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
LC Easy Pastry Note
The friolla pastry in this crostata recipe is similar to a pate sucree, with some minor differences in the proportion of the ingredients and the method of putting them all together. Both these buttery crusts are easy to whip up – you can even use your food processor – and very forgiving when it comes to lining a pie tin. They don’t need rolled out, simply pat the soft dough into the tin you’re using and you’re ready to go. With this friolla, you don’t even have to rest the dough after mixing. Now that’s what we call easy pastry.
Apple-Apricot Crostata Recipe
- Quick Glance
- 35 M
- 1 H, 35 M
- 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.
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Apple-Apricot Crostata Recipe © 2005 Joan Nathan. All rights reserved.