Saturday, November 27, 2010

Apple Crostata-November'10 Daring Baker's Challenge

  The 2010 November Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Simona of briciole. She chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ to make pasta frolla for a crostata. She used her own experience as a source, as well as information from Pellegrino Artusi’s Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well.
  I'm getting ready to go out of town for a little girls weekend with my mom and my Runwild Princesses, but I wanted to make sure that I got my Daring Baker's Challenge posted, albeit a short post! This months challenge was very nice. It was simple enough that I was not afraid I would work myself into a psychotic frenzy right before Thanksgiving. Which is always something to be thankful for:)
  Lots of possibilities for a crostata. This Italian dessert, is essentially a dough, called pasta frolla, topped with fruit, jam, pastry cream, etc. The dough,when cooked, is reminiscent of a very crisp sugar cookie. How could one complain to that?!?! 

Apple Crostata
Pasta Frollo:
1/2 c. minus 1 tablespoon [105 ml, 100 g, 3 ½ oz] superfine sugar (see Note 1) or a scant 3/4 cup [180ml, 90g, 3 oz] of powdered sugar
1 and 3/4 cup [420 ml, 235 g, 8 1/4 oz.] unbleached all-purpose flour
a pinch of salt
1 stick [8 tablespoons / 4 oz. / 115 g] cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
grated zest of half a lemon (you could also use vanilla sugar as an option, see Note 2)
1 large egg and 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten in a small bowl
1. Whisk together sugar, flour and salt in a bowl.
2. Rub or cut the butter into the flour until the mixture has the consistency of coarse crumbs. You can do this in the bowl or on your work surface, using your fingertips or an implement of choice.
3. Make a well in the center of the mounded flour and butter mixture and pour the beaten eggs into it (reserve about a teaspoon of the egg mixture for glazing purposes later on – place in the refrigerator, covered, until ready to use).
4. Add the lemon zest to your flour/butter/egg mixture.
5. Use a fork to incorporate the liquid into the solid ingredients, and then use your fingertips.
6. Knead lightly just until the dough comes together into a ball.
7. Shape the dough into a flat disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Place the dough in the refrigerator and chill for at least two hours. You can refrigerate the dough overnight.
 Apple Filing:
3 Granny Smith Apples, peeled & sliced
7 OZ Superfine Sugar
5 OZ Sweet Butter
1-1/4 T Cinnamon
1 tsp Nutmeg
2 T Cornstarch - dissolved in water
3 Crostada Dough - see recipe
Heavy Cream - as needed
Crystallized Sugar - as needed
1. In large sauté pan, melt butter until foaming and add sugar. Cook about 5 minutes until light brown and add the apples.
2. Cook until apples are slightly soft, and add spices - mixing well. add the cornstarch and mix well, cooking one minute.
3. Remove filling and cool completely.

 Assembling and baking the crostata:
1. Heat the oven to 375ºF [190ºC/gas mark 5].
2. Take the pasta frolla out of the fridge, unwrap it and cut away ¼ of the dough. Reserve this dough to make the lattice top of the crostata. Refrigerate this dough while you work on the tart base.
3. To help roll the crostata dough, keep the dough on top of the plastic wrap that you had it wrapped in. This can help rolling the dough and can also help when transferring the dough to your pan. You can also use parchment paper for this. However, you can also roll the dough directly on a work surface if you prefer.
4. Lightly dust the top of the dough and your work surface (if you’re rolling directly on a work surface) with flour. Keep some flour handy to dust the dough as you go along.
5. If the dough is very firm, start by pressing the dough with the rolling pin from the middle to each end, moving the rolling pin by a pin's width each time; turn the dough 180 degrees and repeat; when it softens, start rolling.
6. Roll the dough into a circle about 1/8th inch (3 mm) thick.
7. If you used the plastic wrap or parchment paper as rolling surface, flip dough over the pan, centering it, and delicately press it all around so the corners are well covered. Peel away the plastic wrap.
8. Fill with cooled filing.
9.Bake for 35-45 minutes.


Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

That crostata looks delightful! Well done.



Audax said...

It is great that it worked out so well for you and it does look so cool and yes the crust is like a sugar cookie a good thing,

Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

Manu said...

I agree that the pasta frolla looks like a sugar cookie! So yummy!!! And I love your apple filling!

Kim said...

You did a great job on the crostata. It looks beautiful.

Hope you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Aparna said...

YOur crostata is perfect. I love anything remotely resembling apple pie so this has to be good!

Tickled Red said...

WOW! That looks amazing, I love the way the crust turned out.