Sunday, 28 November 2010

November Daring Bakers Challenge: Crostata!

The 2010 November Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Simona of briciole. She chose to challenge the Daring Bakers' to make pasta frolla for a crostata. She used her own experience as a source, as well as information from Pellegrino Artusi's Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well.

I have to say, I was not very excited about this challenge. I love making pies -but I tend to stick to my very reliable pastry recipe and prefer not to experiment with new ones. I also felt that I wanted something more exciting than a tart. After completing the challenge, I have to say that I am SO glad that I did it. The pasta frolla was AMAZING and is now a permanent addition to my recipe collection. This recipe for it turned out great-it seemed a perfect consistency-no sogginess or crunchiness. I chose to use a Martha Stewart apple tart filling which was also very good. This combination resulted in a wonderful dessert that was perfect for a cold November evening.

Apple Crostata with Pasta Frolla


For the Pasta Frolla

1/2 c. minus 1 Tbsp caster sugar
1 3/4 c. all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick (4oz.) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg and 1 large egg yolk, slightly beaten

For the Apple Filling:

4 apples (such as Braeburn), peeled, cored and sliced into 1/2-in. thick wedges
1/2 c. minus 1 1/2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp all purpose flour
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Optional: 1/4 c. preserves, warmed

To make the pasta frolla:

Whisk together sugar, flour and salt in a bowl.
Rub or cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Make a well in the centre of the mounded flour and butter mixture and pour the beaten eggs into it (reserving about a tsp for glazing later-place in the refrigerator, covered until ready to use).
Use a fork to incorporate the liquid into the solid ingredients and then use your fingertips.
Knead lightly just until the dough comes together in a ball.
Shape into a flat disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator and chill at least 2 hrs. You can refrigerate the dough overnight.

To make the apple filling:

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

Assemble and bake the crostata:

Heat the oven to 375*F (190*C).
Take the pasta frolla out of the fridge, unwrap it.
Lightly dust teh top of the dough and your work surface with flour. Keep some flour handy to dust the dough as you go along.
If the dough is very firm, start by pressing it with the rolling pin from the middle to each end, moving the rolling pin by a pin's width each time. Turn the dough 180 degrees and repeat. When it softens, start rolling.
Roll the dough into a circle about 1/8th in. thick and transfer to tart pan.
Trim excess dough. Press the dough around the border into the sides of the pan, making sure there is an even thickness all the way around. Optional: leave an inch of dough to fold over the filling.
Prick the bottom of the dough with a fork in several places.
Add the apple filling.
Brush the border of the dough with the reserved beaten eggs.
Put the tart in the oven and bake 25-35min.
After 25min, check the tart and continue baking until it is golden.
When done, remove from oven and let cool. Make sure the tart is completely cool before slicing and serving.


E.K.R said...

Your apple crostata sounds fabulous! I love the hearty simplicity of the dish. What better combination than apples and cinnamon for a crisp fall night?! Great job on the challenge.

Miri said...

They look so caramel-ey and yum - perfect combo with the apple!

Audax said...

I'm so glad to hear that found a new recipe for making tart and it was a 'keeper' isn't this what the DBers is all about. And the final version looks spectacular wonderful effort and stunning results.

Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

pulpixies said...

Thanks very much everyone! I made this a couple weeks ago, and since posting it yesterday I have been really craving it....might just have to make another!

Ivy said...

What a beautiful apple crostata!I love that tart pan you have.

pulpixies said...

Thanks Ivy! I love baking with that tart pan-it really is non-stick! I think I either got it from Williams Sonoma or Sur la Table.