Apple Crostata

We've included directions for making a simple butter crust. You can also use a store-bought crust (flat or folded, not in a pie tin) to save time.

If you can, use a mix of apple varieties for this tart. The result will be more interesting.

  • Yield: Serves 6

Ingredients

Crust:

  • 1 1/4 cup (160g) flour
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (skip salt if using salted butter)
  • 8 Tbsp (1 stick, 113g) chilled butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

Filling:

  • 1 3/4 pounds (800g) good cooking apples (Fuji, Jonagold, Pippin, Granny Smith), about 3-4 apples
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Small pinch of salt

To Finish:

  • 1 egg white
  • 1 teaspoon cream
  • 1 teaspoon sprinkling sugar (can use plain sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon butter

Whipped cream:

  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy whipping cream, very cold
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method

1 Make the dough: To make the dough, place flour, sugar, and salt into a food processor and pulse a couple of times.

Add half of the butter and pulse 8 1-second pulses. Add the rest of the butter and pulse several more times, until the largest piece of butter is no larger than a pea.

Add 2 Tbsp of very cold water to the dough. Pulse a couple of times. Continue to add icy water, a teaspoon at a time (no more than 3 teaspoons) until the dough just holds together when you pinch some with your fingers.

Empty the food processor bowl onto a clean surface. Gather up the dough into your hands and form a ball. Flatten into a disk and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Chill for at least 1 hour.

making dough for apple crostata apple crostata dough

2 Peel, slice apples, toss with lemon: As the dough is chilling, peel, core, and slice the apples into 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch slices. Place in a large bowl and sprinkle with the lemon juice and lemon zest. Toss the apple slices around in the bowl so that they are all a little coated with the lemon juice.

sliced apples in a bowl for apple crostata seasoning apples for apple crostini

3 Whisk sugar, cornstarch, spices, then toss with apples: In a bowl, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, and salt. Sprinkle over the apple slices and gently mix so that the apple slices are all well coated with the sugar mixture.

4 Preheat oven to 400°F (205°C).

5 Roll out dough: Remove dough from refrigerator and let sit 5 to 10 minutes before rolling out. Place on a lightly floured clean surface and roll out to a 14 inch (35 cm) round. (The dough round will be on the thin side.) Pro-tips: don't let the dough stick to the table. If it starts to stick, sprinkle the surface with more flour. If the dough gets too soft to work with, chill in the refrigerator for a few minutes.

6 Mound apples on dough round: Gently transfer to a parchment lined rimmed baking sheet. Mound the apples in the center of the dough round, allowing for a 2 1/2 to 3 inch (6 to 8 cm) margin around the edges. Gently lift up and drape the edges over the apples.

placing apples in dough for apple crostini wrapping apples up in dough for apple crostata

7 Brush with egg wash, sprinkle with sugar, dot with butter: Whisk together the egg white and cream. Use a pastry brush to brush over the exposed areas of the crust. Sprinkle the top of the crostata with sugar. Dot the exposed apples with butter.

8 Bake: Bake at 400°F (205°C) for 45 minutes to an hour, checking after 30 minutes or so. If the apples start to brown too much, tent them with foil.

9 Cool: Remove from oven and let cool on a rack for 30 minutes to an hour before serving.

baked apple crostata or apple crostini

10 Make whipped cream: To whip the cream, place the cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl (sometimes I like to freeze the empty bowl so it stays colder when whipping the cream). Use a hand mixer to whip until you have soft peaks. Chill until ready to serve.

Serve the apple crostata with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

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Comments

  • lynn

    Can this be made in advance?

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, Lynn! Yes, this can be made at least a day or two in advance. Pop it back in the oven for a few minutes to crisp it up again, if that’s what you’d like. You could also freeze it for up to a month (wrapped well in foil). Enjoy!

