Thursday, November 5, 2009

Autumn Apple and Cranberry Crostata
















     When one of our best friends came to visit us for a couple of days, I decided to make a fall "comfort" dessert to go along with the chili and cornbread for supper(as we call dinner in the South). What better than apples and cranberries seasoned and sweetened in a fast sugar-coated crust!?

     This was my first time at this recipe, and I made a few changes to from the original. I used apples instead of pears(although pears would also be delicious)and dried cranberries instead of raisins. I just love the taste of slightly plumped dried cranberries! Also, I added a dash of nutmeg to the filling. Nutmeg is just one of those things that I think completes the apples and cinnamon trinity. It's fun to make changes to a recipe to make it your own. If I have one bit of cooking and baking advice it's to play around with the recipe. Although it is important, in baking, to be precise in measuring out your base ingredients such as flour and leavening agents, take the liberty to adjust the spices and add-ins and even extracts to your desire. That is what will keep your baking new and interesting! I love the use of the quick and delicious roll-out pie crust in this dessert. Just let it sit out for about 15 minutes before unrolling so it will not tear. The folding over of the crust gives this dessert a rustic elegance for any occasion. I think we just ate a slice with a cold glass of milk, but a big scoop of vanilla bean ice cream would be over the top!

     *Tip - If you want a to-die-for crust, do an egg wash! So easy...just beat together one egg, and a little milk or water and brush on the crust just before putting it in the oven. This makes the crust extra golden and glisten when you take it out of the oven.

Autumn Apple and Cranberry Crostata

Filling:

2/3 cup sugar

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 c. dried cranberries

1/3 all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

4 cups apples, peeled and sliced 1/2 in. thick

1 rolled out pie crust dough, or your favorite homemade crust recipe


Topping:

3/4 cup walnuts or pecans, coarsely chopped

1 tablespoon sugar


1.Heat oven to 425˚. In a large bowl mix together all the filling ingredients, except apples. Fold in the apples and set aside.

2.Unroll your pie crust onto a large flat baking pan. I used a large cookie sheet.

3.Mound filling on center of the pastry to within 3 inches of edges. Sprinkle nuts over filling and a few additional dried cranberries if you wish. Fold over the edge of the pastry over the filling. Overlap to make about 12 please or whatnot. Just as long as it's all folded in. If it tears a bit, just pinch back together. This dish is rustic and yummy looking after it's baked no matter what. Use your egg wash, if you want, and then sprinkle sugar all over the pastry crust.

4.Bake at 30-35 minutes until crust is golden, covering crust for the last 10-15 minutes to prevent over browning. Cool for 30 minutes (if you want wait that long!!) and cut into wedges.

Makes 8 servings.

1 comment:

Shareen said...

That sounds divine Leslie. I cannot wait to try this.