This lovely tart makes for an impressive statement to your dinner guests. Not only is it beautiful presentation, but it is scrumptious as well! Add a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream while the tart is still warm, and...well, what can I say...indulgence on a plate!
TO MAKE THE CRUST: Place the flour, salt, and sugar into a large work bowl, whisking to combine.
Cut in the butter with a pastry blender, or two knives, until the mixture is the size of small peas.
Add the water, a tablespoon at the time, and toss with a fork until the dough starts to come together.
Pour out the dough onto a floured surface and knead into a ball. Don't overwork the dough or else your crust will be tough. Just knead it a few times until it forms a ball.
Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Roll the dough into a 10 x 14 rectangle. Trim edges if need be to make it uniform. Place on the prepared sheet and refrigerate while preparing the apples.
Peel the apples and cut them in half the long way. Remove the stems and cores, leaving the halves in tact.
Slice the apples crosswise into 1/4" slices.
Beginning with the top left corner, place the apples, overlapping as you go, diagonally to the bottom right corner. Continue placing apples in the same manner, on each side of the first row, until the pastry is covered.
Sprinkle with the 1/2 cup sugar and dot with the butter pieces. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the crust is browned and the apples are beginning to brown around the edges. Remove to a cooling rack
Once the tart is removed from the oven, heat the jelly with the brandy or water and stir until smooth. Brush over the crust and apples thoroughly. Run a metal spatula carefully under the tart to loosen it so that it will not stick to the parchment paper as it cools. Enjoy warm or at room temperature.