Thursday, October 11, 2012
Maple-Glazed Apple Crostata
I always look forward to baking an apple pie in the fall. The oven warms the house, and fills it with the smells of cinnamon and nutmeg. My favorite is a traditional double-crust apple pie, but it's kind of a production. So when I don't have all day, I turn to open-faced pies like this crostata. I had made an apple crostata previously with cranberries, but plain ol' apple is usually what I want. This version is packed with apples. The recipe calls for just dumping them all onto the dough, but I wanted a fancier look. Unfortunately, shingling the apples instead of dumping them into one big mound meant not all of them fit, plus they were so packed in that the slices became vertical instead of slanted. No matter, still delicious. My aesthetic quibble was actually the crust edges -- I didn't think the crostata needed a 3-inch border like the recipe called for so I went with 2 inches, and you can see it came up short. But like I said, still delicious.
And it still managed to wow a crowd. With the leftover apples that didn't fit, I made a halved recipe for the crostata, resulting in this smaller one we ate at home. I used gala apples, which have great flavor and hold their shape well during baking. And the bulk bag of organic galas cost the same per pound as the loose galas. My one disappointment with this recipe was that you don't really taste the maple syrup you brush on the apples at the very end. I suggest skipping that step, or using more syrup and then telling me how that turned out.
From Bon Appetit
2½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp fine sea salt
1 tsp sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
½ cup sugar
2 tbs cornstarch
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
Pinch of fine sea salt
2½ pounds Golden Delicious apples (about 5 large), peeled, halved, cored, cut into ¼-inch-thick slices (about 7 cups)
2 tbs fresh lemon juice
1 large egg
2 tbs raw sugar (I used sparkling white sugar)
2 tbs pure maple syrup
Vanilla ice cream, vanilla gelato, or sweetened whipped cream
Place flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor; pulse to blend. Add butter; pulse just until coarse meal forms. Add ¼ cup ice water; pulse until dough forms clumps, adding more ice water by teaspoonfuls if dough is dry. Gather dough into a ball; flatten into a disk. Wrap dough in plastic and chill 1 hour. Crust can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled. Allow to stand at room temperature for 15 minutes to soften slightly before rolling out.
Preheat oven to 400°. Place a large sheet of parchment paper on a work surface. Roll out dough disk on parchment paper to 15-inch round (some of dough will extend over edges of paper).
Whisk sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a large bowl. Add apples and lemon juice to bowl with sugar mixture; toss to coat apples evenly.
Transfer apples to crust, mounding in center and leaving a 3-inch plain border. (If halving the recipe, leave a 2-inch border.) Scrape out any juices from bowl and drizzle over apples. Fold crust edges up over outer edges of filling, crimping dough and folding and pleating as needed to fit. Slide crostata and parchment onto a large rimless baking sheet. (I used a rimmed baking sheet and recommend it, since the juices bubble over and will make a mess in your oven.) Crack egg into a small bowl. Using a fork, beat egg just to blend. Brush crust edges with beaten egg, then sprinkle crust with raw sugar.
Place crostata in oven and bake until juices in center are thick and bubbling, about 1 hour (reduce by 10 minutes for halved recipe.) Let cool for 5 minutes. Run a long, thin knife or offset spatula around edges of crostata to loosen from paper and to prevent it from sticking to the paper. Transfer baking sheet with crostata to a wire rack. Brush apples generously with maple syrup. Let crostata cool.
Cut crostata into wedges. Place wedges on plates. Serve with ice cream, gelato, or whipped cream.