For Thanksgiving this year I did not make Apple Pie. I’ve never been the biggest fan of Apple Pie. I’m actually not the biggest fan of making any kind of pie that requires two crusts (a top and a bottom). Though I consider myself a pretty adept crust maker, it’s still a laborious and nerve inducing process. I especially dread rolling out the dough and then transferring it to the pie tin. While I roll, Luke watches carefully and provides words of encouragement. Together, we flip the crust a couple times, re-flouring the surface between flips, to avoid sticking. We roll the dough up onto the rolling pin at the end to transfer it to the pie tin. We patch up the sides; the crust is never perfect. It’s always a relief when it’s in the tin. Having to do the process all over again with the top…oof.
This Thanksgiving, I avoided all this crust related stress by making Claudia Fleming’s Apple Crostata instead. Crostata is the galette’s Italian relative. Like the galette, which we enthusiastically promoted this summer, the crostata is a rustic, freeform tart that allows for lots of improvisation. It can be a circle or a rectangle. You can lay your fruits flat or pile em’ on. For those of you who believe replacing Apple Pie with Apple Crostata is sacrilege, rest assured. Not only is this crostata just as delicious and easier to make than pie, its crumble topping adds a traditional touch.
- 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 TBS sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, chilled and cut into small cubes
- 3-5 TBS ice cold water
- 1 egg, beaten (for egg wash)
- raw sugar (for garnish)
- 6 to 8 apples, peeled and sliced (you can do a mix of tart and sweet, if apples are on the large side 6 will be enough)
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 1/4 tsp cinammon
- 1/4 tsp lemon zest
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
Crumble (we halved the original recipe)
- 2 TBS brown sugar
- 2 TBS granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- dash of cinnamon
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- Start by making your crust. Combine the flour, sugar, and salt and blend. Add the cold, cubed butter. You can do this in a food processor, pulsing 5-10 times to combine. You want the mixture to look pebble-y. We do this with a pastry cutter. Add water, 1 TBS at a time, continuing to pulse (or mix/cut) until incorporated. You want to add just enough water so that the dough sticks together when pinched between your fingers. Gather the dough into a ball and transfer to a sheet of plastic wrap. Wrap and flatten dough into a disc then put into the fridge. Let dough chill for at least 1 hour. You can freeze for up to 1 month.
- While dough is chilling, make the filling. In a large bowl toss together apples, brown sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, zest, and filling. Let sit.
- You should still have time to make your crumble before your dough is ready. In a small bowl, mix together sugars, flour, and cinnamon. Drizzle in the melted butter and mix with a fork or hands until crumbly. The crumbs should be smaller than 1 inch.
- Heat oven to 375°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove dough from fridge. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a roughly 14-inch circle. Transfer to the baking sheet.
- Arrange filling in the center of the dough. It will seem like a lot of apples, you want a sizable mound. Try to leave a 4-inch border all around. Brush the exposed dough border with the egg wash and fold edges over the filling, making pleats. Pour remaining juices into the crostata. Brush the folded dough with the egg wash and sprinkle with raw sugar. Cover exposed fruit with crumble, pressing down a bit to make sure it sticks.
- Bake crostata for about 40 to 50 minutes, until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbling. Remove and let cook before serving. Extra delicious with ice cream!