  • Kathie

    I have been making a similar Apple Crostata for a long, long time. There is a simple trick to keeping the juice from running out onto the parchment and burning. After you roll out your crust (it is ok to use a store-bought crust and roll it out thinner) and before you dump your apples onto it, spread 1/2 cup of graham cracker crumbs on the dough, leave a couple inches around the edge to fold up. You absolutely cannot taste the cracker crumbs in the finished product and they absorb the excess juice and keep it inside the Crostata. I also roll my crust out directly on parchment on a pizza peel and bake it on a preheated pizza stone. When baked, it is easy to remove with the peel and then just slide onto the cooling rack. I make these often as they are so easy and so good.

  • Beth

    Elise, My neighbor gave me a bunch of apples from her tree and so I made two apple crostatas this weekend — one for us, and one for the neighbor. (I’m hoping to get more apples!) I have never made a pie crust before because I don’t have a food processor, but your sour cream pie crust was super easy and delicious. My apples didn’t seem overly wet when I put them into the crust, but then during cooking a ton of juice leaked out and burned on the bottom of the pie and the baking sheet. (Still delicious, but definitely lent a burnt sugar flavor.) I read in a comment above that some apples put out more juice, and I’m wondering if roasting the apples first like you do in the pear and cranberry crostata recipe would perhaps cook some of that extra liquid out first, before putting it into the crust? Would that be a good solution if I get more of my neighbors apples?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Beth! You could pre-cook the apples. Or after you toss them in sugar, let them sit for an hour. The sugar will help the apples release their moisture. If you want, you can boil down that liquid until it is almost caramelized and add it back to the apples.

  • steve miller

    Elise, Love the site, been coming here for several months. Look forward to seeing your weekly emails too.

    Why isn’t this called a galette? I’ve made plenty of those and this looks way too similar.

    • Elise Bauer

      Great question Steve! A galette is just the French name for the same thing.

  • leskap19

    Hi Elise, I made this tonight to try it out. I am thinking of making it for my book club/dinner club in a couple of weeks. The problem is that when I piled the apples onto the dough, there was a lot (like 1/2 cup) of liquid left at the bottom of the bowl, and in that liquid was most of the sugar/cinnamon mixture. I had to leave all that flavor behind in the bowl. The crostata tasted good, but maybe a little bland and could have been even more flavorful. Did anyone else have this issue? What can I do differently next time?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Leskap, did you remember to stir in the corn starch? That should have thickened the liquid a bit. I also get liquid (the longer the apples sit with the sugar, the more they will release liquid), but I just pour it over the apples in the crostada and let the liquid bake out. I think with any baked apple pastry recipe you need to experiment for what works for you given the apples you have. Sometimes we have apples that just put out a ton of juice, and sometimes they don’t.

  • Julie

    Can you still make the crust recipe if you don’t have a food processor for the dough?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Julie, you can make the crust without a food processor, but you still need a pastry blender of some sort to cut through the butter. You could also instead use our sour cream pie crust recipe, which is really easy and does not require a food processor.

  • Susan

    I made two of these last night, one for now and one for the freezer. The recipe works perfectly and they came out very well. I served with custard.

    Thank you Elise and Elise’s Dad!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  • Sandy S

    Love the story, Love the pics and Love the recipe. Your dad is such a fox! Better tell your mom to hold on to him, tight! :-)
    Will be trying my hand at a GF, dairy free version with either coconut yogurt or coconut ice cream to share with my dad. Apple pie is still his favorite dessert, so I am thinking he will like trying this Crostata. I’m also thinking this would make a great breakfast treat!
    BTW – my best ‘animal shoo-away’ when things are getting ripe, is a light dusting of blood-meal on the plant (not the fruit). It needs to be re-applied after rain. Generally would not be practical for a large tree, but might work on your smaller tree. I used to use this method to save my roses from the deer, as well. Most animals have such a keen sense of smell, that 1/4 cup is more than enough for one rose bush. It’s easy to wash off and it’s very good for the soil.

  • Lori @ RecipeGirl

    An apple tree would be so wonderful to have! I know my family would enjoy this apple crostata with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream.

  • Jane

    Are not Dads wonderful!
    I am going to make this, and serve it with a nice piece of that sharp Cheddar cheese I have in the fridge. Apple pie and cheese in honor of my Dad and now that I think about it, Grandpa too liked it.