Saturday, October 11, 2008

Rustic Apple Crostata

What do you do when you have about 20 lbs. of apples?
Make apple pie, of course!

When I saw this recipe for a Summer Fruit Crostata in one of my Barefoot Contessa cookbooks, I decided to try to modify the recipe and make it with apples instead. It came out awesome.
First, you'll need to make the pastry. If you don't feel ambitious enough to make it from scratch, then you can go buy some. But, it won't be as good!
Her recipe for the dough makes enough for 2 crostatas, so you can make 2 and give one to that friendly neighbor of yours, or send one over to your mother, who offered to take your Bozo's for an overnight,....or freeze the second one for another use.
You will need 2 sticks of cold, unsalted butter.
Cut the butter up into small cubes & place back in the fridge to keep it cold until you are ready to use it.

Spoon some flour into a one cup measure,

use an offset spatula, or a knife,
to level,
and add it to the bowl of a food processor, fitted with the steel blade attachment. Do that again, so that you have 2 cups in there.
If you don't own a food processor, you can use a pastry blender, or the tines of a large fork to cut in the butter.
Add a 1/4 cup of sugar,
a 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt,
and pulse a few times to combine.
Get some ice water ready on the side.
Add your cubed butter to the bowl,
toss to coat evenly with the dry ingredients,
and pulse 12-15 times,
or until the mixture is coarse, and the butter pieces are no bigger than a pea.
Measure out 3 ounces (or 6 tablespoons) of the ice water,
and with the processor running, add it to the feed tube all at once.
Pulse several more time, or until the dough is just coming together.
Dump it out onto a well floured surface.,
and form into a ball.
Cut it in half,
and form each half into a flat disc.

Wrap the two discs separately in plastic wrap, and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 450 degrees, and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Peel 2 lbs. of apples. Firm, tart apples work best for granny smith's.
Here we are using Cameo apples.
Core, and dice into fairly uniform chunks and add to a large mixing bowl.
To them add the zest of one lemon,
the juice from a half a lemon,
one tablespoon of sugar,
one tablespoon of flour,
some ground nutmeg (a pinch, or so),

3/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon,

and an 1/8 teaspoon of allspice. Mix it all up.
When the dough is done chilling, get a work surface prepared by dusting it with flour.
Roll the dough out into a large circle, or circle-like shape, in this case.
Rotate the dough around between rolls to keep it a fairly uniform thickness. It should be about 11 inches wide.
Lay it onto your baking sheet.
Now, for the topping...You can use a bowl & your fingers for this, or a couple forks. We used the food processor again.
Cube up a 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) of cold, unsalted butter.
Put a 1/4 cup sugar,
and a 1/4 cup flour in the bowl.
Add the butter, and pulse until crumbly.
Pour it into the bowl & work it with your fingers until it starts to hold together in large chunks.
Lick your fingers clean.
Pour the apple mixture onto the center of the dough, leaving a border.
Crumble the topping over the apples,
and fold in the edges.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown, and the filling is bubbling.

Let it cool on the baking pan for 5 minutes & then using a couple large spatulas, transfer it to a serving plate,
and dig in.


Emily said...

You have to make that in Jackson...Dad loves apple crisp.

Emily said...

Actually, I think Dad loves apple crisp. Maybe it was date nut cookies or rice pudding that Dad loves. Well I love it.

Anonymous said...

i think your dad probably does love apple crisp.

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