Apple, cherries and rhubarb crostata

Jan. 27, 2010, 12:52 p.m. | by Adriano Petrich | Categories: dessert Italian pie

Apple, cherries and rhubarb crostata


For the dough

Flour, 300 g ( 10 + 1/2 oz )

Butter, 100 g ( 3 + 1/2 oz )

Water, 3 tbsp (might need more)

For the filling

Apples, 4 (any firm variety, I used fuji)

Cherries, 100 g ( 3 + 1/2 oz ) pitted

Rhubarb, 100 g ( 3 + 1/2 oz )

Sugar, 200 g ( 7 oz )

Whiskey, 1 shot

Materials and Methods

The water

I have some pet peeves with pie fillings.

Fruits have plenty of water and cooking them releases all that water making the crust soggy.

One branch of though thinks that the solution is precooking. As expected I don’t think that that is the best solution (except in very specific dishes like tarte tartin).

Precooking fruits tends to remove the live, bright taste of them, also it makes them a little mushy.

Fear not for here comes my 2 cents of wisdom: My solution is marinating.

Sugar will remove the excess water without blunting the flavor. BTW I also add booze to the marinate.

So core, skin and slice the apples, pit the cherries and slice the rhubarb1.

Add the sugar and a splash of whiskey. Let it sit at least 30 minutes covered in the fridge.

Show me the dough

Here is where my pies are inferior: Butter. I don’t use shortening or margarine. I don’t really trust them.

But to get a flaky crust with butter temperature matters. The colder the better

If I am using a food processor I slice the butter in small pieces and freeze them. If I’m mixing the dough by hand I freeze the butter and grate it on a cheese grater.

Mix the flour and butter together and add a tablespoon of water at a time until the dough if pinched stays together.

Bag the dough and refrigerate it for 10 minutes at least.

Cold is your friend

The main point now is to not let the butter flakes in the dough melt.

The objective now is to shape it into a disk.

So flour your working surface and your rolling pin well.

If you feel that the dough is starting to melt return it to the fridge.

Cover a pan with parchment paper and lay the dough on top. I’m making more of a crostata than a traditional pie, so a single layer crust will do.

Crostata is a more rustic Italian version of a pie.

No need to double bake the dough also.

Yeah and I cheat: I bake it on a pie pan instead of baking sheet, my crostata has more height than the bona fide one.

Baking and Glazing

Drain the fruits, but reserve the liquid.

Dump the fruits on the center of the dough and fold the sides to hold the crostata in shape.

Bake for 5 minutes on high oven then lower the temperature and bake for more 10 minutes apply the glaze, return to the oven for more 5 minutes or until the crust is golden.

Glaze? What glaze? The one that you make with the liquid you drained from the fruits.

Place the liquids in a small pan over low heat and don’t let it out of your sight.

Cook until it is syrupy and shiny stirring occasionally.

1Don’t laugh at my pitiful rhubarb. It’s not the best rhubarb that you can find in Sao Paulo, it is the only rhubarb that you can find here.


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