Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
In a large bowl toss the apple halves with the lemon juice and set aside.
Melt the butter in a 9 or 10-inch skillet over high heat. Add the sugar and cook until the sugar melts and then caramelizes to an amber color, swirling the skillet if necessary for even browning. (Do not stir or sugar may crystallize.) Remove the skillet from the heat.
Arrange a tight layer of apples, rounded sides down, over the caramel. Cut the remaining apple halves in half so that you now have apple quarters. Arrange these over the apple halves, cut sides down, arranging apples neatly. Cover the skillet and return the skillet to the heat. Cook over medium-low heat until the apples are almost tender and have released their juices, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the cover and increase the heat to medium and cook until the juices have reduced and are very thick and syrupy, about 15 minutes.
Transfer the dough to the counter top and allow to sit at room temperature until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to a 12-inch diameter round about 3/16-inch thick.
Place the dough atop the hot apples and tuck the edges into the skillet, carefully folding or pushing the overhang down tightly around the apples. Cut several slits in the dough to allow steam to escape while baking.
Bake until the tart crust is golden, about 20 minutes. Remove tart from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Run a small knife around the edge of the skillet to loosen tart, then place a large plate or platter over the skillet. Using oven mitts, CAREFULLY grasp platter and skillet and invert, letting tart settle onto the platter and giving skillet a quick tap if necessary. Carefully lift off the skillet and place any apples remaining in skillet on top of the tart. Cool slightly and serve warm, with whipped cream or ice cream, if desired.
Yield: 8 servings