Fresh Ginger Tart Tatin
If you find yourself strapped for time, or energy, use bought, frozen puff pastry instead of the pastry dough.
Serves 6 to 8
For pastry dough:
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 tsp brown sugar
2 to 3 Tbsp cold water
11/2 cups sugar
2 Tbsp water
1 stick unsalted butter
1 tsp lemon zest
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
5 Winesap or Gala apples
Accompaniment: whipped cream
Work together the flour, butter, sugar, and ½ tsp salt with your hands until mostly combined with some small lumps of butter remaining. Stir in 2 Tbsp water with a fork. Press a small handful of dough together, if it looks powdery and does not come together, stir in the additional 1 Tbsp water. Transfer dough to a sheet of plastic wrap. Using the edge of plastic, fold dough over on itself, pressing until it comes together. Form the dough into a disk, wrapped completely in the plastic and chill for 1 hour.
While dough chills, heat 1 cup of the sugar with the water in a 10-to 12-inch well-seasoned cast iron skillet over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved and bubbling. Cook the caramel, swirling the skillet occasionally, until the sugar is a dark amber caramel. Remove skillet from heat and add the butter, carefully swirling the skillet to incorporate the butter into the caramel. Let the skillet (with the caramel) cool at room temperature.
Whisk together the remaining ½ cup sugar, zest, juice, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ¼ tsp salt in a large bowl. Peel and core the apples, then halve them and toss with the sugar mixture.
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Roll out the pastry dough on a well-floured surface with a floured rolling pin into a 13-inch round. Place the apples, cut sides up over the caramel in the skillet, then drizzle with any remaining sugar mixture. Top the apples with the dough tucking the edges of dough down around the apples. Cut 6 to 8 steam vents in the dough.
Bake the tart until the crust is golden, the filling is bubbling. This will take about 45 minutes.
Let the tart cool until warm in the skillet. Invert a serving plate over the skillet, then carefully reinvert tart onto the serving plate.