You know a recipe is good when you find yourself making it again and again. One recipe that I make at least a few times every fall is Giada DeLaurentiis' Apple Crostata. The crust is rich and flaky and the apples bake up perfectly. It's much easier to make than apple pie and to me tastes better. I like that it's supposed to be rustic and imperfect. It needs no adornment, though you could serve it with a dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream if you wanted. I've also used this dough to make other crostatas filled with jam or fresh figs. This was my first time making it this year and I'm sure it won't be the last. A good consideration for Thanksgiving too if you want to make something yummy and homemade but want to skip the work of making a pie. Enjoy!
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons cold unsalted butter cut into 1/2 inch cubes
3 large Golden Delicious or Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/8 inch thick slices
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 egg white
2 tablespoons sliced, toasted almonds (optional)
To make the crust: Place the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture looks like a coarse meal. Add 3 tablespoons ice water and pulse until the dough comes together in a ball. If the dough does not come together in a ball add another tablespoon or two of ice water. Gather the dough into a disk and wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm about 45 minutes to an hour.
To make the filling: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine the apples, 1/4 cup sugar and lemon juice in a bowl and toss to combine. Let stand 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, remove the dough from the plastic wrap and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll out to an 11 inch round (you can trim off any ragged edges with a knife or pizza wheel). Gently drape two sides of the dough over the rolling pin and transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Pour off any accumulated liquid from the apple mixture and place apples on top of the dough leaving a 2 inch border. Fold the dough over the filing in pleats to form and 8 inch round leaving the middle exposed. Whisk the egg white with 1 tablespoon of water and brush over the crust. Sprinkle with remaining tablespoon of sugar. Bake the crostata until golden brown, about 40 minutes. Let cool on pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. Then slide off of pan onto rack to cool completely. Sprinkle with almonds before serving.
Note: The crostata is best served the day it is baked.