Apple & Pear Crostata (and GIVEAWAY)
When you are as familiar with two cultures as I am you begin to see the idiosyncrasies in those cultures.
And since I’m a foodie, I tend to notice the ones that have to do with food.
For example, for some reason I have not yet fully grasped Italians have a really hard time making muffins, cupcakes, and pancakes. Like the average stuff you find in the shops and restaurants really kind of SUCKS. Which is strange because Italy is the land of good food, and well muffins, cupcakes, and pancakes really aren’t that hard to make.
On the other hand the crostata in the US has taken on a life of its own basically meaning a free form pie. And while if one so desires a crostata can be made free form style that really isn’t the main difference between it and traditional American (or even French) pies.
Just to prove a point google “crostata recipe” and then google “crostata ricetta” (ricetta means recipe in Italian) and look at the images that come up. They are worlds apart.
In Italy crostata almost exclusively refers to a crusty dessert made with pasta frolla. The crumbly texture of the pasta frolla is what differentiates it from other readily available/used options for pie crusts in Italy, which include the pasta brisée (sometimes written as pasta brisé) and pasta sfoglia.
Opposed to the other doughs, pasta frolla is also made with eggs.
I’m using two egg yolks for this recipe, which I think gives you a richer crust. But two yolks can be substituted for one egg.
There is also a bit of disagreement in Italy about whether cold or room temperature butter should be used to make this crust. I say pick which ever one you prefer. But I do mine room temperature.
Besides that, this recipe came together as some of the best things in life do, out of necessity. I wanted to make an apple type pie for my hubby. But since I make him the American style apple pie pretty frequently, I wanted to change it up a little bit.
I looked into my fridge/pantry I saw the bottle of Rigoni di Asiago jam (fruit spread) and thought apples and pears go well together…
Now if you know me and/or the blog you would have realized that I almost only use Rigoni di Asiago jams. Partially cause I’ve actually been the town of Asiago, partially because their products are organic, have no added sugar, and are more nutritious than most other jams (because of some special way they make it). But really and truly I buy it cause it taste REALLY GOOD!!!
GIVEAWAY: If you’re interested in the winning this box (containing 2 jars of the new Pear fruit spread, an apron and hat) all you have to do is comment on the post below or via my facebook page by midnight (EST) Monday Oct. 6th. I’ll contact the winner. You’ll then have 48 hours to get back to me with your address. If not, it will be on to the next one. My friends at RdA will then proceed to send you your package of goodies. USA residents only for this one…
Anyways I hope you enjoy the recipe. I look forward to hearing how it turns out. And remember to
Feed Your Love!
Apple & Pear Crostata
Pasta Frolla Dough:
270 g (2 cups) all purpose flour
100 g (1/2 cup) white sugar
150 g (2/3 cup) unsalted butter
2 egg yolks
1/2 tsp salt
zest of half a lemon
1 jar (250 g) Fiordifrutta Pear Organic Fruit Spread
2 green apples
1/2 lemon, juice
Dough – food processor:
1. Add butter, sugar, flour, salt and lemon zest to food processor. Pulse until it forms the consistency of bread crumbs. Add yolks to mixture and pulse until it starts to come together and starts to form a ball.
2. Remove dough from food processor. Shape into a ball on a flat surface. Place dough on top of plastic wrap, flatten into disc about 1 inch (2 cm) thick. Wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for a least 45 minutes before using.
Dough – with hands:
1.On a flat clean surface use hands to work butter into flour to form a bread crumb consistency. Then use hands work in remaining ingredients. Knead until you form a smooth ball.
2. Place dough on top of plastic wrap, flatten into disc about 1 inch (2 cm) thick. Wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for a least 45 minutes before using.
3. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
4. Peel and cut apples into 1/4 inch slices. Squeeze lemon juice onto peeled apples to prevent from browning.
5. Roll out dough onto a floured surface to a thickness of 1/3 inch. Position dough onto a 9 inch non-stick baking baking dish, decorating borders as desired.
6. Pour continents of jam onto pie crust, setting aside on tbsp of jam in a small container. Top pie with sliced apples, starting by making a circular layer on out edges of pie, then making another circular layer slightly overlapping the previous.
7. Bake for approximately 45 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the jam starts to set again. Use a pastry brush to glaze warm apples with remain pear jam.
8. Cool to lukewarm or room temperature before serving.