1 9-1/2 ounce sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed overnight in the refrigerator
8 slices applewood smoked bacon
2 tablespoons bourbon
1/4 cup maple syrup, plus more for apples
2 tablespoons brown sugar, plus more for apples
4 medium apples
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 ounces goat cheese
1 large head of bibb lettuce, cored
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Position a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat to 350ºF. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the puff pastry to a 12x15-inch rectangle.
With a 3-1/2 to 4-inch round cookie cutter, cut out 4 disks of puff pastry. Prick each disk all over with a fork. Arrange them on a rimmed baking sheet, line with a nonstick baking mat or parchment, and bake until puffed and golden, about 25 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Combine the bourbon and maple syrup, and brush bacon slices on both sides, placing them on a prepared cookie sheet. Sprinkle slices with 2 tablespoons brown sugar. Bake at 350ºF for 15-20, until caramelized. Let cool. Crumble into 1/2-inch pieces.
Peel and core the apples. Cut off about 1/2 inch from both ends of each apple to create two flat surfaces, then cut the apple in half along the equator. You should have eight 1/2 to 3/4-inch thick apple rings. Toss apples with just enough maple syrup and brown sugar to coat.
Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a 12-inch ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Cook 4 rings at a time, until sugar starts to caramelize and the bottoms are light golden brown, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook for three more minutes. Add remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, and cook remaining 4 slices of apples.
Prepare tarts, using a round of puff pastry as the base. Stack with an apple, then top with goat cheese. Repeat with another apple slice, again topping with goat cheese.
Tear lettuce leaves, and toss with walnuts and candied bacon. Prepare vinaigrette by whisking the olive oil and balsamic vinegar in a small bowl. Toss the salad with the dressing, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Distribute among 4 plates, and serve with the tarts.