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Spiced Apple Crostata

Serves: 1 (9-inch) crostata

Ingredients:

  • 1 recipe Flaky Pie Dough (Recipe followed)
  • 1 ½ pounds (about 3 large) sweet-tart apples
  • ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, divided
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ½teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • Vanilla bean gelato, for serving

  • Flaky Pie Dough (makes 1 (9- or 10-inch) pie crust):
  • 1 ¼ cups (6 ¼ ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ½teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons ice water


Procedures:

In Italian, “crostata” means tart. This free-form fruit tart requires no special pan and is beautiful in its rustic simplicity. It is a versatile dessert that’s terrific with any seasonal fruit.

Preheat oven to 400°F and place a rack in the lower third. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.

Generously flour a work surface and place the chilled dough disk on the flour. Dust the top of the dough with flour. Using a rolling pin, roll chilled dough into a circle, turning and flipping the dough as needed with a bench scraper to prevent sticking, until the circle measures 14 inches wide and ⅛ inch thick. Starting at one edge, roll the dough around the rolling pin and transfer to baking sheet. Chill crust while preparing the rest of the ingredients.

Peel, core, and slice apples in ⅛-inch thick pieces (for apples with a rosy tender skins, leave unpeeled for an extra pop of color and texture). Transfer apples to a large bowl, and add ¼ cup sugar, brown sugar, flour, spices, lemon juice and salt; toss to evenly coat.

Mound the apple filling in the center of the chilled pastry crust, leaving a 3-inch border, and dot filling with the butter. Fold the border up and around the fruit. Working around the border, pinch the dough together to make an attractive pleat. Brush the top of the pleated dough with beaten egg and sprinkle border with almonds and remaining tablespoon of sugar.

Bake crostata until crust is golden brown and bubbly, 40 to 45 minutes. Use a metal spatula to lift the crostata slightly and check the underside of the crust, which should be golden brown like the top. Transfer crostata to a rack to cool for 15 minutes. Slice and serve warm, topped with vanilla bean gelato.

For the dough: This recipe produces a simple, lightly sweetened crust that can be used with all types of fillings. You can make the dough ahead of time, wrap in plastic and refrigerate up to 2 days, or freeze for 1 month.

Place flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor or large mixing bowl. By pulsing or using a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour until the butter is the size of small peas.

Sprinkle ice water, a tablespoon at a time, over the flour mixture. Pulse or stir mixture until large clumps form. When enough water has been added to allow the dough to hold together, transfer to a lightly floured work surface. Gather the dough together to form a ball. Flatten the dough into a disk about 6 inches wide, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before using.

Tested and perfected in the Sur la Table kitchen

 
 
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