Here is the perfect dessert for the upcoming holidays!
Homemade rustic crostata with sweet and juicy apples, a dash of cinnamon, over a buttery and flaky crust.
Let’s talk dessert. And not just any dessert, but something easy, elegant and deliciously tasty. Something that you will be proud to bring at your dinner table these upcoming holidays. Something that everyone will love, and will hunt you for the recipe.
So how about this homemade crostata?!? Made with sweet and juicy apple slices, sprinkled with cinnamon and drizzled with lemon juice, over a buttery and flaky pie crust. There is nothing more I need to add … Or wait! Think about a just-out-of-the-oven slice of this heavenly dessert, served warm next to a melting scoop of vanilla ice-cream. Now I’ve said enough!
I can assure you that every bite of this dessert will be followed by lots of “mmmmm” little noises. Well, if you are sitting next to me, you’d hear that for sure 🙂
It’s apple season right now, so why not take advantage of it? Because, let’s face it, your dessert can only be as good as the apples that you are using! You can now find delicious apples. McIntosh and Pink Lady are some of my favorite, but also Granny Smith and Golden Delicious (easier to find all year round). Sweet, perfectly tart, juicy and oh-so flavorful.
What makes this recipe a winner is how easy, delicious and elegant it is. A beautiful and impressive looking rustic tart, as delicious as a traditional apple pie, just easier and quicker to prepare. I made it from scratch, without using a food processor or a mixer. You are welcome to use these gadgets, and it will make the job a little faster for you. Everything you will need for this recipe is already in your kitchen. So, let’s bake!!
Here is a video recipe for you:
See how easy it is?? So really, why wait for the holidays to bake this dessert, when you can make any day special with this apple crostata?!?
This recipe first appeared on Cooking with Manuela in November 2015
Ingredients: to make a 10 inch (25 cm) tart, serves about 8
For the crust:
- 1 and 2/3 cups (250 gr) of all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup (50 gr) of corn meal
- 3 tablespoons (45 gr) of sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- grated zest of one lemon (organic)
- 1 and 1/2 sticks (6 oz, 170 gr) of unsalted butter, chilled
- about 6 tablespoons (85 ml ) of chilled water
For the filling:
- 1/4 cup (50 gr) sugar
- 1 tablespoon of cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, plus a bit to sprinkle on top (optional)
- 3 large apples, about 1.5 lb (680 gr) – I used McIntosh but you can also use Pink Lady, Granny Smith or your favorite.
- 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, about the juice of one medium lemon
- 3 tablespoons of butter, melted
- 1 beaten egg, for glaze (or milk if you prefer)
- sugar crystals for decoration
Preparation time: about 90 minutes
1. Let’s start by preparing the crust. Combine the flour, the cornmeal, the sugar, salt and lemon zest in a large bowl.
2. Add the butter, and using the tip of a knife, cut the butter and reduce it to small (pea-size) pieces or as small as you can. If you have a processor, the job is a lot faster. Pulse only for a few seconds. Do not over mix.
3. Add 4 tablespoons of water. Mix with a spoon at first (your fingers next if necessary) until the dough comes together. Add one or two more tablespoons of water if needed. I used about 6 tablespoons total (85 ml) but that can vary.
4. Move the mixture to a large piece of plastic wrap. Make it into a ball. Wrap it in plastic and chill in the refrigerator for at least half hour, or while you prepare the stuffing. You can also prepare the dough a day ahead and leave it in the refrigerator overnight.
5. Preheat the oven to 400º F (205º C) while you prepare the filling. In a bowl mix the sugar with the cornstarch and the cinnamon. Peel, core and cut the apple in slices. Add the apple slices to the bowl. Mix and add the lemon juice and the melted butter. Coat all the slices with the mixture.
6. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle the top with flour, and turn the dough often to make sure it doesn’t stick to the counter. Roll to about a 14 inch (36 cm) circle (diameter). Place it on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper, helping yourself with your rolling pin.
7. Distribute the apple slices on the dough. Leave an edge of about 1.5 inches. You can place the slices neatly like in my picture. Or just dump them all on the crust and distribute evenly. Brush the inside edge with the beaten egg.
8. Fold the edge over the fruit as shown in my picture. If the dough breaks at any point, don’t worry! Pinch the dough to seal.
9. Brush the border (outer part now) with more of the beaten egg. Sprinkle with sugar crystals and more cinnamon if you wish.
10. Bake at 400º F (205º C) for about 40 minutes until golden on top. Let the crostata cool a little bit before cutting. Serve at room temperature, or warm … and how about with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream?!