Friday, January 13, 2012
apple crostata AKA flat apple pie party
PRINT RECIPE ONLY
I would love to be a Food Network star but you know who I really want to be? JEFFREY (Ina Garten’s husband)! He hangs out at his house all day, typing on his computer or sitting on his gorgeous front porch reading a book & The Barefoot Contessa brings him delicious & lovingly prepared food three times a day. She pours his wine & butters his bread.
I have several of Ina’s cookbooks & I always have great results with her recipes. She’s not my favorite Food Network star to watch but the lady can cook! Today I made this beautiful Apple Crostata from Ina Garten & it was so much better than apple pie. I increased the ingredients for the cinnamon sugar topping because that's my favorite part.
I'm sure Ina is super nice in real life but her air of sophistication sometimes comes across as snobbish, in my opinion. The way she tells her viewers to “only use the best ingredients” bugs me. Duh, Ina, I'm going to use the “best ingredients” I can afford. But I’m not going to have live lobsters shipped to me to make your seafood bisque. And I don’t have an orchard outside my East Hampton Estates mansion or organic farmer’s markets in my small town. So yeah, if my tomato is a few days past ripe, I’m still going to use it.
Disclaimer: I’m probably just jealous. Ina is giving us under-achieving wives a bad name. We make our husbands go to work everyday & force them to microwave their own leftovers & butter their own bread after a hard day. If we catch them relaxing with a book, we nag that the Christmas lights are still up. Yep, jealous! I want to be Jeffrey!
Apple Crostata AKA Flat Apple Pie
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
2-3 tablespoons ice water
for the filling:
1 1/2 pounds McIntosh, Macoun, or Empire apples (3 large) *see note on step 5
1/4 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, diced
1. For the pastry, place the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse a few times to combine. Add the butter and pulse 12 to 15 times, or until the butter is the size of peas. Add the ice water and keep hitting the pulse button to combine, but stop the machine just before the dough becomes a solid mass.
2. Turn the dough onto a well-floured board and form into a disk. Wrap with plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
3. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
4. Flour a rolling pin and roll the pastry into an 11-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Transfer the pastry to a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
5. For the filling, peel, core, and cut the apples into 8ths. I actually cut my 1/8's in half because I wanted to make sure my apples cooked thoroughly. Cut each wedge into 3 chunks. *I like to use a mix of tart & sweet apples so I used 1 of each: Granny Smith, Fuji & Jonagold. It was perfect! Toss the apple chunks with the orange zest. You won't taste the orange zest at all, but it brightens the flavors of the apples.
6. Cover the tart dough with the apple chunks leaving a 1 1/2-inch border.
7. Combine the flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and allspice in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture is crumbly. Pour into a bowl and rub it with your fingers until it starts holding together. Sprinkle evenly on the apples.
8. Gently fold the border over the apples to enclose the dough, pleating it to make a circle.
9. Bake the crostata for 30 to 40 minutes, until the crust is golden and the apples are tender. I had to cover the edges with foil for the last 10 minutes because they browned too quickly. Allow to cool.
10. Serve warm or at room temperature with a little caramel sundae, dusted with cinnamon on the side.
Note: If you don't have a food processor, just use a pastry cutter. I don't usually use my food processor for pastry because my food processor is small. But this recipe worked perfectly in it & made it SO easy.