Apple Crostata

Oct. 4, 2023, noon

When the calendar says it's fall (we live in Houston so the weather doesn't usually feel like fall), I begin to want apple recipes. I am not a huge pumpkin fan, but I love apples.
The following recipe is from Barefoot Contessa and I have made it many, many times. It is like an apple pie, but so much easier. It can be made with any stone fruit – peaches, plums, etc. Don't forget the vanilla ice cream!
So today, we are going to learn how to make a pie crust from scratch.

Makes: Three 8-9” single crust pies


Mix together with a fork:
3 cups flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

Cut in:
1 cup cold lard, cold tallow or shortening (lard is my favorite, tallow is best for
savory pies)

Mix with a pastry cutter or with a fork until your mixture is fine crumbs.
1 cup water (scant)

Make a shallow pond in your crumbs, pour in about half of the water and then gently push the crumb mixture into the pond until they are all consumed by the water, then add some more water and let it gently consume more crumbs, being carful to use gentle folding motions and not kneading and pressing motions.
I like my pie dough to be a tad sticky because I want to use flour to roll it without making it rubbery and tough.
Remember the more you handle pie dough the tougher it gets.


Barefoot Contessa

For the Pastry (2 Tarts – you can freeze one)

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound very cold unsalted butter, diced

For the Filling (1 Tart)
1-1/2 pounds apples
1/4 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (1/2 stick), diced

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 toss quickly with your fingers to coat each cube of butter with the flour. Pulse 12 to 15 times, or until the butter is the size of peas. With the motor running, add the 1/4 cup ice water all at once through the feed tube. Keep hitting the pulse button to combine, but stop the machine just before the dough comes together. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured board and form into 2 disks. Wrap with plastic and refrigerate one of the disks for at least an hour. Freeze the rest of the pastry.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Roll the pastry into an 11-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Transfer it to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
For the filling, peel, core, and quarter the apples. Cut each quarter into 3 chunks. Toss the chunks with the orange zest. 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, pleating it to make a circle.
Bake the crostata for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the apples are tender.
Let the tart cool for 5 minutes, then use 2 large spatulas to transfer it to a wire rack.



Best to use for baking:

Golden Delicious

Best for eating raw and use for baking:

Granny Smith

Best eaten raw:

Red Delicious
Pink Lady