¼ cup RI johnnycake cornmeal or other fine white cornmeal
½ tea salt
1 tea sugar
8 T cold unsalted butter
2 T lard or shortening
2-3 T ice water
Pulse dry ingredients briefly in the food processor. Drop in butter and toss to cover; pulse 8-10 times until butter is distributed but some is still in large pieces. Add lard or shortening and pulse until mixture is coarse crumbs, about 10-15 more pulses. With feed tube running, add only enough water and run only enough time until dough comes together into a ball; turn out onto a piece of wax paper, wrap, and chill.
1 T unsalted butter
Preheat the oven to 425 F. Toss the apples with the brown sugar, flour, and salt. Roll the chilled dough out into a rough circle or oval directly onto a flat cookie sheet (it is soft, and difficult to transfer). Don’t worry about the shape; you want it to look thrown together, which it is. It should be about 1/8” thick. Place the apple mixture into the center and spread out evenly and thinly to about 2” of the edge, then roll the edge inward to form a rim. Some empty spots of dough are fine, and desirable. Sprinkle with the almonds and distribute the sugar over the top, including the rim. Dot with the butter. Bake for 25 minutes; the crust should be golden and the apples starting to brown at the edges. Reduce the heat to 350 F and bake about 10 minutes more, until the tart is a nice color; remove to a rack. If you are glazing, melt the jelly or jam, thinning with water if necessary, and glaze the tart lightly, using a dabbing motion, while it is still hot. Let cool on the rack for 15 minutes, then slide tart onto the counter. Cut with a pizza cutter or bread knife, transfer carefully to plates with a spatula (the crust is very thin and flaky—and delicious), and serve plain and pronto, either warm or at room temperature.