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5 from 2 votes

Apple Crostata

An easy free form pie with apples, cinnamon and topped with crunchy toasted pecans that is a cinch to make!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr 5 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: pie
Keyword: apple, crostata, pie
Servings: 8 slices
Author: Heather Perine

Ingredients

For the pie crust

  • 1 1/4 cups (150 g, 5 1/3 oz) unbleached all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 stick (4 oz, 113 g) cold unsalted butter , cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons ice water

For the filling

  • 1 1/2 pounds about 3 large sweet tart apples
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon (62 g, 2 1/8 oz) sugar
  • 1/4 cup 50 g, 1 3/4 oz) light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg beaten
  • 1/4 cup (31 g, 1 oz) toasted pecans, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into small pieces

Instructions

For the pie crust

  • Place flour, sugar and salt int the bowl of a food processor or large mixing bowl. By pulsing or using a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour until the butter is the size of of small peas.
  • Sprinkle ice water, a tablespoon at a time, over the flour mixture. Pulse or stir the mixture until large clumps form. When enough water has been added to allow the dough to hold together, transfer to a lightly floured work surface. Gather the dough together to form a ball. Flatten the dough into a disk about 6 inches wide, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before using.

To Make The Crostata

  • Preheat the oven to 400 F and place a rack in the lower third. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  • Generously flour a work surface and place the chilled dough disk on the floor. Dust the top of the dough with flour. Using a rolling pin, roll chilled dough into a circle, turning and flipping the dough as needed with a bench scraper to prevent sticking until the circle measures 14 inches wide and 1/8-inch thick. Starting at one edge, roll the dough around the rolling pin and transfer to baking sheet. Chill crust while preparing the rest of the ingredients.
  • Peel, core, and slice apples in 1/8-inch thick pieces. Transfer apples to a large bowl, and add 1/4 cup sugar, brown sugar, flour, spices, and salt. Toss evenly to coat.
  • Remove the crust from the fridge. Top with the toasted pecans. 
  • Mound the apple filling in the center of the chilled pastry crust, leaving a 3-inch border, and dot filling with the butter. Fold the border up and around the fruit. Working around the border, pinch the dough together to make an attractive pleat. Brush the top of the pleated dough, with the beaten egg and sprinkle border with walnuts and remaining tablespoon of sugar.
  • Bake crostata until is golden brown and bubbly, 40 to 45 minutes. Use a metal spatula to lift the crostata slightly and check the underside of the crust, which should be golden brown like the top. Transfer the crostata to a rack to cool for 15 minutes. Slice and serve warm topped with vanilla icecream and caramel sauce.

Notes

  • Start with COLD ingredients. Cold water, cold butter, some even say cold flour. I have to admit I don't go that far, but I have heard some people that use even cold flour. Why cold? Cold ingredients will result in a flaky pie crust. Cold ingredients will inhibit the formation of gluten. Gluten = tough (or chewiness). Gluten development may be what you want, let's say for bread. But it's the last thing you want for a pie crust! Pie dough should be flaky and tender. And cold butter will then melt less when it is hit by the heat of your oven. Those pockets of butter you see in your dough will result in flakiness in the end.
  • Handle the dough as little as possible. Again, we are aiming for tender flaky crust. So the less we handle the dough the better.
  • Allow your dough to chill and rest for about 30 minutes before you roll it out. Again, you want your dough cold and handled as little as possible. 
Adapted from Sur La Table