These are my Mom’s hands. They’re two parts lady lumber jack, one part awesome raiser of children, and three parts amazing gardener. That’s six parts total. Arbitrary… I know.
I love Mom hands… they tend to have super knowledge.
I taught my mamabear how to make Apricot Crostatas. Pie dough. Egg wash. Wait. Not so much egg wash. Fruit. Fold. That’s basically how to lesson went.
What. Back up. What the heck is a Crostata? I’m glad you asked. Crostatas are like free form fruit pies… pies without the limitations of a pie tin. I like to make a mini version of a crostata because… I’m greedy and I don’t like to share. Also… eating six mini crostatas is easier on the guilt brain that eating and entire regular sized crostata. Been there. Done it. Whateves.
Come on… let’s bake fruit things.
Let’s start with pie dough. Please don’t freak out. It’s just butter and flour and water… you can totally do this.
With your fingers break up the cold (frozen, even) fat chunks into the flour and sugar mixture. Don’t be shy… really get in there. You’ll get to about this point in the dough making process…
That wasn’t so bad, now was it? Now we need to add the cold cold cold water.
Theme? Everything has to be cold here. Ok.. not the flour, salt and sugar… but everything else. The cold will keep the fat from completely incorporating into the dough. You want little buttery fat pockets. That’s what makes pie crust so freakin’ flaky.
Add cold water to the butter and flour mixture. Work it together with a fork until all of the ingredients have been moistened.
Moistened is a weird word.
Dump the dough, in a shaggy mess, onto the counter. Work it together with your hands. Once it forms a rough ball, smash it slightly with the heal of your hand… just cause it feels good… and because you’re the boss of the dough. So there.
Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place in the fridge to rest for at least an hour.
This is important… it allows the gluten to relax, the fat to re-chill and the moisture to mellow into the dough.
These are pretty. These apricots are sexy. Slice them up and they’re ready for crostatas. Feel free to use fresh raspberries or blueberries. Blackberries are rad. Avoid strawberries and bananas… no good.. moisture issues.
Pits. It’s only natural.
Once the dough is properly chilled, divide it into eight or sixteen pieces. Depending on whether or not you doubled the recipe.
Roll the dough pieces out into circles. Not perfect circles. Kinda-sorta circles is good enough.
We’re going to use egg wash two times in this whole situation. Before we add the fruit, and just before the crostatas go in the oven. Egg wash is a beaten egg with a splash of milk. Sweet.
Brush the dough circle lightly with egg wash.
Ok… that’s a little heavy handed with the wash… but it’s ok.
Pile on the sliced apricots. I think we used about 4 to 6 apricot wedges per crostata.
Carefully fold the dough up and around the fruit. The egg wash will help the dough stick to itself.
Pile the crostatas onto a baking sheet and chill for an hour before baking. Do note… this isn’t how we bake the crostatas. We’ll put them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and spread them out more. It’ll work out better that way.
makes 8 crostatas
pie dough recipe from Dorie Greenspan
For the dough:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 sticks very cold (frozen is fine) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon-size pieces
2 1/2 tablespoons very cold (frozen is even better) vegetable shortening (non-trans fat), cut into 2 pieces
About 1/4 cup ice water
For the filling:
12 to 15 ripe apricots, each sliced into 6 wedges
2 eggs plus 2 Tablespoons of milk for egg wash
3/4 cup of sugar for coating crostatas.
Put the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor fitted with a metal blade; pulse just to combine the ingredients. Drop in the butter and shortening and pulse only until the butter and shortening are cut into the flour. Don’t overdo the mixing—
what you’re aiming for is to have pieces the size of fat green peas and others the size of barley. Pulsing the machine on and off, add 3 tablespoons of the water at a time.
Add a little water and pulse once; add some more water and pulse again; and keep going that way. Then use a few long pulses to get the water into the flour. If after a dozen or so pulses, the dough doesn’t look evenly moistened or form soft curds, pulse in as much of the remaining water, or even a few drops more, to get a dough that will stick together when pinched. If you’ve got big pieces of butter, that’s fine. The dough is ready and should be scraped out of the work bowl and on to a smooth work surface.
If you don’t want to bother with a food processor, this dough can easily be made with your two hands to break up the butter and shortening in the flour, and a fork to incorporate the cold water.
Shape the dough into a disk and wrap it. Refrigerate the dough at least 1 hour before rolling. The dough can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 1 month.
Once the dough is chilled, remove from the fridge, cut into eight approximately even pieces. Roll each piece out into a rough circle, about 1/8-inch thick. Brush lightly with egg wash. Pile in 4-6 apricot wedges and carefully fold the dough around the fruit, using the egg wash as a glue. Once all eight of the crostatas are complete, place in the fridge to chill for an hour before baking.
While the crostatas chill, preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Line one or two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Spread the crostatas out between the baking sheets and brush with egg wash. Sprinkle generously with sugar, both inside the crostata and on the egg washed pie dough. Don’t be shy with the sugar, but you may want to sample an apricot slice before baking to see just how sweet they are. That will help with your sugar dispensing.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the dough has puffed slightly and browned. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing from the baking sheet. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Be still my heart! Someone else who admits to eating an entire crostata…lol. Mini ones? Perfetto! I am going to do that. Like you said, it’s lessens the guilt:-)
These looks delish, I am however very lazy, would if work with the refridgerated pie crusts? how many do you think it would make??
Thanks , love your site