Apple crostata

IMG_6027I’ve never made a crostata before and when my mother suggested I make one for my brother’s dinner party, I was a bit hesitant. I don’t make much with pastry, and reminiscing back to my cooking school days (last year haha), I remember it being a non stop game of rolling, refrigeration, rolling, refrigeration and rolling – basically consuming a lot of time.

She suggested I have a look around anyway because she remembers that when she made one, it wasn’t too hard or time consuming. I remembered how good hers tasted and I suddenly felt that a pudding or a cake for dessert, would be too predictable from me. I wanted to try making something new not just for me, but for my family as well.

Luckily, I came across a recipe that I already had all the ingredients for. But the most surprising fact was that it wasn’t going to take me hours to make the pastry and I didn’t even have to stew the apples beforehand. Everyone enjoyed it and especially liked how the apples weren’t soft and mushy, but just tender enough to bite through. The flavours were lovely and the dough was crumbly and crisp. I was surprised how easy it was to impress everyone so much!

Β – INGREDIENTS –

IMG_6016

CRUST

1 1/4 cups plain flour

3 tablespoons caster sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup cold butter, chopped

3 tablespoons cold water

1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence

FILLING

3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and thinly slicesIMG_6013

3 tablespoons plain flour

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons caster sugar

1/2 Β teaspoon cinnamon

TOPPING

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon caster sugar

TO SERVE:Β icecream/cream and icing sugar

– METHOD –

1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Using a kitchen aid (or hand mixer) make the crust. Combine the flour, caster sugar, salt and cold butter until a crumbly mixture results.

2. In small cup, combine the cold water and vanilla essence together. Add to the crumbly butter mixture and mix until it forms a dough.

3. Roll the dough into a ball and flatten into a disc shape. Wrap with cling wrap and place in the refrigerator until the filling has been made.

4. To prepare the filling, make sure the apples are peeled, cored and thinly sliced. A squeeze of lemon juice over them will stop them going brown and also add a nice flavour πŸ™‚IMG_6015

5. Combine the flour, brown sugar, caster sugar and cinnamon in a large bowl. Toss the apples in and coat them well with the mixture.

6. Remove the dough from the fridge and roll out on top a lightly floured surface. You want the dough to roughly be in a circular shape and about 30 cms wide. Transfer this gently to a large baking tray lined with baking paper. If you think you will have trouble with this, get someone to help lift the dough from each side. If it tears a little, simply press it back together – crostatas are rustic and beautifully rough looking πŸ™‚IMG_6017

7. Line the middle of the dough with the apples, leaving about 5 cms each side for the dough to fold in on itself. You can do what I have done here, lining the apples in a circle and filling in the centre. This is only for presentation. You can simply put them anyway you like, as long as it is relatively even around the edges and height wise.IMG_6018

8. Fold the sides over, overlapping the dough where it is needed. Press down slightly to ensure it stays in place when baking.IMG_6019

9. In a small bowl, combing the topping ingredients. Sprinkle over the top. Bake for 20 minutes or until Β the dough is browning around the edges. Remove from oven and serve warm. Alternatively, you can serve it cold too! I let mine cool down and dusted it with icing sugar.IMG_6025

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