Monday, October 11, 2010

Apple Crostata for Thanksgiving Dinner

I hope that everyone who celebrated had a fantastic Thanksgiving weekend!  My contribution to dinner was this fabulous Apple Crostata.
I'm not a huge fan of pumpkin pie, so I try to ensure an alternative dessert for myself.  My mom usually makes a chocolate pie, but this year I had something else in mind.  I didn't want to make another pie, so I opted for an apple crostata instead.  It's kind of like an open-face apple pie.  A pie pizza. (But not a pizza pie).

The recipe comes from the always fantastic Ina Garten.  I love her.  (And I love 30 Rock even more now for mentioning her in the season premiere--  even though last week's episode was decidedly subpar).  64 positive reviews accompanied this recipe, so I felt pretty confident about making it, although you can never trust the unwashed masses.  Fortunately, in this case, they were right!  The pastry alone is one of the best I've made, and the filling tastes just like apple pie.  I think it's safe to say it will be a staple from now on.

What did you make for Thanksgiving?  Or, if you've yet to celebrate, what will you be making?

Apple Crostata Recipe
from Ina Garten

For the pastry:
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated or superfine sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 pound (1 stick) very cold unsalted butter, diced
2 tablespoons ice water

For the filling: 
1 1/2 pounds McIntosh, Macoun, or Empire apples (3 large) (I used Granny Smith)
1/4 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup granulated or superfine sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, 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 pulse 12 to 15 times, or until the butter is the size of peas. With the motor running, add the ice water all at once through the feed tube. Keep hitting the pulse button to combine, but stop the machine just before the dough becomes a solid mass. Turn the dough onto a well-floured board and form into a disk. Wrap with plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

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 8ths. Cut each wedge 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 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.


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