Apple Crostata

I have a 'Pink Pearl' apple tree which is an early ripening variety, so as early as July, the deluge starts. One of my favorite ways to get thru the bushels is The Barefoot Contessa's Apple Crostata. It's easier to make than an apple pie and I prefer a higher apple to crust ratio (hey, I'm trying to use up a lotta apples!).

I also like to bake them directly on pizza tiles which browns and crisps up the bottoms nicely. If you don't have tiles, you can always place the crostata on a pre-heated cookie sheet instead.

Apple Crostata
adapted from Barefoot Contessa Parties! by Ina Garten
Makes two 10-inch (large) or three 8-inch (small) crostatas
For the dough, place in a food processor and pulse a few times to combine
2 cup all-purpose flour (260g)
1/4 cup granulated sugar (50g)
1/2 tsp kosher salt

Add and pulse additional 12-15 times until butter is size of peas:
14 tablespoons (1 stick + 6 tbs) butter, cut into 3/4" chunks
Run motor while pouring in thru feed tube:
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon ice cold water  
pulse a few more times, but stop before the dough comes together. It should still be a bit crumbly.

Turn dough out onto large sheet of parchment paper and bring edges of parchment paper together to squeeze the crumbles into a cohesive mound. Divide into either two (approx 300g ea) or three (approx 200g ea) equal size pieces. Wrap each piece in plastic wrap and mold them into round disks about 1" thick. Refrigerate for at least one hour or you can also freeze disks for later use.

Meanwhile, combine in a large bowl to make filling:
4 pounds peeled, cored, approx. 1" chunks of apples
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup all-purpose flour (98g)
3/4 cup granulated sugar (150g)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Set aside while rolling out dough.

Place cookie sheet in oven (if using) and preheat oven to 450°F.
Take one disk out of refrigerator, unwrap and place on floured parchment paper.

Roll disk into approx. 14-inch (for large crostata) or 12-inch (for small crostata) circle, flouring if needed to prevent rolling pin from sticking.

Don't worry about the circle being the exact dimensions or perfectly round. This is a rustic dessert! Place rolled out crust on a cookie sheet or pizza pan and refrigerate for 10 minutes. Remove additional disks and repeat.

Remove a rolled out crust from refrigerator. I like to loosen the perimeter of the crust from the parchment paper either by flipping it over and peeling back the parchment or using a dough scraper or spatula and going underneath the crust. This will make it easier later to pleat the edge of the crust.  

Place half or 1/3 of filling in center leaving about a 2" border. Gently fold the border over the apples, pleating to make a circle.

If you like, sprinkle on top and sides:
2-3 tablespoons sanding sugar

Use a pizza peel to place the crostata in the oven on top of the tiles. Or alternatively, remove pre-heated cookie sheet from oven, place crostata on top and return cookie sheet to oven.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until crust is golden brown and apples are tender. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

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