The other day I got just the kind of phone call that I love-a friend’s dad with a fabulous garden had a surplus of apples and wanted to share some with me. I rushed over and was the happy recipient of a large basket with two different varieties. One was a small round apple, called Dorset Golden and I was told that these were very juicy and perfect for applesauce. The other was a larger apple with a slightly elongated shape and these were drier and better for pies.
I’m not much of a pie baker and rarely make them. I decided to do a one crust tart instead and settled on a crostata. A crostata is essentially a free form tart-you don’t even need a pan to bake it in. Simply roll out your dough, transfer it to a baking sheet, top with your filling and fold up the dough to cover the edges of the filling.
I’m giving you the dough recipe that I used for my apple crostata. You could certainly use a different fruit for the filling-I’ve used it with peaches and apricots- and this dough works equally well with a savory filling (just eliminate the sugar).
1-1/2 cups unbleached flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 stick (4 ounces) plus 1 tablespoon chilled, unsalted butter
about 1/4 cup ice water
Mix flour, sugar and salt together in a bowl. Cut the butter into pieces and cut into flour using a fork until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the water a tablespoon at a time and mix until the dough holds together. Form into a disk and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes before rolling. I’ve made this in the food processor, instead of by hand, and I think the hand method produces a flakier, more tender crust.
If at all possible, serve warm topped with vanilla ice cream!