Thursday, November 15, 2012

Setting the Table: Apple Crostata With White Cheddar Cheese Crust

It is almost Thanksgiving. Can you believe it? We have been featuring our friend Shea Sylvia and her many wonderful recipes to prepare for the day of feasting. You can read about her delicious Green Bean Casserole or Turkey 101 tips, after you read this post on her amazing pie. Once you get done there, check out her other recipes (and everyday adventures) on her blog, That’s What Shea Said

And now the final of her Thanksgiving recipes: Apple Crostata With White Cheddar Cheese Crust

Au revior, 

When I stumbled upon this recipe in an issue of Martha Stewart Living several years ago, I think I started drooling onto the page. The pairing of sweet, yet tart apples with sharp cheddar cheese is one of my favorite snacks, so imagining the whole thing wrapped up in pie crust gave me heart palpitations. The good kind. 

I know, I know. Thanksgiving is an occasion for time-honored classic dishes: stuffing and mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie… But if you want to mix things up a little this year and turn that boring (albeit deliciously boring) apple pie into something special and different, this crostata is for you. Plus it’s kind of fun to say “crostata.”

Apple Crostata with Cheddar Cheese Crust

For the dough:
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 sticks cold salted butter, cut into small pieces (I prefer to freeze the butter so it’s extra cold)
  • 2 tbsp. to 1/4 cup ice water
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Add flour, cheese and butter to a food processor and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal, about 10 seconds. Add 2 tbsp. ice water, continuing to pulse until dough begins to hold together. If dough is too dry, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and pulse. 

Don’t be intimidated. Making pie dough from scratch is scary, but worth it. And then you’ll never go for store-bought again. 

Shape dough into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes or up to overnight.

For the crostata:
  • 1 disk Cheddar Pie Dough
  • All-purpose flour, for surface
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten with 1 tsp. water for egg wash
  • Raw sugar for sprinkling
  • 4 apples (I prefer 2 Granny Smith and 2 Fuji), peeled, cored, and sliced into 1/2-inch wedges
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar 
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Make the crust: Roll out dough into a large circle (about 12-13 inches). Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet and refrigerate for 20 minutes. This will help the crostata hold its shape and ensures a crispy crust. 

Make the filling: Toss together apples, granulated sugar, brown sugar, flour, lemon juice, and cinnamon.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spread filling over dough, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border on the outside. Fold edges in to form a crust; brush with egg wash, and sprinkle with raw sugar. Refrigerate until edges are firm, about 30 minutes.

Bake the crostata until apples are tender and crust is golden, about 1 hour 20 minutes. But keep an eye on it as it can burn if left to bake for too long. Admittedly my crostata (pictured) got a little on the over-browned side. BUT IT WAS STILL DELICIOUS! 

Let cool slightly. 

Serves 10

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