December 23, 2020
A crostata is basically an open-faced fruit tart. What’s great about it is that you can make the crusts in advance and put them in the freezer for up to a month until you need them. Also it’s really an easy, unfussy alternative to a formal pie. You get it all. Yummy dough and sweet filling without the fiddling. What could be bad?
This crostata dough recipe comes from my mother. She often makes it in the summer with fresh seasonal fruits. I make this crostata all year round; sometimes with fruit from the freezer, sometimes with fresh fruit. Either way it comes out great and is a crowd pleaser.
Take some risks with the filling: Apple- cranberry, pear-ginger. Or play it safe: strawberry, blueberry, blackberry…
Just give it a try! It’s a winner!
Apple - Cranberry Crostatas
For the Dough (Makes 2 pastry crusts)
1/2 pound (2 sticks) cold, unsalted butter
2 cups unbleached flour
1/4 cup superfine sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup ice water
This recipe works best with very cold butter. Cut the butter into 1/2-inch cubes. Return the butter to the refrigerator while you prepare the dry ingredients and the food processor.
Place the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of the food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse a few times to combine.
Add the butter. Pulse about 15 times, or until the butter particles are the size of small peas.
With the motor running. add the ice water ll at once through the feed tube. Process for about 10 seconds, stopping the machine before the dough becomes a solid mass.
Turn the contents of the dough onto plastic wrap, and form the dough into two 7-inch disks. Refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight. If you don’t use them by the next day you can freeze them for up to 2 weeks.
For the Filling (Enough for both crusts)
4 large apples, any variety
1/2 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon grated orange or lemon zest
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup superfine sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, diced
Preheat oven to 450ºF
Place one disc of dough on a piece of parchment paper. Put another piece of parchment on top of your dough. Roll out the dough in between the two pieces of parchment until it measures about 8-9 inches in diameter. Gently peel the top piece of parchment off your dough. Place in the refrigerator to keep cool while you prepare the second crostata dough.
For the filling, peel, core and cut the apples into 8ths (or 7ths if you are using an apple corer.) Cut each wedge into 5 pieces. Toss the chunks with the zest. Put the apples in the microwave for 1 minute 30 seconds. (This will take some of the crunch out of the apples and allow them to cook fully while baking.) Add the cranberries to the warm apples.
Combine the flour, salt, and cinnamon, in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles fine crumbs.
Mix 1/2 of the flour mixture into the apples and cranberries. Pour the half apples and cranberries onto the one prepared dough, and the remainder onto the second dough. Sprinkle the rest of the flour mixture on top of the apples and cranberries.
Remember, your dough is still on the parchment paper. Gently fold the border of the dough over the apple mixture to enclose the dough, moving around the circle, until all edges are folded in. Transfer the parchment along with the crostata onto a pizza pan or cookie sheet.
Bake the 2 crostatas for 20-25 minutes, until the crust is golden and the apples are tender. Allow to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.