In the early 1980s, when Anne Luzzatto’s children were little, she summered in Venice, Italy, at her in-laws’ ancestral home. Like many Italian mothers-in-law, Anne’s taught her how to make a favorite familial dessert: a crostata, or tart, made out of a butter crust called a friolla. “She brought me into her kitchen in Venice with its wonderful Italian marble table,” Anne told me. And ever since, Anne has been making this marvelous tart with a delicious butter crust, a classy final act for dinner parties in New York, where she lives.–Joan Nathan
Apple-Apricot Crostata Recipe
Hands-On Time: 35 minutes | Total Time: 1 hour, 35 minutes, not including cooling | Makes 1 tart
- 3 (about 1 1/2 pounds) Granny Smith or other good cooking apples
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup apricot preserves
- 1. Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C) and grease a 10-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom.
- 2. Peel, core, and slice the apples into crescents about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. You should have about 24 pieces.
- 3. Put the sugar, butter, egg yolks, flour, and salt in a large bowl and rub everything together with your fingers or combine the ingredients in a food processor fitted with a steel blade and process in quick pulses until the dough forms a ball. Either way, do not overwork the dough.
- 4. Flouring your hands, shape the ball of dough into a round and pat into the tart pan. Working with your fingers and a cake knife or wide spatula, spread the dough evenly around the pan and up the sides. The dough should be about 1/2 inch thick up the sides and spread evenly across the bottom of the pan, then trim and flatten the edges with a knife. Starting on the outside and working toward the center, lay the apple slices in an overlapping, concentric circle.
- 5. Heat the apricot preserves in a saucepan over low heat until it has liquefied. Using a pastry brush, paint the apples and the visible crust with the apricot glaze.
- 6. Place the tart pan on a cookie sheet and bake in the middle of the oven for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350°F (175°C) and continue cooking until the crust is deep golden brown, about 45 minutes. Bring to room temperature, unmold, and put on a platter or serving dish.
Apple-Apricot Crostata Recipe © 2005 Joan Nathan. All rights reserved.