- 40 min
- Kcal 284
Think of the most popular homemade desserts: apple pie, strudel, pancakes... What’s the one thing they all have in common? Apples! The full sweetness of these fruits is only really released when they are cooked and become mouth-wateringly soft, and this is certainly true of this recipe for crostata di mele, or apple tart. A classic cake your grandma would make, with simple flavors the whole family loves, perfect for serving at the end of a meal as a dessert, or even to enjoy as a snack with a hot spiced tea when you need a sweet pick-me-up. A fragrant and crumbly tart dough case filled with an exquisite spiral of apples, patiently crafted, slice by slice, like the petals of a rose, creating a visual effect that’s easy to achieve and will bring a sophisticated twist to your homemade apple tart.
To make the apple tart, prepare the pie dough using the sanding method. Start by pouring the flour into a mixer (you can use the planetary mixer in the same way, if you like, by using only the flat beater), together with the cold butter, cut into small pieces 1. Work the blades several times until the mixture becomes sandy in texture. Using the mixer intermittently will prevent the dough from becoming too warm. Turn off the blades and add the powdered sugar 2, before grating the zest of an untreated lemon, taking care to use only the yellow part and not the white pith inside, which is bitter 3.
Add the lightly beaten egg 4 and a pinch of salt. Turn the mixer on again for a few seconds, this time on a lower speed, so that the blades mix the dough without beating it. Once the mixture is blended 5, transfer it to the pastry board 6.
Compact quickly with your hands to prevent the gluten from developing, just long enough to obtain a smooth, consistent patty. Wrap it in plastic wrap 7 and leave to rest in the refrigerator for at least half an hour. In the meantime, prepare the apples by peeling them 8 and cutting them first in half and then in slices 9.
Place the apple slices in a bowl and drizzle with lemon juice to prevent them from going brown 10. Once the pie dough has rested for long enough, take the dough, sprinkle lightly with flour, and roll it out with a rolling pin on a pastry board 11 to achieve a uniform thickness of around ¼ inch (5 mm) 12.
Wrap the rolled-out pie dough around the rolling pin and unroll it onto a cake mold 13 measuring 11 inches (28 cm) in diameter. Use your fingers to press the pie dough onto the edges and bottom of the pan, then use a small knife to remove any excess pastry from around the edges. Prick the base with the prongs of a fork 14. Next, fill the pie dough with the sliced apple, arranging the slices like spokes along the entire outer edge of the base 15
to create a circle 16. Arrange the remaining apples in the hole in the middle 17 so that the base is entirely covered with sliced apple 18.
Finally, sprinkle the surface 19 evenly 20 with cane sugar. Bake in a conventional oven preheated to 350°F (180°C) for 50 minutes. After 50 minutes, remove the apple tart from the oven 21 and allow to cool before turning out and serving.
Cover the apple tart and store in a cool place or in the fridge for around 3 days. Not suitable for freezing.
For a more compact dough that is easier to knead, make the dough the day before and keep it in the fridge covered with plastic wrap. The dough can also be flavored with vanilla, orange zest, or cinnamon to taste.