A crostata is an Italian baked tart. It’s a rustic dessert made with seasonal fruit wrapped in a simple pastry dough. It’s also an uncomplicated dessert that doesn’t require special baking technique or training. A crostata is an easy way to introduce pie baking to a novice baker.
Since apples are in season, an apple crostata is the perfect way to showcase this seasonal fruit. Use a mixture of apples for different flavors and textures in this homey dessert.
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Makes 8 servings
1⅓ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
10 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, diced
4 tablespoons ice water
2 large Gala apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
2 large Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
½ cup sugar
3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
⅛ teaspoon ground allspice
Pinch kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1 large egg plus 1 teaspoon water, for eggwash
Turbinado sugar, for sprinkling
Apple jelly, melted for brushing
To make the pastry, place the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Pulse three times to combine. Add the butter and pulse 12 to 15 times until the butter is about the size of peas. With the motor running, pour in the ice water all at once through the feed tube. Pulse to combine, stopping just before the dough becomes a solid mass. Transfer the dough to a well-floured board and shape into a disk. Wrap the dough with plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the pastry into a 12-inch circle. Transfer it to a baking sheet.
To make the filling, toss the sliced apples with the lemon juice, sugar, 3 tablespoons flour, cinnamon, allspice, salt, and vanilla. Arrange the apples on top of the dough, leaving a 2-inch border. Pour any liquid remaining in the bowl over the apples. Dot with the butter and fold the edges of the dough over the apples. Brush the edges with eggwash and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
Bake the crostata in the center of the oven until the crust is golden, about 1 hour. Cover the crostata loosely with foil after 30 minutes if it darkens too quickly. Brush the apples with the melted apple jelly. Cool the crostata to room temperature and serve.