Apple Crostata Recipe
I really enjoy baking apple desserts. There is something so enticing about the smell of fresh baked apple goods that I just can’t get enough of. Today, I made an apple crostata, which is not your average apple pie.
First, I made an apple pie filling flavored with raisins, cinnamon and vanilla. Unlike last time for my blueberry crostata, I didn't use polenta for the dough, but instead I used regular all-purpose flour, cold butter and ice water. Once the dough rounds are formed, I nested a little of the pie filling in the center, then folded each edge inward. The finishing touch is a brush of egg wash along with a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar.
I usually serve apple desserts with a scoop of vanilla ice cream to top them off. I think the warm apples and cold ice cream complement each other so well. Next time you're planning a tea party or a get-together with your friends or family, serve these apple crostatas and your guests will be in for a treat.
Note: The first picture is when the crostata is formed, right before going into the oven.
Yields: 4 servings4 Fuji apples
½ lemon, freshly squeezed (without pulp)
14 tablespoons granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, freshly grated
3 tablespoons golden raisins
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour, + 1-½ tablespoons for the filling
¼ teaspoon salt
9 tablespoons unsalted butter (cold ), diced
3 tablespoons ice water
1 teaspoon canola oil (or any neutral oil), for greasing the food processor
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon Belgian pearl sugar, coarsely crushed
Making apple pie filling:
Peel, core and dice the apples. The pieces should be about 1-½" in size. Coat them in lemon juice to prevent them from browning.
In a small saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon butter. Add the raisins. Stir well for about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
Place the apples, 10 tablespoons granulated sugar, 1-½ tablespoons flour, vanilla and ½ teaspoon cinnamon in the same saucepan. Toss well. Add the raisins. Cook over medium heat for about 6-7 minutes until the apples are tender. Stir frequently.
For the crostata pastry:
Lightly oil the bowl of your food processor with a silicone brush. Add 2 cups flour, 4 tablespoons sugar and salt. Pulse for a few seconds, then add the cold butter (8 tablespoons). Pulse the mixture until it forms crumbs of butter and flour. Add the ice water. Pulse another 3-4 times until it forms a dough. Do NOT over-mix. Transfer the dough onto a pastry board lined with a sheet of parchment paper. Place a silicone mat (or parchment paper) on top of the dough like a sandwich. With a rolling pin, even out the dough to about ¼ to ½ inch thickness. Create 4 disks about 10-11 inches in diameter. Set aside in the refrigerator until ready to roll.
For the egg wash:
Using a fork, beat the remaining egg with 2 tablespoons of milk. Set aside.
Flip each pastry rounds onto a baking tray lined with a silicone mat. Place about 3-4 tablespoons of the apple pie filling in the center. Fold the dough on each side of the tart creating a "free-form" blossom pocket.
Brush the pastry with egg wash. Sprinkle with Belgian pearl sugar and cinnamon. Chill in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes prior to baking.
Bake for 15 minutes at 375°F, then lower the temperature to 350°F and cook for another 30-35 minutes until golden. If the crostata is not golden enough, you can change the oven setting and broil for 2-3 more minutes.
Allow to cool for about 15 minutes.
Serve warm with a dollop of whipped cream or top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
I used Fuji apples for their very sweet flavor but you can use any other kinds, such as Granny Smiths for a more tart flavor or Gala or Red Delicious apples for a less tart / sweeter flavor.
You could add other dried fruit such as dried apricots, dried pineapple, dried mangoes or dried papaya, candied orange rinds or candied tangerine peels or even nuts (such as slightly toasted almonds).
I usually get a bag of cinnamon sticks at a more reasonable price at the Indian market, compared to the regular local chain stores. I grated it using a Microplane. You can use ready-made ground cinnamon but I think the flavor is more intense when freshly grated.
Belgian pearl sugar is available in specialy stores and online. I love using it when I make waffles and rugelach as well. Belgian Pearl sugar is a coarse sugar that has a less sweet flavor than regular sugar. The larger lumps of sugar keep their shape and don't melt when they're baked.
Instead of making individual desserts, you could also lay the dough in a tart pan and make a large apple raisin pie.Published By: on June 24, 2011.