Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Apple Cranberry Crostata

Apple-Cranberry Crostata
I put this crostata on my "to-make" list months ago, but I was waiting for the right time.  I always think of October and November as pie-baking time, for those of the apple, cranberry, pumpkin, and sweet potato variety.  Sure, I could have made apple pie in July, but there's something about the aromas of an apple pie warming up the house on a chilly day.  This apple pie is easier than most, since the rustic crostata has no pan and requires only a single crust folded up at the sides.

Crostata in Pan
But maybe that was too free-form for me, because I had this compulsion to also try the tart in a square pan.  I don't know. . . squares and clean rows appeal to me.  It tastes good either way, but I like the sugary crust of the round crostata.  A slice topped with some whipped cream is all the better.  The cranberries lend a tartness you don't get in ordinary apple pie.

Cranberry Apple Crostata
Clockwise from top-left: I used the food processor for even slices -- except they weren't so even and I sliced my finger on the blade, so it's the knife next time for me.  I used Granny Smiths and MacIntoshes.  The dough is rolled out into a large circle.  The filling is mounded in the center, and you can dump it all at once or lay out concentric circles.  The square tart is assembled and baked, then topped with apples cut out from dough scraps.  The round crostata has its sides folded up, is brushed with egg wash, dusted with sanding sugar, and ready to go in the oven.

Apple Cranberry Crostata
From The Sono Baking Company Cookbook by John Barricelli

1½ pounds Granny Smith apples (about 3), cored, peeled, and cut into ½-inch-thick slices
1 cup fresh or frozen (unthawed) cranberries
Juice of ½ lemon
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 tbs all-purpose flour
½ tsp coarse salt
½ tsp ground cinnamon
⅛ tsp ground allspice
Pinch of grated nutmeg
½ recipe Pate Brisee, chilled
2 tbs cold unsalted butter, cut into ¼-inch bits
1 large egg, lightly beaten, for egg wash
1 to 2 tbs sanding sugar, for finishing

Set the oven rack in the lower third of the oven.  Preheat the oven to 425°.  Line a baking sheet with a nonstick silicone baking mat (do not use parchment paper, as the crostata will stick to it).

In a large bowl, toss the apple slices with the cranberries, lemon juice, sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough to a 14-inch round and place on the prepared baking sheet.  Mound the apple-cranberry mixture in the center of the dough round.  Dot with the butter.  Fold the edges of the dough round in toward the center to make a 2-inch border of dough all around.  Brush the dough with egg glaze.  Sprinkle generously with sanding sugar.

Bake the crostata for 20 minutes.  Reduce the oven heat to 375°.  Rotate the baking sheet and continue baking until the crust is golden brown and the apple mixture is bubbling, about 20 more minutes.  Let cool fully on the baking sheet before transferring to a platter and serving.


  1. This is gorgeous, I love apples and cranberries together. I am saving this one!

  2. This sounds so good! Thank you so much for the great recipe!

  3. What a great recipe and beautiful as well. Great step by step!

  4. Beautiful looking crostata. Apples and cranberries are one of my favorite fall combos. Love it!!!

  5. What a delicious recipe, I like the add of cranberries to the apples

  6. You know I love apples...and I'm sure that the cranberries added such a wonderful tartness to this sweet dessert. The little apple pastry on your round crostada is just adorable. These both look beautiful!

  7. Mmmm this looks delicious and really simple to throw together!

  8. I've never made a pie before. I really want to try but I don't know why I think it's so hard :)

    I want to make a pie so I can decorate it and also eat it too.

    Your pies look pretty, be careful on the food processor next time. I've had a bad accident when I used to work at a deli shop, it was not fun.

  9. great job with the crostata!! I am all about those great desserts, I just taught my girls to make them! the cranberries are a perfect touch for this time of year!

  10. They are both gorgeous! The cranberries sound like the perfect compliment to the apples!

  11. YUM! This looks gorgeous- i love apples and cranberries together!


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