So, this past week was a week of decisions. First, I needed to decide what classes to take this coming Winter Quarter. Second, I had decide what major would be best for me. Third, I had to decide what to do with my other blog "AJ's Food Adventure". Well, I decided on things for all three. I've decided to go along the Biochemistry path. I figured, it may be hard and difficult but if I keep giving up, where will I end up? I need to stick to this major, not have doubts and have confidence that I can pull through. Second, going on the Biochemistry path involves taking the next level of Biology classes which I am fully prepared to do. Finally, I have decided to discontinue my other blog "AJ's Food Adventure" within the next week or two. Why? I don't use that blog that often, if at all. "AJ's Food Adventure" started my "blogging career" and now it's time to let it go. It's sad to have to let it go but I feel it's time. Overall, life is full of decisions so "Live YOUR Life. Choose YOUR Path"
With the kind of weeks I've been having, I needed comfort in the form of Apple Crostata. An opened faced pie that doesn't require a pie pan? Say Whaaa?! In addition, it's extremely easier to slice a piece from this "circle of goodness" than it does by digging into a full deep dish apple pie. Sure, deep dish apple pies are a show stopper but this Crostata has the same flavors in a nice compact little package. :)
-Feel free to make the dough in a bowl with pastry cutters or forks. I, myself, used the fork method. The trick is to break down the butter enough to where the butter is the size of peas. With chunks of butter running through the dough, it guarantees a flakey Crostata
-The dough will seem dry when using pastry cutters/forks. My suspicion is using the forks doesn't produce heat whereas a food processor does. This heat will cause a tiny bit of the butter to melt slightly to add moisture to the dough. Don't get nervous though. Just work the dough a little bit until it comes together. Don't handle it too much because you want butter pieces.
-When the baked Apple Crostata is cool enough to handle, lift the parchment paper and slide the Apple Crostata on your serving platter. Lifting the Crostata with spatulas will cause the Crostata to break.
Taste: A slight tang from the apples, sweet yet savory and buttery quality to the crust, and "spicyness" from the addition of cinnamon to scream Fall/Winter. Essentially, an apple pie that's 10 times easier
Texture: Apples were tender yet still al-dente and the crust was flakey. Definitely a great sign of a properly baked apple dessert!
Recipe by Giada De Laurentiis
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 tablespoons ice water
2 small Golden Delicious apples, peeled, halved, cored, cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices
1 Pippin apple, peeled, halved, cored, cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 large egg white beaten with 1 tablespoon of water (for egg wash)
2 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted
To make the crust: Mix the flour, sugar, and salt in a processor. Add the butter. Pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add the ice water and pulse until moist clumps form. Gather the dough into a ball; flatten into a disk. (If the dough still crumbles and does not form into a ball, add another tablespoon of ice water.) Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
For the filling: Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Combine the apples, 1/4 cup of sugar, and lemon juice in large bowl; toss gently to blend. Set aside for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, dust a large sheet of parchment paper with flour and roll out the dough on the paper to an 11-inch round. Transfer the dough on the parchment paper to a heavy large baking sheet. Spoon the apple mixture over the dough, leaving a 2-inch border. Fold the dough border over the filling to form an 8-inch round, leaving the apples exposed in the center. Pleat loosely and pinch the dough to seal any cracks. Brush the crust with the egg wash and sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar.
Bake the crostata until the crust is golden and the apples are tender, about 40 minutes. Transfer the baking sheet to a rack; cool for 10 minutes. Slide a metal spatula under the crust to free the crostata from the baking sheet. Cool the crostata to lukewarm. Sprinkle with the almonds and serve.