This simple tart is best served warm. We love it alone, but it certainly does not hurt to add a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. Much of the time required for this comes from the crust. To make things easier, make it ahead of time. The crust can be made and refrigerated up 2 days in advance. Or substitute this homemade crust with a sheet of store-bought puff pastry — see our notes for how to do this below.
1 1/4 cups (160 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons sugar
8 tablespoons (115 grams) very cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes (1 stick)
3 to 4 tablespoons ice cold water
2 medium baking apples such as Granny Smith or Braeburn
Juice of half a lemon
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
2 tablespoons apricot, fig, or other light colored jam
3 tablespoons sliced almonds, lightly toasted
Add 3/4 cups of the flour, salt, and the sugar to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steal blade. (See note below for making crust by hand). Pulse 2 to 3 times until combined.
Scatter butter cubes over flour mixture and process until a dough or paste begins to form, 15 to 20 seconds. (There should be no uncoated flour).
Scrape bowl, redistribute the flour-butter mixture then add the remaining 1/2 cup of flour. Pulse 4 to 5 times until the flour is evenly distributed. (Dough should look broken up and crumbly).
Transfer the dough to a bowl and scatter with 3 tablespoons of the water. Using a rubber spatula, press the dough into itself. The crumbs should begin to form larger clusters. If you pinch some of the dough and it holds together, it’s ready. If the dough falls apart, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of extra water and continue to press until the dough holds together.
Transfer to a clean surface. Work the dough just enough that it comes together into a ball. Shape into a flat rectangle then wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes and up to 2 days.
Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Roll chilled dough into a 13-by-9-inch rectangle. Trim edges then transfer to the baking sheet. Using a fork, prick the crust every 1/2-inch to prevent air pockets from forming while it bakes. Refrigerate while you prepare the apples.
Cut apples in half through the stem. Remove stems and core them (a melon baller helps, here). Slice the apples crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Scatter lemon juice over apples to prevent browning.
Place overlapping slices of the apples in four rows down the tart; 8 to 9 slices per slice should do it. To keep things pretty, it’s best not to use the smaller slices from the ends of the apples). Scatter sugar over apples and dot with butter.
Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until the crust is browned and the edges of the apples begin to brown. Rotate once during baking. Don’t worry if juices from the apples run out onto the pan and brown. The tart will still be okay.
When the tart is done, use a large spatula to loosen then transfer to a cutting board or platter. Warm the jam on the stove or using a microwave. Lightly brush warmed jam over the apples. Scatter almonds on top.