This is the tart chef Thierry Busset made famous: crisp and caramelized, sophisticated and just plain delicious. Here he offers a cheater’s version of puff pastry—no laminating it around a block of butter—but if you are completely pressed for time, you could always use a good-quality frozen puff pastry instead.
Quick puff pastry
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
½ tsp kosher salt
½ cup ice-cold water
10 cooking apples such as Golden Delicious, peeled, cored, cut in half and thinly sliced
¾ cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup (11⁄3 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
1 to 2 Tbsp Grand Marnier
Quick puff pastry
1. Pour flour on a clean counter and make a well. Place butter and salt in the centre. Using your fingertips, gently work butter into the flour, until cubes of butter have broken into pea-sized pieces and the dough is grainy. Gradually add ice-cold water until incor-porated, taking care to not overwork the dough. Roll dough into a ball, cover with plastic wrap and chill for 20 minutes.
2. Liberally dust the counter with flour and roll dough into a rectangle, about 16 × 8 inches. Fold it into 3 like a letter and give it a quarter turn. Roll this piece of dough back out into another 16- × 8-inch rectangle. Fold it into 3 again. These are your first 2 turns. Wrap this piece in plastic wrap and chill for another 30 minutes.
3. Give the chilled dough 2 more turns, as previously noted above. Wrap and chill for another 30 minutes. Dough is now ready.
4. Preheat oven to 375°f. Line a rimless baking sheet with parchment paper.
5. On a floured surface, roll out puff pastry ¼ inch thick. Cut it into a 1 2-inch-diameter circle. Place the dough on the prepared baking sheet. Fold outside 2 inches inward over your finger to create an edge. (Or, if you prefer, you can cut the dough into small rectangles for individual tarts.) Set aside in the fridge until ready to bake.
1. Fan apples out onto puff pastry starting from the outside and working your way in, making sure to pack them tightly. Once surface of puff pastry is totally covered with apples, sprinkle with sugar and top with melted butter.
2. Bake for 30 minutes, until golden brown and starting to caramelize. Remove from oven and sprinkle Grand Marnier over entire tart. Cover tart with a sheet of parchment paper and place another rimless baking sheet on top. Carefully flip so that the tart is on the second pan, with pastry-side up. Bake for another 10 minutes until puff pastry is golden brown.
3. Set baking sheet on a wire rack and cool slightly. Flip tart back over onto serving plate and peel parchment gently off the top.
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