Thursday, October 16, 2014

Apple Cider Crostata

I told you yesterday that I made a crostata.  It was delicious, but, of course, I wanted to make it again with some of my own edits. 

Crostatas are something that I expect to be making often in the future. Unlike a pie, it's very easy to make any size you want.  This is great for me because I like variety.  I don't want to carve away at the same giant dessert for days on end. Also, they are so fast and easy that I think crostatas could be renamed "lazy pies".  Unlike a traditional pie, there is no top crust, and you don't need a special dish to make this free-form goodie...that means one less dish to wash.  Fast recipes are key for me because I do most of my cooking with a toddler wrapped on my leg. 

For this crostata I cooked the filling on the stove top before baking. I didn't want the result to be too greasy, so I didn't add any additional fat. I also didn't want my apples to dry out, so I knew I needed to add some liquid. I opted for apple cider vs water because why not add even more apple flavor?  I also added raisins, but these could be easily left out or swapped for a different dried fruit if you aren't keen on raisins. 

To get the bottom of the crostata thoroughly cooked, you have to be brave and bake it until the top is just shy of being too dark.  I always want to pull things out when they are blonde, and this has resulted in lots of doughy feasts. I'm trying to get better about that. 

I think I've mentioned before that my husband doesn't give out complements to soothe feelings. Well, he raved about this Apple Cider Crostata!  I like his way of being because I know when he's enthusiastic about something it's the real deal. I'm excited to share the recipe, and I hope you please your toughest critics too. 

Apple Cider Crostata

For the pastry:
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 pound (1 stick) very cold unsalted butter, diced
3-4 tablespoons ice water
For the filling:
1/2 cup apple cider
3 large Granny Smith apples, diced
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon or orange zest
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup granulated or superfine sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, diced

For the pastry, place the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl.  Stir to combine. Add the butter and cut in with a pastry cutter until the butter is the size of peas. Add the ice water one tablespoon at a time. Keep mixing until the dough looks moist enough that it could form a ball.  Shape with you hands to form dough into a disk. Wrap with plastic wrap or parchment paper and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Flour a rolling pin and roll the pastry into an 11-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Transfer it to a baking sheet lined with parchment.

For the filling, place apples, cider, raisins, and zest in a saucepan and simmer until the apples are just tender. Drain any extra juices away. Once the apples are cooled, cover the tart dough with the apple mixture leaving a 1 1/2-inch border.

Combine the flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and allspice in a medium bowl. Cut in the butter until the mixture is crumbly. Rub it with your fingers until it starts holding together. Sprinkle evenly on the apples. Gently fold the border over the apples to enclose the dough, pleating it to make a circle.

Bake the crostata for 25 to 30 minutes, until the crust is deep golden brown. Allow to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.

1 comment:

  1. Looks great Amanda! Going to have to try this one soon!