From America's Test Kitchen Season 4: French Food in a Flash
Making a true tarte Tatin requires an investment of time and a certain amount of skill. Traditionally, the apples are cooked in a skillet until caramelized then topped with homemade pastry. Then the skillet is put in the oven to cook the pastry. Before serving, the tart is masterfully flipped out onto a serving platter. Yes, this version is great, but we wanted to simplify it enough for a weeknight dessert.
We first baked a sheet of store-bought puff pastry until it was beautifully golden brown. While the pastry baked, we cooked the apples in a skillet until they were caramelized and tender. We then spooned the apples over the pastry, arranging them in three even rows with a 1/2‑inch border around the outside of the pastry.
Serve 6 to 8
To get this recipe on the table in 30 minutes, peel the apples while the oven preheats and the pastry thaws, and then bake the pastry while the appless are caramelizing. If the pastry rises unevenly in the oven, press it flat immediately after removing it from the oven. Some of the whipped sour cream topping is stirred into the caramelized apple juices left in the pan to make a caramel sauce. The remaining whipped sour cream topping is dolloped over individual portions of the tart.