
7 or 8 apples (approximately 3 pounds) Gala or Granny Smith, peeled, quartered lengthwise, and cored
A 10-inch cast-iron skillet
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Roll your pie dough between two sheets of plastic wrap. (This makes it easier to keep your dough from crumbling while judging it’s shape and size.) Keep dough between plastic wrap, place on baking sheet and transfer to freezer.
Spread butter thickly on bottom and side of skillet and pour sugar mixed with cinnamon evenly over bottom. Arrange as many apples as will fit in pan, in a circular design. Apples should just about reach the top of skillet.
Cook apples over moderately high heat, without disturbing them, until some of the juices bubble and become light caramel in color, around 20 minutes. Place skillet in hot oven for another 15 minutes of cooking. (Hint, place a cookie sheet underneath to catch drops.) Remove from oven. Place rolled pie dough on top of cooked apples, still in skillet, and return to hot oven,. Bake 25 or so minutes, then remove from oven and cool at least 10 minutes.
Just before serving, invert a platter with lip over skillet and, using potholders to hold skillet and plate tightly together, invert tart onto platter. Reset any apples that stick to skillet. (Don’t worry if there are black spots; they won’t affect the flavor of the tart.) Brush any excess caramel from skillet over apples.
Serve and watch your guests swoon.