Saturday, July 7, 2012

As American As Apple.... CROSTATA?

As a person who is passionate about pie, it's hard not to celebrate the 4th of July with ye old traditional Apple Pie. But rules are made to be broken, and I like my meals to be unexpected, so instead of pie, I did an Apple Crostata (aka a pie, just not in a pie pan). I'm such a rebel! I used my favorite pie crust/quiche crust recipe, I swear it works for everything The filling was adapted from one of my favorite places, Epicurious. It was apple-mania - heaps of Golden Delicious apples, spices, and sugar combined to form a really easy, elegant but rustic looking dessert. If you have the pie crust made and in your freezer like we talked about back on the quiche post (eh-hem), this should take about 1.5 hours, and only .5 of those are working hours. Enlist a friend or your significant other to peel the apples and you're home free! We served it with a homemade caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream. Get the recipe after the jump.

Apple Crostata - Serves 8-10
You will need:
Basic tart/pie/quiche crust recipe (can be doubled or tripled)
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 C all-purpose flour
  • 1 C vegetable shortening *cold + 2-3 T
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 T white vinegar *do not freak out about the vinegar, it makes the crust extra flaky, you can't taste it
  • 1/3 C ice water (plus 2 T if needed) 
Mix flour and salt in a large bowl. Using your fingers, blend in shortening until the mixture reaches a "coarse meal" (large grains of sand) texture. In a separate bowl, mix the egg, vinegar and 1/3 C ice water whisking until combined (you can always add more, but it's hard to remove water!). Pour the mixture onto the flour/shortening. Stir until just combined (this will be a loose mixture). Using your hands turn onto a floured surface and shape into a ball. Divide ball in to two sections comprising 3/4 and 1/4 of the dough and flatten into thick disks. Wrap tightly in saran wrap. Keep in fridge or freeze until ready to use, allowing it to defrost in the fridge for 24 hours before hand.

Apple Filling 
  • 5 large Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, halved and cut into1/6 inch slices (I found 1/4 to be pretty thick)
  • 1/2 Tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2  tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 T  lemon juice  - fresh - as if I should have to say this! Never use that stuff from the plastic bottle
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 T cornstarch
    1/2 tsp fine sea salt 

**** for finishing the Crostata****
  • 1 large egg 
  • 1 T water
  • 4 T raw sugar
    2 T pure maple syrup

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Remove pie crust from the fridge. Peel and slice apples. Place in large bowl with lemon juice and toss. This will also keep them from browning. Mix spices, granulated sugar, cornstarch, salt in a large bowl, and add apples and lemon juice to the mixture. Roll out pie crust on a piece of parchment paper so it's about 1/5 inch thick and an oval shape. Transfer to a baking sheet. Place apples and juices in the center of the crust. leave about 2.5 inches of crust as a border so you can fold it up. I lay the apples flat, overlapping in concentric circles, but you can arrange them any way you want. The apples will decrease in volume as they cook, so don't worry about piling them in. Fold your crust up and around the apples: you can do free form, or fold up and crimp like I did in the picture. You want to form a crust with NO HOLES all the way around the apples so the juices don't leak out. Get creative with it! Beat egg and water in a small bowl. Baste crostata edges with egg wash, and sprinkle with 2 T of the raw sugar. I then sprinkled the apples with the remaining 2 T of raw sugar. Bake for about 50 minutes, and a little longer if needed. I would occasionally press the apples down while it was cooking, to ensure that they weren't drying out on top. Remove from the oven

Caramel sauce
  • 1/4 C water
  • 1 C sugar
  • 3 T unsalted butter
  • 3 T Vanilla Ice Cream or Heavy Cream
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
Start this sauce with about 15 minutes to go on your Crostata. Heat sugar and water over medium high heat until it begins to turn amber in color. DO. NOT. STIR. If you stir, crystals will form, and you will be very sad. Once you have the color evenly throughout, remove from heat immediately.  This will continue to cook a little. Stir in butter, one tablespoon at a time. Stir in ice cream. This sounds strange, but it works. It's just frozen cream, so use heavy cream if it scares you. 

Serve Crostata in wedges with ice cream and caramel sauce on top. Enjoy!

No comments:

Post a Comment