Free-form crostata is the Italian version of a rustic pie. Ground almonds in the pastry and sliced almonds sprinkled on top make this crust especially delicious. When the season’s bounty is ripe, fill the pastry with apples and blueberries for a delightful dessert.
Makes 12 servings
- ¼ cup unsalted whole almonds, toasted
- 1 ¼ cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, divided
- ¼ cup vegetable shortening
- ¼ cup cold unsalted butter, cut up
- ½ tsp salt
- 4 to 6 tablespoons ice water
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 tsp apple pie spice
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tbsp apple juice or water
- 2 cups peeled, cored and sliced Granny Smith, Pink Lady and/or Gala apples
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- 1 tbsp milk
- 2 tbsp sliced almonds
- 1 tbsp coarse white sugar
- Preheat oven to 375°F. For pastry, place whole almonds in a food processor. Cover and process until finely ground. Add 1¼ cups flour, shortening, butter and salt. Cover and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- Sprinkle flour mixture with 3 tablespoons ice water. Cover and pulse two or three times. Add additional ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing just until mixture holds together and forms a ball. (Do not overprocess dough.)
- Lightly sprinkle remaining 1 tablespoon flour on a large sheet of parchment paper. Turn dough out onto the parchment paper. Lightly press dough into a small rectangle. Cover with a second sheet of parchment paper. Using a rolling pin, roll dough into a 13×10-inch rectangle. Transfer pastry on parchment paper to a large baking sheet. Remove top sheet of parchment paper.
- For filling, in a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, cornstarch and apple pie spice. Stir in lemon and apple juices until well combined. Add apples and blueberries; toss to coat. Mound filling in center of pastry, leaving a 2-inch border on all edges. Fold pastry borders up and over edges of filling, pleating as necessary. Brush pastry edges with milk; sprinkle with sliced almonds and coarse sugar.
- Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until filling is bubbly and crust is golden brown. If necessary, loosely cover with foil during the last 10 minutes of baking to prevent overbrowning. Cool on baking sheet for 30 minutes. Transfer crostata to a wire rack to cool completely.
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