This rustic tarte tatin features Granny Smith apples and crisp puff pastry baked in a cast-iron skillet. The cider reduction provides an intense fruitiness to the homemade caramel used to cook the apples.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Bring cider to boil in 10-inch cast-iron skillet on medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium; cook 10 minutes or until reduced by half. Stir in sugar; cook 5 minutes or until caramel begins to brown. Stir in butter and molasses until well blended. Carefully place apples, cut sides up, in caramel, packing them tightly. Cook 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Sprinkle with rubbed sage. Place puff pastry over apples, carefully tucking sides in.
Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until puff pastry is golden brown. Cool on wire rack 5 minutes.
Run a small knife around inside edge of skillet. Place a serving platter over skillet. Using pot holders, quickly flip over skillet and platter. Remove skillet. Apples should be on top and the puff pastry forming the crust. Cool to room temperature. Garnish with Fried Sage Leaves, if desired. Serve with clotted cream or whipped cream, if desired.
To prepare in 9-inch cake pan with 2-inch sides: Reduce cider as directed in large skillet. Stir in 1/2 cup sugar; cook on medium heat 5 minutes or until golden brown. Stir in 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter and 4 teaspoons molasses until well blended. Add 3 apples, peeled, cored and halved; cook and stir 5 minutes. Pour caramel and apples into cake pan. Arrange apples in single layer with cut sides up. Sprinkle with rubbed sage. Place puff pastry over apples, carefully tucking sides in. Place in preheated 375°F oven. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until puff pastry is golden brown. Continue as directed.
Fried Sage Leaves: Heat 1/2 cup vegetable oil in small saucepan on medium-high heat. Fry 4 to 6 sage leaves at a time for 3 seconds or until crisp. Drain on paper towels.