This classic upside-down apple tart first appeared as a delicious accident at the Hôtel Tatin in the French village of Lamotte-Beuvron. Our modern take uses whole star anise for a boost of warm spice in a simple, refined presentation.
Makes 1 (8-inch) tart
- Tart Dough (recipe follows)
- 5 large apples (925 grams)*
- Juice of 1 lemon (30 grams)
- 5 tablespoons (60 grams) granulated sugar, divided
- 1 tablespoon (6 grams) grated fresh ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ cup (57 grams) unsalted butter
- 9 whole star anise (8 grams)
- On a lightly floured surface, roll Tart Dough into a 9-inch circle. Wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
- Peel, core, and quarter apples. Cut each quarter in half lengthwise. In a medium bowl, toss together apples, lemon juice, 1 tablespoon (12 grams) sugar, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. Let stand for 20 minutes. Drain excess juice.
- Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C).
- In an 8-inch cast-iron skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add remaining 4 tablespoons (48 grams) sugar; cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture becomes a light caramel color. (Mixture may look separated.)
- Remove pan from heat, and arrange star anise and apple slices along bottom. Place extra apple slices on top. Cook over medium-high heat, without stirring, until apples begin to turn golden brown and caramel is a dark amber color, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and let cool for 5 minutes.
- Cut several 1-inch vents in top of Tart Dough to release steam. Place Tart Dough on top of hot apples, tucking in along edges, being careful not to burn your fingertips.
- Bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes before inverting onto a cake plate.
We used Granny Smith, but Gala, Braeburn, and Golden Delicious are also great alternatives. Almost any variety of apple will do.
Makes 1 (8-inch) crust
- 1¼ cups (156 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon (4 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon (3 grams) kosher salt
- ½ cup (113 grams) cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 4 to 8 tablespoons (60 to 120 grams) ice water
- In the work bowl of a food processor, place flour, sugar, and salt; pulse until combined. Add cold butter, and pulse until mixture is crumbly. With processor running, add ice water, 1 tablespoon (15 grams) at a time, just until dough comes together. Turn out dough, and shape into a disk. Wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before using.