Hmm... looks like, Julochka and Bee, left me the keys, to their sweet place, over here... Lets talk food!
Food is glorious! I often compare cooking,to a symphony. A beautiful symphony that starts off slow, and peaks; brilliantly. For me, great food can be a grilled cheese, along side a nice bowl of tomato soup; a warm bacon vinaigrette, tossed over a bed greens, or leftover chicken that is turned into a inviting casserole of chicken and rice. There is no chicken carcass, safe in our home, the possibilities are endless. ; )
I still remember the yellow step stool, my grandmama would let me pull up to the stove, each time she cooked. She was a fabulous cook. My grandmama started off cleaning houses, and ended up catering out of our home. People would literally, change the dates of the their parties, to another, if my grandmama was already booked. This is where my love of cooking began...
Ox tail soup, red beans and rice, with huge shavings of coconut inside the pot,bubbling away, biscuits, dumplings, fried chicken, escovitch, beef patties and curried rice. I can still hear her shouting at me, not to run in the kitchen, while her pineapple cakes, were in the oven.
Do you remember the person, who helped you fall in love, with cooking? Bless their hearts. : )
It's no wonder, I grew up and became a chef. Cooking is deep inside my soul.
No matter where I have cooked, or how fancy the restaurant I have worked, I adore food in in a simple form.
Macaroni and tomato gravy, tomatoes and balsamic vinegar, baked yams topped with butter and fresh ground pepper, yellow cake with thick chocolate frosting.
Thanks to Julochka and Bee, I am honored to be a guest in your kitchen.
This apple crostata is easy. Don't feel you have to make your dough from scratch. Go to the store and purchase those refrigerator doughs, that come two in package- throw one on a lined baking sheet and stuff it full, with your apples and pile on the crumble mixture. It is delicious, this way.
Either way, serve this warm and add a dollop of vanilla bean ice cream.
Life is good~
Pastry (makes 2 )
2 cups flour (all purpose)
1/4 cup sugar
2 sticks butter (unsalted and cold) dice into small pieces
1/4 cup ice water ( when ready)
Place flour, sugar, salt into food processor (use your steel blade) pulse a couple of times to combine. Add butter and toss quickly to coat each small cube of butter, with flour. Be careful of those blades. Pulse 25 more times, or until butter is size of peas. With the motor still running add 1/4 cup ice water through feed tube. Pulse a few more times to combine, but stop before dough comes together.
Turn dough out to floured surface and roll out two disks. Seal separately in zip locks and refrigerate dough for at least an hour- or up to 2 days. You can freeze other disk, but I would bake 2 right away. Remember the filling is only to fill one disk.
Roll pastry out to a 11 inch circle on floured surface. Place on baking sheet, lined with parchment. I used a silpat.
OR~ purchase package of dough and skip this part! I dig that too!
Filling (to fill one tart)
1 1/2 pounds of apples (pick your favorites) I don't stick to just baking apples, I use a variety. Macintosh... whatever you like.
1/4 cup all purpose flour
a couple of grates of orange zest, maybe a 1/4 teaspoon. I prefer this over lemon. Please try this step, it will make a huge difference ; )
1/4 cup of sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
sprinkle of brown sugar
1/2 stick butter diced
Combine flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon and sprinkle of brown sugar, in bowl. Add the butter and cut with fork or whatever until mixture is crumbly. I always use fork ,but you can use food processor, if you like.
Peel core and slice apples (thin slices). I like a combination of small chunks and slices. Toss your apples with that orange zest.
Place apples in center of dough. leaving a 1 1/2 inch border.
Sprinkle your mixture on top of apples in dough( evenly)
Gently fold the border over apples, making pleats as you created a circle, around your apples.
You can brush edges with egg wash, but I don't.
Bake for 20-25 minutes in 425 degree oven.
Check after 10 minutes, if crust in browning too fast you can always place foil around edges.
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note from julochka & bee: a big thank you to christina for sharing her apple crostata here. please do check out her beautiful, big-hearted blog, soul aperture.