Congrats to the University of Texas Longhorns, National Champions of College Baseball. They had awesome pitching and an outstanding team. We were picked to end up #3 in the Southeast Conference this year. Instead, we finished as the second best team in the whole country. Not too shabby! We are proud of our young Gators.
We were watching the Barefoot Contessa Sunday morning on the Food Channel. This was the fourth cooking show we watched yesterday morning and I was getting antsy to cook something since DH had already rustled up some bacon and blueberry pancakes for breakfast and even cleaned up the kitchen.
When the Barefoot Contessa started making an Apple Crostata, I gave in to the urge to cook. I was fairly certain I had all the needed ingredients and it was a quick and easy recipe. I forgot that I hate to bake (really!) and started gathering ingredients and utensils. I could toss this little open-face tartlet thingie together in 15 minutes and it would be nice to have for Sunday dinner so I got busy.
Here is the recipe as cooked on the Barefoot Contessa's show. I made a few changes as noted below and I took pictures as I made the recipe.
For the pastry: 1 cup all-purpose flour 2 tablespoons granulated or superfine sugar 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/4 pound (1 stick) very cold unsalted butter, diced 2 tablespoons ice water.
For the filling: 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.
Note: I used 2 large Granny Smith apples, a cup and a half of fresh Bing cherries, halved and pitted and a splash of lemon juice to keep the apples white.
For the pastry, place the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse a few times to combine. Add the butter and pulse 12 to 15 times, or until the butter is the size of peas. With the motor running, add the ice water all at once through the feed tube. Keep hitting the pulse button to combine, but stop the machine just before the dough becomes a solid mass. Turn the dough onto a well-floured board and form into a disk. Wrap with plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Flour a rolling pin and roll the pastry into an 11-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Transfer it to a baking sheet.
Note: I used a 12 inch pizza pan instead of 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.
Note: I used freshly grated nutmeg and pumpkin pie spice instead of allspice.
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.
Note: I baked mine for 30 minutes and served it at room temp with whipped cream. Loved the addition of the fresh cherries and I didn't think it needed quite so much crumb topping. Yummy!
Here's the actual photo of the Contessa's creation.