The epitome of American fruit. Way back in kindergarten, I’m pretty sure apples were the first fruit to come to mind since they were the easiest to draw. You know, a Crayola marker smear of a roundish red circle and a spring green stem with a leaf. Standard but legendary.
But real apples are just as simple to use and devour too.
Besides, these fruits come in tart, crisp, sweet, juicy, crunchy and sour varieties all year long.
Now, I’ve started to enter the realm of fruitiness. There’s something both comforting and satisfying about indulging in a dessert made of warm tender fruit on a stormy night. The spicy yet welcoming aroma engulfs you when you enter the kitchen. The humming oven blocks out the sound of trees waving frantically outside beyond the warmth of your house.
I pat myself on the back for choosing to make an apple crostata when my family went over to another family’s house for dinner a few days ago. Apple crostata is incredibly impressive but no one knows that you had time to listen to rock out to Disney songs on Pandora at the same time.
There’s something so therapeutic about rolling pastry and cutting paper thin apple slices. There’s such art and such detail that can go into baking depending on what you choose to make.
Simply rolling out a buttery blanket and placing it to rest in the fridge gives you a fancy dessert in a matter of minutes with minimal effort.
And did I mention that you’re making a crostata? It’s like a rustic version of an apple pie hand-molded on baking sheet. Plus, this crostata is a little bit lighter than an apple pie and won’t make you feel like you became Santa Claus overnight.
Fun fact: Crostata = Galette. Crostata is a free-form pastry in Italian and galette has French roots.
How can you go wrong with easy, impressive and piquant?
Yields 8 generous servings
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks)
3 tablespoons ice water (may need more)
2 pounds apples, peeled or unpeeled (4 large)
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
1/4 + 2 tablespoons cup flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) cold unsalted butter
Honey Lemon Glaze
1 1/2 teaspoons honey
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon hot water
- Place flour, sugar, salt and cold butter in a medium sized bowl (this can also be done in a food processor). With a pastry cutter, cut in the butter into pea sized chunks while incorporating dry ingredients. Add 3 tablespoons ice water all at once and combine into a solid dough ball.
- Flatten into a disk on a lightly floured board, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Heat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Line a baking sheet or rimmed baking pan with parchment paper or use a silicon baking mat.
- On lightly flour board, roll out pastry into a disk that fills up the width of the pan (for me, this was 13″)
- For the filling, slice apples into thin slices by coring apples and cutting into quarters. Cut each quarter into three more slices.
- Place sliced apples in a bowl and toss with orange zest. Lay out the apple slices in the center of the pastry leaving a 1 1/2 inch border.
- Combine flour, sugar, salt and spices in a small bowl or measuring cup. Cut in butter until the mixture is crumbly.
- Make glaze by adding all ingredients together in another small bowl until it forms a spreadable syrup.
- Brush glaze over the apples and top with sugar topping.
- Pleat the crust in a circle and fold over the apples to seal in the filling.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes in preheated oven. Serve warm with ice cream or serve cooled to room temperature.
Adapted from Ina Garten on Food Network
Wishing happiness to your taste buds!