Thursday, October 3, 2013

Apple Crostata

Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon by Queen
Being lazy.  Sometimes it's a good thing!  It's what we call it when we don't feel like going to alot of trouble over something.  For instance, "I was feeling lazy so I just popped something into the microwave!"  We've all said something to that effect.  I wanted a song that would reflect that attitude and it gave me the opportunity to tap into one of my all-time FAVORITE albums - A Night At the Opera by Queen!  Sheer brilliance.  I won't tell you just how recent it was that I realized I had been singing the wrong lyrics to this song.  Let's just say woohoo for being able to Google lyrics, eh?  I had been singing, rather loudly I might add (as is the only way to sing most of this album), that "Fridays I go painting in the N-U-U-U-U-U-D-E!!!" Didn't quite catch that subtle "V" at the end, making the more logical and correct lyric - "Fridays I go painting in the L-O-O-O-U-V-R-E!"  Ah, well,  we have all done this - and you have to admit that, being Queen, they could very well have said the nude thing, too!  Our family has some hilarious lyrical goofs.  What are some of yours?

It's a busy time of year.
The holiday rush has already seized me.
I have commitments and projects lined up, ready for me to knock them all down
as we gallop forward toward the end of the year.

I'm not just talking Christmas.
That's why it's called the "holiday" rush or season.
All the holidays between now and the end of the year require a degree 
of planning and preparation.
At least in my world they do!

And, for this reason, I have been looking for ways to be lazy in my food prep.
So that I can prepare delicious homemade delights for friends and family,
I look for ways I can make shortcuts here at home.
And this Apple Crostata is one of those.
I could make it even quicker if I used a store-bought crust -
but that ain't likely to happen in this house!
Ummmmmm - nope!
Just gave the idea of purchasing a pie crust in the refrigerated section of the grocery store a "walk-through" in my head and it just didn't feel right.
I love making pie dough too much!
And I make awesome pie crust!
So that's one step that I, personally, won't go lazy on.
But you should totally feel free to do so!

A crostata is a lazy pie.  
In the culinary world, when you want to do something that isn't "polished" you call it "rustic."
A crostata is definitely a rustic dish.
You aren't fussing with a pretty crimped edge. 
There is no top, it's left open.
You basically, roll out (or unfold) the dough, pile some peeled apples tossed with sugar, flour, and cinnamon into the center, then fold up the edges over the apples.
Bake it and eat it!

You get all the lovely flavor profiles of an apple pie in a fraction of the time!
You will have plenty of time to go painting in the n-u-u-u-u-d-e!
(If you didn't read the intro song paragraph, now would be a good time to do so!)

Apple Crostata
Printable Recipe Card
one single crust pie shell
3 - 4 large apples
1/3 c. brown sugar
1/3 c. granulated sugar
1/4 c. flour
1 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. nutmeg
1 T. butter
1/4 c. sliced almonds
8 oz. mascarpone cheese
1/4 c. powdered sugar

For my pie dough, I used my crust recipe in my post for Apple Ginger Pie, which makes a double crust.  I'm having a savory pie next week for dinner, so I just used half the dough for this crostata and then froze the remaining dough for the pie next week.  

Preheat the oven to 400F.

Peel your apples and slice them into 1/4" slices.  Toss them in a bowl with the sugars, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Roll your dough out into a circle that's 1/4" thick - no need to be super fussy about how evenly round it is - we're going rustic, remember?!  You can make it square if you want!  Or a triangle!  I used a pizza stone to bake mine, but you can place your dough on a cookie sheet just as well.  I'd line it with parchment, though.

I made a creamy mascarpone bed for my apples, but there's no need to at all!  If you do decide to use the mascarpone, just mix together the mascarpone and powdered sugar and spread it out over the dough, leaving 2 - 3 inches bare at the edges.
Pile your apple mixture over top of the mascarpone, or just over the plain pie dough, leaving that 2 - 3 inches free at the edges.  Spread the slices out so they are somewhat evenly distributed.
Fold up the edges, making pleats where you need to.  Make sure you don't pull too hard (like I did) and make small holes in the bottom of the dough.  Hence, the leaking pie dilemma.  It's ok - it still tastes wonderful!

Break the butter into smaller pieces and dot the top of the apples with them.  Sprinkle the almonds over the top as well.  You can sprinkle decorator sugar over the pie dough edge if you like.
Bake for 30 - 35 minutes - until the crust is dark golden brown and the apples are soft.
See?  It's gorgeous - and  delicious - even though there was some leakage!  Let cool, grab a fork and dig in!

1 comment:

  1. Now that sounds down right yummy and Peach, Concord Grapes, and Apples I really miss from up North. Especially Uncle Bruce's Grandma's Northern Spy's.
    I'm going to try this but Mr Fussy will not get the almonds. Great Recipe
    Aunt Linda