Saturday, October 07, 2006

Cranberry Apple Crostata

The Altitude Adjustment Section
Remember I said we were going to do pie variations for a while, well we really are! Today we have a recipe for a cranberry apple Crostata which — if we were lucky enough to be in France — we would call a Galette. Susan describes it as a free form fruit Pizza. This recipe, like all the best recipes, is from Pie in the Sky by Susan Purdy, my baking mentor and friend.

Ingredients for Pastry
3 cups A.P. flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons=1 1/2 sticks unsalted cold butter cut up
6 tablespoons vegetable shortening
1 room temp egg yolk
2 tablespoons lemon juice
5-6 tablespoons ice water

Ingredients for Filling
12 ounces fresh cranberries=3 cups
2 golden delicious apples peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
1 cup light brown sugar gently packed
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup=2 ounces chopped pecans
1/2 cup orange marmalade
2 1/2 tablespoons corn starch
1/3 cup fresh O.J.
1 large egg
1 teaspoon water
2 tablespoons Graham cracker crumbs
1 tablespoon Gran. sugar
1/2 cup seedless Raspberry jam

In a food processor, pulse the flour, sugar, salt to blend. Add the butter and shortening and pulse 8-9 times, until mixture resembled small pea bits. Add yolk, lemon juice, and 3 tablespoons of the ice water. Pulse a few more times. The dough will begin to clump up. Keep adding water till the dough holds together when pinched and no longer looks sandy and dry. Mix as little as possible to achieve this goal. Form dough into flat disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Preheat oven to 425. You have already made the pastry, right? Now to make the filling. Put it all together in a bowl, except the cornstarch and O.J. Take those two ingredients and mix in a small cup until corn starch dissolves, and then mix into the fruit. Turn an 18 inch square piece of tin foil shiny side down on the counter and draw a 17-18 inch circle with your fingernail. Lightly butter an 8 inch circle in the center of the big circle. Then sprinkle a little flour on the ungreased part of this circle. Roll out dough to the 18 inch mark. Now slide the whole thing, foil and all, onto a cookie sheet. Mark a 2 inch border lightly into the dough. Whisk together the egg water wash and brush on the dough. This helps prevent sogginess. Sprinkle with cracker crumbs. Carefully place fruit on dough respecting the drawn borders. Now carefully fold the dough over the fruit on marked edge. Use foil to help lift and fold dough over fruit. It will pleat and look rustic, this is good. Brush and cracks with egg wash to help seal edges. Now sprinkle with sugar. Keep pastry edge high to prevent leakage. Bake for 15 minutes at 425 and then reduce heat to 350 and bake 25-35 minutes more or until Pastry is golden brown and you can pierce fruit easily with a knife. If edges start to brown too fast, cover with foil. While baking, heat jam in small sauce pan and brush on tart while still warm. It will set as it cools. Cool on wire rack with foil in place. When cool, slide onto flat platter and peel away the foil that shows and serve. Yum Yum Yum!