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4 large apples
Adjust oven rack the lowest level. Preheat oven to 425°F.
Rinse the apples in cold water and dry with a towel. Peel and core the apples. Cut each apple into quarters. Place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap until needed.
In a food processor with a metal blade, combine the flour, 1 teaspoon of sugar and pinch of salt in the work bowl. Cut 8 tablespoons of cold butter into 1/2-inch slices. Add to the dry ingredients and process until a coarse meal is formed. Listen to the noise the of the processing. When it becomes quit this is a sign that the butter has been cut into small pieces creating less friction and less noise. A coarse meal will resemble white corn meal. Add the water and continue processing until the form. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work service and let rest until needed.
In a 10 inch medium weight skillet add the 1/2-cup sugar. Cook over moderately high heat until the sugar begins to melt on the edge. Do not stir or shake the pan yet. Continue cooking until the sugar starts to darken. Once 50% of the sugar has darkened to a caramel, begin to rotate the pan in a circle swirling the dark and light sugars together. This may also be done with a long handle metal spoon. Continue cooking until the sugars are blended and a light caramel color. Remove to a cold burner and stir in 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter.
Roll the dough into I2-inch circle. Starting at the edge and forming a circle, arrange the apples cut side down into the caramel. Place them tight together since they will reduce about 50% during baking. Fill the center of he circle with the remaining apples. Cover the top with the circle of dough. Fold the extra dough over so that the fold just meets the inside edge of the pan. Using the tip of a knife cut a I-inch slice through the top center of the dough. Place on the bottom rack of the preheated oven and bake for 30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the apples are tender when pressed with the tip of a thin knife. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes. Carefully turn out on a platter.
Serve within 2 hours with unsweetened lightly whipped heavy cream or vanilla ice cream.