Welcome to the final course in my
Fall Festive Dinner
Just to catch you up, here is the entire menu:
Are. You. Ready. For. Some. Dessert?
We all love apple pie, right? It’s as American as . . . .; you’re the . . . of my eye. You know what I mean?
You can use the instructions for How to make light flaky pastry dough and then follow my directions for
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How to make an Apple Crostata
What I love about this dish is its simplicity. It’s not made in a pie plate, but you could call it a pie. It’s not made in a tart pan, but you can call it a tart. The dough ~ pâté brisée ~ pastry dough ~ is rolled out and baked on a rimmed baking sheet, which gives the finished dish a rustic “I was made in a French farmhouse kitchen” look. We first had an apple crostata years ago in a little French restaurant in Greenwich Village in New York City. Then I found a similar recipe in The Provence Cookbook by Patricia Wells, which I’ve used several times in cooking classes. But this year I found an easier version in The Barefoot Contessa Parties Cookbook. Ina Garten calls her version a crostata, an Italian rustic free-form version of an open fruit tart and Patricia calls hers a tart. It’s just about the same thing.
After you’ve made your pastry dough using my How to make a light flaky pie crust, you’ll make the apple filling. Let’s get started with our mise place.
Prepare the Apples
These are the tools you’ll need: a chef’s knife, a peeler, 1/4 teaspoon, and an apple corer. I love this one, which opens up after you have cored the apple to easily remove the core.
Core the apples. If you do this first, you can put your thumb into the hole to hold the apple while you peel.
Cut the apples into large chunks. I sprinkled and tossed with Pure Orange Oil, which I already had on hand. Set aside.
Prepare the Topping
In your food processor (You don’t have to wash it after making the light, flaky dough.), combine the flour, sugar, salt, and spices. Pulse to combine.
Add the cold butter and pulse to make the topping.
Prepare the dough
Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and place on a flour-sprinkled clean work surface.
Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough to approximately a 11-inch “circle”. It doesn’t have to be a perfect circle. Remember that this dough is going on a rimmed baking sheet. I let mine form more of an oval.
Transfer the dough to a parchment-lined rimmed sheet pan.
Finish the crostata
First, spread the apples over the dough, leaving about a 1 1/2-inch border. Next, sprinkle the flour/sugar topping evenly over the apples. Fold the edges of the dough over the apples.
Place in the oven and bake for 25 ~ 30 minutes. The crust should be golden brown and the center of the crostata firm. Cool the crostata on a wire rack for 5 minutes to cool.
I use a pizza cutter to slice the crostata.
Here’s the complete recipe. You’ll notice that it calls for 1/4 teaspoon of orange zest. Since I already had the Pure Orange Oil, I used that instead.Print
- Yield: 6
- Category: Pie
- FOR THE PASTRY DOUGH (2 PORTIONS):
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup granulated or superfine sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt or kosher salt
- FOR THE FILLING (1 PORTION):
- 1 1/2 pounds good baking apples
- 1/4 grated orange zest
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt or kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
- 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (1/2 stick), diced
- FOR THE PASTRY:
- Place the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse a few times to combine the dry ingredients.
- Add the diced butter and pulse a few times to coat each cube of butter. Continue pulsing 12 to 15 times or until the butter is the size of peas.
- With the motor running, add 1/4 cup of ice water through the feed tube. Keep hitting the pulse button to combine, but stop the processor just before the dough comes together.
- Remove the dough to a clean work surface and use the fraisage technique to smear the dough with the palms of your hands.
- Using a pastry scraper, cut the dough into two equal portions and form into 2 disks. Wrap each with plastic wrap and refrigerate one for at least 1 hour. Freeze the other pastry.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
- Line rimmed baking sheet with a sheet of parchment paper.
- FOR THE FILLING:
- While the dough is chilling, peel, core, and quarter the apples. Cut each quarter into 3 chunks. Toss the chunks with the orange zest.
- Combine the flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon and allspice in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture is crumbly. Pour into a large bowl and rub with your fingers until it starts holding together. Set aside.
- Lightly flour the work surface and roll the pastry into an 11-inch circle.
- Transfer the dough to the parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet.
- Cover the dough with the apple chunks, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border.
- Sprinkle the flour mixture evenly on the apples.
- Gently fold the border over the apples, pleating it to make a circle.
- Bake the crostata for 25 ~ 30 minutes or until the crust is golden and the apples are tender.
- Let the crostata cool for 5 minutes, then use 2 large spatulas to transfer it to a wire rack.
- Slice for serving.
For an American version, you can serve the crostata with vanilla ice cream. The French would not do that, but who’s to say which way is better?
I hope that you’ve enjoyed this Fall Festive Dinner in October and will try one or all the recipes. November will be pumpkin month, so come back to Bluesky Kitchen.