It is so rewarding when I am feeling a little brave and try to make a bread for the first time. Baguettes were a big deal the first time, and bagels were fun, too. In the upcoming year, as I am choosier about eating breads, I hope to make breads more and start a bit of a collection of tricks I can store in my baking bag. Today, we will share a crostata.
This is not a difficult pastry to make. It’s rustic, warm comfort food. In case ya didn’t know, a crostata is a rustic Italian pie, usually filled with fruits like cherries or peaches, sweet ricotta cheese or anything else you like. It’s pretty but not perfect. It’s humble but beloved. Let’s make one!
I learned the basic way to make the crostata dough from Joann from Alforno Restaurant via Martha.
Then, thinking a little more fiber and all of that would be helpful, I’ve changed it up a little using whole wheat flour. Here we go.
Honey wheat apple crostata
This crostata is rustic, hearty and Italian comfort dessert at its best. The baked apples and wheat flour dough bake to a golden brown, giving off a “honey” taste in each bite. Enjoy on a cold winter night or a snowy morning in.
Makes 2 small (7-inch) crusts or 1 large crust
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup white sugar
2 sticks butter, cut into small cubes
1/3 cup cold water
Step one: In a food processor, pour in flours, salt and sugar. pulse a few times to combine. Then, add the butter and pulse until crumbled. Next, add cold water while pulsing. Dough will be very crumbly.
Step two: Lay down flat a piece of plastic wrap. Pour dough onto the plastic wrap and wrap up. Push dough together into a disk shape. Let it sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes (or up to 3 days).
Step three: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Take the dough out of the fridge and lay on a floured surface. Roll out to a large circle or square. (Remember, this is rustic. Put your perfectionist hat aside and have fun!) Transfer dough to a nonstick baking sheet.
2 apples of any variety, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup white sugar
1 TB flour
Step four: In a medium bowl, combine the apples, cinnamon, sugar and 1 TB flour. Pour the filling onto the center of the crostata dough, leaving 1 to 1 1/2 inches of dough clear around the edges. Starting with one side, roll up and over, folding the next side over the former side (see photo). Be sure at least half of the fruit is exposed.
Step five: (optional egg wash: Beat an egg in a bowl and use a brush to lightly brush all areas of the dough exposed.) Bake at 375 degrees for one hour. Serve warm for breakfast or dessert (with vanilla or cinnamon ice cream).