Thursday, January 20, 2011

Apple Cheddar Crostata

I made this Apple Cheddar Crostata for Thanksgiving, and just now got around to sharing.  What I love about it, besides the word "crostata," is how simple and rustic it is.  This is from Martha Stewart Living's Novemeber 2010 issue (of course - what's Thanksgiving without Martha?)  I will admit that I was a bit nervous switching up my classic apple pie for this new dessert with the risky cheddar crust.  In the end I was happy about the change.  The cheddar flavor was definitely there, but not overbearing.  I would give it a try while you are waiting for all the delicious spring fruit to come.

Ingredients for the Apple Cheddar Crostata from Martha Stewart Living, makes one 11-inch crostata:

-1 disk Cheddar Pie Dough (recipe below)
-1 large egg, lightly beaten for egg wash
-Coarse sanding sugar, for sprinkling
-2 tart apples, such as Granny Smith or Gala, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2 wedges
-2 Macintosh apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2 wedges
-1/2 cup granulated sugar
-2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
-1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
-1/4 cup apricot preserves, warmed

Cheddar Pie Dough, makes one disk of dough
-1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
-A couple tablespoons cup ice water
-1/2 cup shredded sharp white cheddar cheese

Begin by making the cheddar pie dough.  I like to do this the night before.  In a food processor, pulse flour and salt until combined.  Add butter, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal, about 10 seconds.  Drizzle a bit of water in at a time (about 1 tablespoon), and pulse until the mixture just begins to hold together (dough should not be wet or sticky).  Add cheese and pulse until combined.  Shape dough into disk, and wrap in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes, up to overnight.  Click here for more tips on perfect pie dough.

Once you dough is chilled, roll out the dough to a 13-inch circle, about 1/8-inch thick, on a lightly floured surface.  Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet.  I gently roll the dough over my rolling pin to transfer to baking sheet.  Refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the filling.  Toss together the apples, sugar, flour, lemon juice, and cinnamon.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Spread the filling over the dough, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border.  Fold edges in to form crust.  Brush with egg wash, and sprinkle with sanding sugar.  Refrigerate until edges are firm, about 30 minutes.
Bake crostata until apples are tender and crust is golden.  Martha suggests 1 hour 20 minutes, but mine was ready in an hour, so watch your time.  Let cool slightly, and then brush apples with apricot preserves.  Serve warm or at room temperature, both are good :)

Click here to see the Roasted Vegetable Lasagna my friend Josh made last year.

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