In a small bowl stir together cream cheese, confectioners' sugar, and vanilla until smooth.
Peel, halve, and core apples and cut into 1/4inch slices. In a bowl toss apples with 2 tablespoons granulated sugar.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
On a lightly floured surface roll 1 sheet puff pastry into a 15 by 11inch rectangle. From a long side, cut four 1/3inchwide strips. From a short side, cut two 1/3inchwide strips. Set pastry strips aside. Halve lengthwise what remains of rectangle and put halves on a baking sheet.
Just inside pastry rectangles' edges, brush 1/3inchwide borders of egg wash, reserving remaining egg wash. Arrange pastry strips on borders so that they are flush with edges of rectangles, trimming strips to fit. Spread creamcheese mixture inside borders on rectangles and top with apples.
On a lightly floured surface roll remaining puff pastry sheet into a 14 by 10inch rectangle and halve lengthwise. Cut several 2 1/2inch diagonal slits down middle of each rectangle (do not cut within 1-inch of edges).
Brush pastry borders of appletopped tarts with some remaining egg wash and top each with 1 pastry rectangle. Press edges gently but firmly together to seal. Brush remaining egg wash over pastry tops and sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Bake tarts in middle of oven 30 minutes, or until puffed and golden.
In a small saucepan simmer maple syrup 10 minutes, or until reduced to about 1/3 cup. Brush hot syrup glaze over warm tarts. Serve tarts warm or at room temperature.
(recipe courtesy of Gourmet Magazine)