Over the next few days, we ate every bit of the delicious tart, but I could not get over my disappointment that it did not turn out like an authentic tarte tatin. I compared the recipe that I had followed, from America's Test Kitchen's The Family Baking Book, to the tarte tatin recipe in The New Best Recipe, another ATK cookbook. I think the apple-cooking technique in The Family Baking Book is what led me awry. The recipe in The New Best Recipe used almost identical amounts of ingredients and skipped the short pre-cooking of the butter and sugar, but cooked the apples over high heat for up to 12 minutes on the first cut side and then another 5 minutes on the second cut side, a total of 17 minutes of apple cooking time.
Surely cooking my apples longer, over a higher heat, would have led to more caramelization and less loose juice. The next time I make this dessert, this knowledge should lead me to a superior tart. In the meantime, I will be sure to research my recipes more thoroughly, and trust The New Best Recipe as more reliable than The Family Baking Book.