I made a tarte tatin last night for the first time, using a basic, classic recipe. And there's something I don't understand. It seems to me that the sugar never truly caramelizes, only the butter browns and you can make that a caramel color. The temperature necessary for sugar caramelization is well beyond the temperature for good apple structure, it seems to me that mushy apples are guaranteed in this recipe. Indeed, the apples are exuding water because... they are overcooking!
All the recipes recommend using tart, baking apples to keep their shape, and cooking on the stovetop for an hour, but all this could easily be avoided.
Or why not make a wet caramel to a light amber stage, with apple juice if one prefers, then add the apples and butter, and then bake? I will do it again next week, but just wondering if anyone every tried it this way before.