- 10 Golden Delicious apples—peeled, cored and halved
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 1 stick plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 pound chilled all-butter puff pastry
- Cut a thin slice from the stem ends of the apple halves so they will stand upright. In a large bowl, toss the apple halves with the lemon juice to coat thoroughly.
- Set a 12-inch flameware or cast-iron skillet over low heat. Add the butter and heat until melted. Stir in the sugar and salt and cook for 5 minutes, until the sugar has dissolved but hasn't browned.
- Pack the apple halves into the skillet, standing them upright in concentric circles. Cook over moderate heat until all but the tops are softened and their juices have formed a rich caramel, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. For even cooking, rotate the skillet 45 degrees about every 10 minutes. Lightly press down the apples with a spatula as they soften. Shake the skillet occasionally to prevent the apples from sticking.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400°. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the puff pastry to a 14-inch round about 1/8 inch thick. Prick the pastry all over with a fork. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.
- Drape the pastry over the apples and tuck in the edge with a spoon. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown and cooked through. Remove from the oven and carefully invert the tart onto a platter. Let cool for 10 minutes, then cut into wedges and serve.
Vanilla ice cream, whipped cream or creme fraiche.