Yes. All I can tell you is – yes, this is the simplest and tastiest thing you will bake this month.
And yes, that’s salted caramel. And why yes, you can flip it out of a cast iron pan quite perfectly.
This is the perfect warm dessert for this inevitable cold snap – hello, first snow! – that is upon us and another contender for the holidays.
Anyway, my point is that if you love tarte tatin but you thought you could never make one , think again. All you need is a cast iron skillet or pan (or even a dutch oven) and some simple, good ingredients.
The most important thing to remember is to use more apples than you think you will need – I like to form two layers – as they will shrink as they cook.
- fresh filo pastry, thawed
- half a stick of butter, at room temperature
- one third cup dark brown sugar
- one third teaspoon fleur de sel
- 4 large apples (I used a mix of varieties, but tarter is better)
- Preheat oven to 375F. Peel, core, and slice the apples into ¼ inch slices - they don't have to all be uniform.
- In a cast iron pan on the stovetop, melt the sugar and almost all of the butter (reserving about 1.5 T for brushing the filo dough later). Caramelize until thickened and golden-brown. Stir in the salt.
- On lower heat, right on top of the caramel, layer the apple slices snugly - form the first layer with the pieces standing up, then the second layer with them laying flat. This makes for a sturdier and prettier tart all at the same time. Remember: more apples than you would think because they will shrink as they cook and bake.
- Cook apples in caramel for about 7-8 minutes - don't move them around though.
- Melt the remaining butter, reduce heat under the caramel & apples and start layering the pastry in thin, individual layers, brushing each with melted butter.
- Filo is great for this because you can tuck in it around the apples, so proceed to do that with most of the pastry until you reach the top. End on the last few layers being more flat as your cake “base” once you flip it over when it is done.
- Transfer to oven and bake for about 30 minutes until the pastry is golden. Let cool for about 5 minutes, then with one decisive and sharp movement, invert onto your serving platter.
Filo is great for this because you can tuck in it around the apples, so proceed to do that with most of the pastry until you reach the top. End on the last few layers being more flat as your cake “base” once you flip it over when it is done.
Best served warm, of course.