November 20, 2012

crostata rustica

I have been really enjoying collecting recipes on my pinterest page. Lately, of course, I have excitedly been keeping an eye out for dishes I can use for Thanksgiving. I have come across some real winners for herbed almonds, roasted potatoes, stuffed zucchini, and Nutella sea-salt fudge that I am surely packing when I head to my sister's home on Thursday. One thing I was not planning on bringing was a baked good. But now that's changed thanks to testing out a recipe for a simply delicious rustic apple tart I made last week.

Photos and recipes and been emerging everywhere I seem to look these days of these mouthwatering, handcrafted, crusty little pies. It seemed like it had to be an easy enough venture into pastry making and since I had two apples about to turn bad in my fruit bowl, the time was ripe. I hoped the homey rusticity of this dessert would camouflage any of my mistakes. I looked over a few recipes and complied this one here:

1 stick of butter cut into 3/4 and 1/4
1 cup of flour
1/2 teaspoon of course salt
7 teaspoons sugar
2-3 tablespoons of chilled water
2-3 apples peeled, cored & sliced
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup of brandy, rum or red wine

Start by peeling, coring and slicing your apples. Put the cores and skins in a pot just covered with water and add 1/4 cup of sugar and you liquor (optional). Let this boil down for about 30 minutes until it reduces into a syrup. Once you have that going, start your pastry. Sidenote: you can always put your sliced apples in a bowl of water with lemon juice in it to prevent them from turning brown. For the pastry dough mix together the flour, salt, and 1 teaspoon of sugar. Add the 6 tablespoons of butter in chunks until the mix becomes coarsely crumbled. Add the chilled water one teaspoon at a time and blend into until the dough forms into a smooth ball. Press it into a disc shape and place in the freezer for 15 minutes or the fridge for anywhere from an hour to overnight.
This was the first time I ever made pastry dough in my food processor and I have to confess, it will not be last. I've always enjoyed making it by hand with my grandmother's old pastry cutter but this batch was done instantaneously and resulted in a great texture that was a real dream to roll out. I flattened the dough out to about a 16" rough circle shape and kept the thickness as even as possible. I transfered the pastry to a parchment lined baking sheet and then, starting in the center, laid out my apple slices going in a spiral shape.

After the slices were all fanned out, I roughly folded over the edges of dough. The last step-- brush the remaining two tablespoons of butter (melted) over the tops of the apples and edge of the pie crust and cover that with a sprinkling of 6 teaspoons of sugar. In the oven it goes at 400 degrees for 40 minutes.
And don't forget about the syrup! Once it has reduced, strain the fruit and reserve the remaining liquid. Keep it on top of the stove to keep warm and pour over the sliced tart as it's served. Enjoy!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mmm this looks so delicious tan I´m surely doing it!