A crostatais basically Italian for pie. It sounds cool, doesn’t it? In spanish it makesus think of crusty, a crunchy top, which is exactly what you get from a goodlattice pie, or the bits of cheese that have melted and almost burned in a pan. But the former is what we’ll talk about today.
I should’vestarted making this pie yesterday and letting it cool completely, even refrigerate it for a fewhours, before cutting it, but hey, there were pictures to be taken and a postto be scheduled. A food blogger’s daily issues, having to eat this raspberryapple crostata still warm. Tough day.
Theoriginal recipe for today’s Tuesdays with Dorie challenge called for freshfigs, but of course a month ago they were everywhere, this week not a singlefig remained in the market.
After having some of the best strawberries in the middle of winter, I’m probably expecting too much, huh? Well, last month was also winter,yet there they were waiting, the fresh figs. See? Sometimes restraining myself instead of hoarding is not positive.
Afterdeliberating whether to use dried and candied figs instead of the fresh ones, Isimply peeled the pound of apples lying in my fruit basket, leftovers fromapple crumb bars I made for my neighbour´s birthday.
It feels good to use what’slying around and not keep on buying, said the hoarder. Sometimes I surprise even myself.
The partthat really drew me to this raspberry apple crostata or lattice pie, besidesthe fact that it’s a recipe from Leslie Mackie, of Macrina fame, a superb bakerwhose upside down pear ginger cake I’ve made numerous times and consider one ofthe best cakes I ever had – a recipe I now realize I should post, no doubt – isthe toasted almonds and sesame seeds in the dough. The idea of crunch and seedsin pie dough is simply glorious. Though the regular sweet tart dough and graham cracker dough have a secure seat at my kitchen theater, this one talkedof subtle flavors uniting into one interesting bite.
I made itin the food processor from beginning to end, like I do with all doughs. Itcomes together in a few minutes; it takes more to toast and measure theingredients. And like all pie doughs, it has to be admitted to the refrigeratorbefore rolling it and fitting into the pan. It has to do with using all butterand letting the dough relax after the stress of being swirled in the processor.
And itturned out to be slightly crumbly, like a peanut butter cookie dough sometimesis. But no biggie, just patch up if it breaks while trying to fit it into thepie plate. You won’t have to use pie weights, or pre-bake it, so there will beno shrinking of the dough. The whole thing is assembled with the raw dough andthe cooked ruby colored filling, and then chilled before going into the oven.
What elsecan I tell you about this crostata? Oh yes, it’s as good as it looks. So I hopeit looks good. I have a rustic idea about lattice pies the same way I do forgalettes, like this strawberry one. I don’t mind if there are uneven stripsof dough on top, just like I don’t mind what shape the gallete sides have.Whatever way your strips look, fine.
Unless you’re a neurotic nelly and want tospend time cutting perfect strips and refrigerating them for just the rightamount of time so they don`t get too cold that they brake, but cold enough sothey lie in perfect lines on top of the still warm raspberry apple filling. Ifthat didn’t scare you, go for it. Go ahead and make perfect strips.
Asprinkling of confectioners´ sugar on top is a great way to end this crostata.I didn’t do it here because it was warm, remember?
RASPBERRY APPLE CROSTATA
adapted fromBaking with Julia, by Dorie Greenspan
Makes 8 servings
¾ cup wholealmonds, toasted and cooled
½ cupsesame seeds, toasted and cooled
½ cup sugar
2 cups allpurpose flour
8oz (225g)unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces
1 pound (450g)granny smith apples, about 5, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
½ pound (225g)fresh or frozen raspberries
½ cup lightbrown sugar
¼ cup sugar
2 Tbs flour
Zest of 1lemon
A few Tbslight brown sugar, for sprinkling the dough
Lightlytoast seeds and almonds, being careful not to burn them. Let them cool.
Put both inthe bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade, and add 1 tablespoonof the sugar. Process until medium ground. Add the rest of the sugar, flour,cinnamon and salt and process until well blended. Scatter cold, diced butter ontop and process until it looks like coarse sand.
Mix eggs ina bowl with the vanilla and add to the flour mixture. Process until it startsto come together, about 10 to 15 seconds. Don’t let it turn into a ball. Gatherinto a ball, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour or more.
When youhave the filling cooling, divide the dough into two uneven pieces (2/3 and1/3).
Roll thelarge piece, using additional flour to prevent sticking. Transfer to a 8-inch(24cm) pie plate, with removable bottom is best. Without stretching it, make itfit into the pan, removing excess dough.
Add thefilling. Roll the small piece of dough on a lightly floured surface and cutstrips with a pizza cutter. Make a lattice over the filling, adding strips oneway and then the other. Press where the strips meet the bottom dough to adhere.
Refrigeratefor 30 minutes. About 15 minutes before baking, preheat oven to 350º.
Sprinkle afew tablespoons of extra sugar on top of the lattice, and bake pie for about 40minutes, until golden and the filling is bubbly.
Let cool onwire rack. Refrigerate leftovers.
In a largesaucepan, put all filling ingredients and cook over low heat until butter meltsand fruit begins to release their juices, about 5 minutes. As soon as itbubbles remove from heat.
If notusing immediately, keep refrigerated for a few days.