Spiced Pumpkin Apple Crostata

Daring Kitchen Challenges, Dessert, Italian, Pie, Pumpkin, Uncategorized, Vegetarian

Hi Fran!!

As you know I have a soft spot for all pies, tarts, quiches. Well, this month the daring bakers had a great challenge for us, as it was not only delicious, but it also gave me a great new pie dough recipe to add to my repertoire!

The 2010 November Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Simona of briciole. She chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ to make pasta frolla for a crostata. She used her own experience as a source, as well as information from Pellegrino Artusi’s Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well.

In Greece, and in my family specifically we have a pie that is very similar to this one, which we call Pasta Flora. All the women have their own version of this amazingness, and each tastes better than the next. Normally we fill it with apricot preserves and bake it, what ensues is a crumbly crust with a thin caramelized apricot filling, sandwiched by another layer of crumbly crust.

Well in my version, I wanted to include a little bit of Thanksgiving, which I did not to celebrate this year. I wanted to include the yummy coziness of apple pie with the spice and creaminess of pumpkin pie all engulfed in a buttery delicate pie. The result… A TOTAL KEEPER!! Really good alone, but so much better when eaten warm with some vanilla ice cream on top!! Also, I made extra Spiced Pumpkin Apple Butter and have been enjoying it on toast as well as in oatmeal.

Spiced Pumpkin Apple Crostata

This crostata has 3 steps. First, you make the pasta frolla for the pie crust, let it sit for 2 hours or over night in the fridge. Secondly, make the filling and let it cool overnight. Third, assemble and bake.

Pasta Frolla

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup (90g,) powdered sugar
  • 1  ¾ cup (235 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • a pinch of salt
  • 8 tbsp (115 g) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • grated zest of ½ lemon
  • 1 large egg and 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten in a small bowl

Directions (preparation by hand):

  1. Whisk together sugar, flour and salt in a bowl.
  2. Rub or cut the butter into the flour until the mixture has the consistency of coarse crumbs. You can do this in the bowl or on your work surface, using your fingertips or an implement of choice.
  3. Make a well in the center of the mounded flour and butter mixture and pour the beaten eggs into it (reserve about a teaspoon of the egg mixture for glazing purposes later on – place in the refrigerator, covered, until ready to use).
  4. Add the lemon zest to your flour/butter/egg mixture.
  5. Use a fork to incorporate the liquid into the solid ingredients, and then use your fingertips.
  6. Knead lightly just until the dough comes together into a ball.
  7. Shape the dough into a flat disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Place the dough in the refrigerator and chill for at least two hours. You can refrigerate the dough overnight.

Spiced Pumpkin Apple Butter

Ingredients:

  • 330 g Granny Smith Apples (3)
  • 330 g Pumpkin in cubes (½ small pumpkin)
  • 200 g Dark Brown Sugar (depending on preference)
  • 1 lemon’s juice
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 cloves
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • dash Nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp Ginger

Directions:

  1. Cube the apples and pumpkin, place in a sauce pan with cinnamon stick and cover with water. Bring to a boil, and simmer with lid closed until the cubed apples and pumpkin have softened.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and cook over medium heat, until most of the liquid has evaporated and apples and pumpkin have melted. Remove from heat and place in a sterilized airtight glass container and refrigerate overnight.

Spiced Pumpkin Apple Crostata (assembling & baking):

  1. Heat the oven to 375ºF [190ºC/gas mark 5].
  2. Take the pasta frolla out of the fridge, unwrap it and cut away ¼ of the dough. Reserve this dough to make the lattice top of the crostata, in the fridge.
  3. Lightly dust the top of the dough and your work surface, with flour. Roll the crostata dough in a disk shape to fit over a 9 inch pie pan, about 3mm thick. {To prevent sticking, keep the dough on top of the plastic wrap that you had it wrapped in. This can help rolling the dough and can also help when transferring the dough to your pan.}
  4. If you used the plastic wrap or parchment paper as rolling surface, flip dough over the pan, centering it, and delicately press it all around so the corners are well covered. Peel away the plastic wrap.
  5. Trim the excess dough hanging over the edges of the pan. Press the remaining dough around the border into the sides of the pan making sure the border is an even thickness all the way around. Prick the bottom of the dough with a fork in several places.
  6. Spread the Spiced Pumpkin Apple Butter evenly over the bottom of the crostata.
  7. Take out of the fridge the reserved pasta frolla you had cut away earlier. Roll it with your pin and cut into strips. Place strips in a lattice formation over the Spice Pumpkin Apple Butter.
  8. Brush the border and strips of dough with the reserved beaten eggs. You can add a drop or two of water to the beaten eggs if you don’t have enough liquid.
  9. Bake for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, check the tart and continue baking until the tart is of a nice golden hue.
  10. When done, remove the tart from the oven and let cool. If you have used a tart pan with a removable bottom, then release the tart base from the fluted tart ring. Make sure the tart is completely cool before slicing and serving.
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5 thoughts on “Spiced Pumpkin Apple Crostata

  1. Pumpkin-apple butter sounds amazing, so I bet this was a superb crostata. I love that first picture with the perfect curl of ice cream on top.
    🙂

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