While picking apples a few weekends ago, I purchased a bag of Empire apples. Normally I am drawn to the honeycrisp and golden delicious variety, but I’ve read that Empires are very good for baking. A few days later, I decided to make this apple crostata. A crostata is a very rustic, Italian form of pie and I first learned of this dessert in one of Ina Garten’s cookbooks. I’ve made it several times since then and it is a never-fail, crowd-pleaser; much like most of the Barefoot Contessa’s recipes.
To add a nice touch of fall, I made a batch of fresh cinnamon whipped cream to accompany the crostata. This is a great dessert for Thanksgiving or a special end to Pork dinner. I’ve also made this recipe into 4 mini crostatas for a couples dinner party and I simply adjusted it by decreasing the baking time to 15-20 minutes. Any way you choose, you won’t be disappointed. 🙂
Apple Crostata with Cinnamon Whipped Cream
Yield: 10 slices
For the crust:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 pound (1 stick) very cold unsalted butter, diced
- 2 tablespoons ice water
For the filling:
- 4 large Empire apples
- 1/4 teaspoon grated orange zest
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/4 cup granulated or superfine sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
For the whipped cream:
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
Place the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a mixer. Add the butter and mix with the paddle attachment on medium speed until the butter is the size of peas, about 1-2 minutes. With the motor running, add the ice water and mix until just before the dough comes together. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured board, roll it into a ball. Wrap the disk in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Roll the pastry into an 11-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Transfer it to the baking sheet.
For the filling, peel, core, and thinly slice the apples and toss with the orange zest. In a separate bowl, toss the flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Mix in the melted butter and use your fingers to mix until the topping is crumbly.
Place the apples on top of the dough, leaving about 2 inches of border. Sprinkle on the crumb topping and gently fold the borders of the dough over the apples to enclose the dough.
Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack for 20 minutes.
For the whipped cream, place the cream, cinnamon, sugar, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. Refrigerate until you are ready to serve it with the crostata.
Source: Crostata- slightly adapted from the Barefoot Contessa, Cinnamon Whipped Cream- Country Living