Here’s a delightful recipe adapted from David Tanis’s of gourmet.com excellent collection of dinner menus, A Platter of Figs.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for sprinkling
- 1/2 lb (2 sticks) cold butter in thin slices
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 egg beaten, plus enough ice water to make 1/2 cup
- 8 medium apples (about 3 lbs)
- 1 cup sugar, maple syrup, honey, or ice cider for the glaze
- 1/4 cup sugar for sprinkling on apples
- 1/2 to 1 cup water
Put flour, butter, and salt in a bowl. Work the butter into the flour with your fingers until it looks mealy, with some large flecks of butter remaining. Pour the egg-ice mixture into the bowl and quickly knead the dough for a minute or two until it comes together. It will be soft, sticky, and though gathered together, a little rough looking.
Sprinkle dough with a little flour and pat into a rectangle about 1 inch thick. Wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight.
When ready, divide the pastry in half (there will be enough for two tarts–you can freeze one half for another time). Then, roll out the pastry into a rectangle, approximately 11 x 16 inches.
Transfer the dough to the baking sheet, let it relax, trim the edges to fit the pan with a little edging up the sides; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
Peel the apples and cut them into thin slices. Prepare your glaze by dissolving sugar, maple syrup, honey, or ice cider in 1/2 to a full cup of water over medium heat. Simmer to a thick syrup. Arrange the apples over the pastry in several rows, overlapping them like cards in solitaire. At this point, you could refrigerate the tart for up to 8 hours.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Sprinkle the sugar generously over the apples and bake until they are browned, and the pastry is crisp about 45 minutes. Cool on a rack. Just before serving, reheat glaze and paint apples with glaze. Slice into small rectangles and serve. (Alternately, this recipe still works well if you bake the tart initially with the glaze on it instead of applying it afterward.)