If you are apprehensive toward making an apple pie for Thanksgiving, try a free-form tart. No need for a pie pan, a rimmed baking sheet will work just fine. Don't have a rolling pin? The first time I made a pie I realized I didn't have a rolling pin and used a wine bottle as a substitute!
Just roll out the dough into a 13 inch circle (or as close to a circle as you can get) The fruit is placed in the center and the edges of the dough are folded in over the apples, leaving the center of the tart exposed. The rustic nature of the free-form tart allows for all sorts of shapes so don't worry about the appearance of your pastry.
The simple filling and flaky pastry are delicious. The tart will feed 6 people. Serve warm with some vanilla ice cream if desired.
Free-Form Country Apple Tart
1 1/4 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon grated lemon peel (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) well-chilled unsalted butter cut into 12 pieces
4 tablespoons cold water
Blend flour,lemon peel and salt in food processor. Add butter and cut in using on/off turns until mixture resembles coarse meal. With machine running, pour water through feed tube and process just until dough begins to gather together. Remove from processor and gather dough into ball, flatten into disk. Wrap tightly and refrigerate 30 minutes or freeze 10 minutes (can be prepared 1 day ahead, stored in refrigerator)
3 apples appropriate for baking (such as Granny Smith)
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons Calvados or other brandy
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 425 degrees. Cut apples into 1/8-1/4 inch thick slices. Toss with lemon juice and Calvados in large bowl. Combine 1/4 cup sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon in small bowl.
Roll dough out on a lightly floured surface to 13-inch round (do not trim edges) Transfer to large baking sheet. Patch any tears in pasty by pressing together with fingers. Place apples on pastry, mounding slightly in center and leaving 2-inch border of pastry all around. Sprinkle apples with sugar mixture. Dot with butter. Fold pastry border in over apple filling.
Bake tart 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 375 degrees and bake until pastry is golden brown and filling bubbles, about 35 minutes. Allow to rest 5-10 minutes. Using 2 spatulas, carefully transfer tart to serving platter. Dust pastry edges liberally with powdered sugar.