Saturday, June 20, 2009

Apple Tart (Crostata di mele)

Sis C came over with her twins so the children can get to mingle and play together. I've always wanted to bake an apple tart but was afraid it will be too much for us. Since we have visitors today and I've got all the ingredients, why not give it a shot?

I love tarts but I hate blind-baking as it takes up too much time. When I saw this recipe from she bakes & she cooks, I had it on my To-Do list as this recipe does not require blind-baking :)

After kneading the pastry, I cooked the apples. The apples need to be cooled before spooning into the pastry. As it was running late, I had to prepare dinner and didn't have time to follow up on this tart. After dinner, I made Apple & Celery Juice for them and was busy washing up the kitchen. Next, it's time for kids to sleep... I only started rolling out the dough at 10ish at night. By the time the tart is baked, it's almost midnight... This shall be our breakfast then.

The recipe for the pastry seems too much so I froze 1/2 the portion. But as I was rolling out the dough, I realised it's only enough for my 18cm pan, there's nothing much left for the lattice. And to bring out a portion of the pastry dough from the freezer to thaw takes some time. I didn't want to waste time waiting so decided to bake it "naked".

Crostata di mele (apple tart)
Country cooking by stefano de pieri, pg 3, delicious Mar 05 issue
Serves 8-10

5 golden delicious or granny smith apples
50g unsalted butter
4 tbs honey
1 pinch cinnamon
Icing sugar, to dust

Shortcrust pastry
1 and ½ cups (225g) plain flour
2/3 cup (100g) self-raising flour
2/3 cup (150g) caster sugar
150g unsalted butter, softened
¼ cup (60ml) full-fat milk
2 egg yolks

  1. For the pastry, process the flours, sugar and butter in a food processor, then mix in the milk and egg yolks. If dough is too wet, add a little more flour. On a lightly floured surface, bring dough together, then knead until smooth. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
  2. Meanwhile, peel and core the apples, then cut into quarters. Melt the butter in a frypan over medium heat, and when it begins to froth and brown, add the apple and cook until brown and softened; about 5-10 minutes depending on the ripeness of the apples. Add the honey and cinnamon, reduce heat to medium-low and stir continuously for about 10-15 minutes or until the apples are golden and caramelized. Cool to room temperature.
  3. Preheat oven to 180 degree celcius. Grease a 24cm loose-bottomed tart pan. Once pastry has rested, roll out on a lightly floured surface to 5 mm thick and line pan with pastry.
  4. Place cooled apples into pastry shell. With any remaining pastry, use a crinkled pastry cutter to cut 1cm-wide strips to make a lattice to place over top. Bake 30-35 minutes. Dust with icing sugar before serving with ice cream or cream.

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