Sunday, September 5, 2010

When I'm stressed...

I bake.

Unfortunately, sewing doesn't do it for me like baking does, probably because there is nothing to eat after sewing.

As I've mentioned before, I'm writing a grant application.
It's due this week.
I've never written one before.
I'm doing almost all of it by myself.
I am not handling the stress very well.
So, tonight I made an apple crostata.

I stalk a few cooking blogs and really enjoy those pictures. I admire those cooking bloggers, so I wanted to give my blog the look of a cooking blog, just this once. Maybe again in the future sometime, who knows?

I can't remember where I stole/got the original recipe, which I feel bad about. I visit these cooking blogs frequently, but I couldn't find it on them:  Our Best Bites,  My Kitchen Cafe, Picky Palate. But I changed it enough (e.g., reduced the sugar and butter, upped the cinnamon) that I don't feel that bad. I also simplified it. You could use only one bowl. I don't make any recipe that has too many  procedures, uses too many atypical ingredients, or too many dishes...hate the clean-up!

Without further ado..(the recipe follows the pictures)

Here's what you need. I had already peeled 2 apples when I realized I could blog the crostata creating!
You can just peel and slice, but I like my little apple much easier when the apple is peeled!

I don't have any fancy bowls or mixing utensils.

Several of the crostata recipes I perused said to roll out the pie crust to 11" (this one is 9" Kroger brand), but I like my crust thick. Also, I made a peach crostata a couple of week ago and the rolled out crust split and leaked all over. Not a problem to worry about with apple crostata because you won't get the juice that you do with a peach, but it's something to keep in mind.

Mound it all on there in the center of the crust.

One of my favorite things about this recipe; you can make the topping in the same bowl that you just made the apple filling in.

Spoon on the topping and pleat up the crust. If you prefer a crustless version, use a buttered ramekin and a little less than a cup of the filling. Don't forget the topping: it really makes the dessert yummy. At this point, you can brush some egg white on. It makes it look so pretty. I forgot.

The original recipe called for 3 apples, but I used 4 (no such thing as less is more when I'm baking!) so I had just enough left over for a ramekin. This is the picture post-baked.

Don't bake it at 450 degrees, which I did because that's what the recipe I had called for. Thankfully I checked it at 20 minutes and barely saved it from burning.

The only thing missing is the vanilla ice cream.

Apple Crostata

Place a pie crust on a parchment-lined or baking sheet. Preheat oven to 375˚.

The Filling (in a bowl combine):
1/4 cup flour
<1/2 cup granulated sugar (I've taken to reducing the sugar in any recipe; use less then 1/2 cup but more than 1/4 cup)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
about 4 large apples, peeled, cored, and sliced)

Stir dry ingredients with a fork. Add the apples and stir with a sturdy spoon until all apples slices are well-coated.

Mound the apples on the center of the pie crust.

The Topping (place in the same bowl):
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup oats (any kind)
<1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
3 tablespoons cold butter, diced

Using a fork, combine all the dry ingredients. Add the butter and using the back of the sturdy spoon, flatten and stir over and over until the butter and dry ingredients are crumbly. Spoon evenly over the apples. Gently fold the border over the apples to enclose the dough, pleating it to make a circle. If desired, brush egg white on the dough.

Bake the crostata for 20 to 30 minutes (check at 20!), until the crust is golden and the apples are tender. Allow to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature with vanilla ice cream.

After I finished this, I realized how tasty it would be with blueberries or raisins or walnuts. I also forgot to add the 1 tbsn of flaxseed meal I've been trying to remember to add to all baked goods. Next time!

The original recipe called for more sugar, more butter, less cinnamon and allspice, no oats in the topping, and kosher salt, which I don't have. Regular salt seemed to work fine.

1 comment:

  1. That looks really good. We will have to try that one! Yum. You should write grants more often so we can get good recipes. Sorry you are going it alone. That's the way it is so often in higher ed. isn't it? We talk about collaborating and working together, but despite best of intentions, we end up going it alone. If you need anything, I'll try to help! The first one is the hardest. Well, I think they're all hard. I have been procrastinating on the one I want to write now for about 2 years. Yep. You heard me right.


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