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.
This month the challenge was to make a crostata crust and add whatever filling we wanted. I chose to make an apple crostata because it fit with the season. I also made mine free form (not in a dish).
- 1/2 c. minus 1 tablespoon superfine sugar or a scant 3/4 cup of powdered sugar
- 1 and 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- a pinch of salt
- 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- grated zest of half a lemon
- 1 large egg and 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten in a small bowl
- Whisk together sugar, flour and salt in a bowl.
- 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. (you can also do this in a food processor)
- 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).
- Add the lemon zest to your flour/butter/egg mixture.
- Use a fork to incorporate the liquid into the solid ingredients, and then use your fingertips.
- Knead lightly just until the dough comes together into a ball.
- 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 Filling (Ina Garten Recipe)
- 1 1/2 pounds McIntosh, Macoun, or Empire apples (3 large)
- 1/4 teaspoon grated orange zest
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/4 cup granulated or superfine sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, diced
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees
- Flour a rolling pin and roll the pastry into an 11-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Transfer it to a baking sheet.
- For the filling, peel, core, and cut the apples into 8ths. Cut each wedge into 3 chunks. Toss the chunks with the orange zest. Cover the tart dough with the apple chunks leaving a 1 1/2-inch border.
- Combine the flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and allspice in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture is crumbly. Pour into a bowl and rub it with your fingers until it starts holding together. Sprinkle evenly on the apples. Gently fold the border over the apples to enclose the dough, pleating it to make a circle.
- Bake the crostata for 20 to 25 minutes, until the crust is golden and the apples are tender. Allow to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.
I wasn’t too crazy about this one. The apples didn’t cook long enough and the crust was way underdone on the bottom and falling apart on the top. I guess I should have stuck to either the lemon or jam filling recipes that were provided.
But this regular apple pie I made for Thanksgiving was delicious! Instead of making a lattice top crust, I made a crumb topping with flour, butter, and brown sugar. It was a hit with the fam!