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Originally published at customerservant.com. You can comment here or there.

Excerpted from “Dinner Parties: The Warming Trend”, by Marion Cane.
Originally published in the Toronto Star, 1 April 2006

Based on a recipe from an article about chef Jonathan Waxman of Barbuto
restaurant in Manhattan in the October 2005 issue of Gourmet magazine.

He uses a combo of apples, pears and quince; I find it delicious made just
with apples. I tweaked his recipe to come up with this delectable dessert
that’s
ideal for a dinner party. You can roast apples ahead of time and make
custard layer while dough is chilling.

ROASTED APPLES:

6 apples, preferably Royal Gala

1/2 cup granulated sugar

3 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 tbsp finely chopped, peeled fresh ginger root

1 cinnamon stick, broken in half

3 tbsp apple juice or cider

PASTRY SHELL:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp kosher salt

3 tbsp granulated sugar

1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut in cubes

6 to 8 tbsp ice water

1 large egg, lightly beaten

CUSTARD LAYER:

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup each: brown sugar, icing sugar

2 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 375F.

For roasted apples, peel, quarter and core apples; cut in about 1-1/2-inch
pieces.

In large bowl, combine sugar, lemon juice, ginger root, cinnamon stick and 1
tablespoon of apple juice. Add apple chunks; toss to coat. Transfer to
large,
shallow baking pan (preferably non-stick) or ovenproof dish. Roast in oven,
turning once or twice, until soft and richly caramelized, about 50 to 60
minutes.

Remove from oven; add remaining 2 tablespoons apple juice, scraping up
browned bits from bottom of pan. Discard cinnamon stick. Cool in pan on wire
rack
about 30 minutes.

For pastry shell, add flour, salt, 2 tablespoons of sugar and butter to food
processor. Process until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Gradually add
water,
pulsing until mixture forms soft dough. Do not over-mix.

Turn dough on to lightly floured surface; divide into 6 portions. With heel
of hand, smear each portion in a forward motion to help distribute butter.
Gather
dough together to form ball; flatten into disc. Chill, wrapped in plastic
wrap, at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 375F.

Roll out dough on lightly floured surface into 14-inch/35 cm circle. Place
in 11-inch/28 cm fluted tart pan with removable bottom.

For custard layer, cream butter and sugars in electric mixer or food
processor until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after
each addition.
Beat in vanilla, then flour and salt. Spread mixture evenly in pastry shell.
Scatter roasted apples with juices on top of custard. Fold edge of pastry
over filling, pleating dough as necessary. Brush folded edge with beaten egg
and sprinkle with remaining tablespoon of sugar.

Place tart pan on baking sheet to catch any drips. Bake in oven until pastry
is golden brown, 50 to 60 minutes. Cool about 30 minutes. Remove sides of
pan;
slide crostata on to serving plate. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream, crème
fraîche or thickened vanilla yogurt.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.


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