Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Apple Crostata

Boy, do I have a dessert that is going to make you cheat on your diet!  I know, I know, most of us have a resolution that involves eating healthy, me included, but you will want to stray from the healthy bites for just a moment.

For New Year's Eve I made an Apple Crostata from the Ina Garten's cookbook "Barefoot Contessa Parties! and I noticed that I forgot to post it so that you can see for yourself how outstanding this dessert is.  It's heaven!

A crostata is a rustic pie.  It only has a bottom crust.  How easy is that?  Can't you just smell the scent of baked apples with gooey cinnamon?  Oh, it just fills your house with warm homey smells that remind me of my mom's baking.  I just love quick desserts that are easy to make.  This variation of a down home classic is a winner!

What drew me to this recipe was the method.  This is more of a "french crumble" apple pie.  Ina takes all the spices, flour, sugar, and butter and makes a crumb out of it, then just spreads it over the top of the apples.  So being completely different than most apple tarts, and pies, it was calling my name.   

Wow! Was this apple crostata good!  You just have to forgo the dieting and make this right now...I tell you it is worth cheating for.

Now, I did make a few adjustments from Ina's original recipe. Mainly the apples I used, which were Granny Smith.  I also left out the allspice (don't care too much for it) and I added just a touch of boiled apple cider.  This is completely optional, and it just provides you with a little more apple flavor, but you certainly don't have to have it.  Just so you know, you can purchase it here.

Take some time out to enjoy this scrumptious treat.  You can diet next week!

Apple Crostata (Serves 6)

slightly adapted from Barefoot Contessa Parties! by Ina Garten,

1 pre-made pie crust
1 1/2 pounds Macintosh, Macoun, or Empire apples (3 large) (I used Granny Smith)
1/4 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 Tablespoon boiled cider
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup granulated or superfine sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, diced

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

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

For the filling, peel, core, and cut the apples into eighths. Cut each wedge into 3 chunks. Toss the chunks with the orange zest and boiled cider. Cover the tart dough with the apple chunks leaving a 1 1/2-inch border.

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. Gently fold the border over the apples to enclose the dough, pleating it to make a circle.

Bake the crostata for 20 to 25 minutes, until the crust is golden and the apples are tender. Allow to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.

source: Copyright 2001, Barefoot Contessa Parties! by Ina Garten

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