Well, folks, there’s really only so long that you can have a basket of gleaming Granny Smiths lying around your kitchen before the urge to bake something apple-y practically wallops you over the head with a pie plate and then drags you to your pantry to see what you’ve got to work with.
I didn’t feel like plain ol’ apple pie, so I consulted food.com for a crostata recipe, only to decide that I wasn’t going to find the perfect one unless I combined, tweaked, and generally took things into my own hands. So I took a lot of things like butter, flour, sugar, pecans, and almond extract (Mmmm) into my own hands, and this is what I came up with:
Here’s what I found when I raided my fridge/pantry (which, surprisingly, was exactly what I needed…that never happens!):
Refrigerated: 1 (I know, I know…total cop-out, and I promise I make my own sometimes, but it was hard to beat for simplicity, and it needed to be used).
Large Granny Smiths: 2 (any other cooking apple will do fine as well)
Cornstarch: 2 tsp.
Ground cinnamon: 1 tsp.
Sugar: 1/2 cup
Flour: 3 tbsp.
Nuts (pecans or walnuts are best): 1/4 cup
Salt: 1/4 tsp.
Ground Cinnamon: 1/4 tsp.
Brown sugar: 1 tbsp.
White sugar: 1 tbsp.
Almond extract: 1/8 tsp. (if you love almond extract as much as I do, you might put just a dash more because this made the dessert for me)
Butter: 3 tbsp.
**Note, this is for one small crostata (4 decent-sized or 6 small slices). I had two refrigerated pie crusts, so I doubled everything above.
To make your crostata:
1) Preheat your oven to 375.
2) Peel your apples.
2) Employ chubby-handed three-year-old to grunt and sweat trying to core the apple while you take a pic, then accidentally squish his fingers trying to help him core it, then give hugs, wipe off tears and snot, then clean his face too (: )), wash your hands (again) and core it yourself (come to think of it, maybe wait until naptime to make this if you’ve got kids : )).
(Yes, that is a brown spot on my apple, and no, it didn’t make one bit of difference in the end product).
2) Cut your apples into thin slices
3) Mix together cornstarch, sugar, and cinnamon, then toss apple slices in a bowl until evenly coated in cinnamon-sugary goodness.
4) Place your pie crust on a cookie sheet, and, leaving about a 2” border of pie crust free, arrange your apples in a “wheel,” layering them on top of each other as you go, like so:
Uh huh. BTW, it’s approximately 183 degrees here in Texas, so if you’re a boy-munchkin, shirts are always optional. Lucky little ducks.
5) Fold the border of your pie crust over the apples, pleating as necessary until you have something like this:
6) Plunk your cookie sheet on the middle rack of your oven, and set your timer for 30 minutes.
7) While that bakes, melt the butter and chop the nuts for your streusel topping.
8) Combine all of your dry ingredients for the streusel topping, then add in the melted butter, almond extract, and nuts.
9) Pull your crostata out of the oven, and sprinkle with the streusel topping. Plunk it back in the oven on the top rack this time, and bake for another 20 minutes.
10) Remove from oven and serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or:
Real whipping cream (I like to sweeten mine with 1 1/2 tbsp. of honey.
AND, if you’re feeling decadent:
Caramel sauce. Braum’s is positively sinful!
And just because nobody can resist a good before and after, here’s the “before” again:
and the “after”:
Yup, it was that good. (I debated sharing the picture of me slurping the last little bit of apple goo, caramel, and crumbs off my thumb but decided that I’d spare you today).
Sorry I didn’t save any for you!
But at least now you know how to make your own.
Go try it!
Then come on back tomorrow for Wardrobe Wednesday!
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