With a shortbread crust, a cheesecakelike filling, and a delicately spiced apple topping, this elegant tart tastes divine and is a blast for kids to prepare. Our kid testers said arranging the apples in circles was "the best part."
To make the crust, stir the flour and confectioners' sugar in a mixing bowl. Have your child pinch and squeeze the butter into the flour with his fingertips until the butter pieces are pea-size. Transfer the crumbly mixture into an 11-inch tart pan and spread it evenly around the pan. Press the mixture into the bottom and sides of the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze while you prepare the filling.
Next, make the cream cheese filling. Use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese and egg until they are light and smooth. Beat in the brown sugar and vanilla extract. Set aside.
Heat the oven to 375°. In a mixing bowl, toss the apple slices with the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and flour. Spread the cream cheese filling evenly over the chilled tart shell. Then, beginning on the outside edge, arrange the apples on top of the filling in overlapping circles. Pour any remaining juices from the bowl over the apples, then dot with the butter.
Bake the tart for about 1 hour or until the juices bubble and the apples turn tender. If the crust and apples begin to brown, cover the tart with the foil during the last 20 minutes of baking. Remove and cool.
To make the glaze, stir the apricot jam and water in a small saucepan over medium- high heat. Let the glaze boil for 1 to 2 minutes or until it becomes translucent and thin. Strain the glaze to remove any lumps. Then use a pastry brush to carefully paint the tart with the shiny glaze.
Serve the tart warm on its own -- or with ice cream or whipped cream. Store leftovers, covered in plastic wrap, in the refrigerator. Serves 8 to 10.