If you like apple pies and tortas, then you are going to LOVE this Rustic Apple Crostata with Caramel Streusel Topping . . . an Italian take on pie (with a twist of German flair that I added for my German-Scottish husband)! Last month I made a peach crostata with the last harvest of peaches and just knew that I had to make it again with apples now that we’re in full swing of autumn.
The great thing about crostatas (crostate in Italian), is how insanely simple they are to make! My kind of cooking! Simple and delicious! When I bake a crostata I do something different: I double the crust ingredients and make a bigger crostata about the size of a regular pie. Most crostata recipes are rather small. Even though that’s OK, my family wants more of a good thing!
How can anyone resist this beautiful creation filled with layers of apples in a thick, sweet crust topped with lots of cinnamon, sugar, and butter . . . and then drizzled with caramel? Oh, oh, OH!
“Excellent!” was the verdict of my sweets-loving and uber-picky husband. It’s always so much fun to find a winning recipe, isn’t it?
- 2 cups flour
- 5 Tbsp. sugar
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 sticks of very cold butter, sliced
- 4 – 5 Tbsp. ice water
- Melted butter to brush on dough and sugar to sprinkle on top of dough after crostata is filled with apples and ready to go in the oven.
- 3 pounds of apples, peeled, cored and sliced into one-third” slices (use an assortment of Granny Smith, MacIntosh, and Fuji apples)
- ½ tsp. lemon juice
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1/3 cup sugar
- ½ cup finely crushed vanilla wafer cookies
- ½ tsp freshly grated sea salt
- 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 2 Tbsp. corn starch
- 6 Tbsp. cold butter, sliced or diced
- Use store-bought or a home-made recipe to drizzle on top
- Serve with vanilla or cinnamon ice cream.
- Using a food processor with a steel blade: Place the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl and pulse several times to combine.
- Add butter slices and pulse until butter is the size of peas.
- Add ice water, continuing to pulse to combine; stopping at the point before the dough becomes a solid ball.
- Turn dough out on a well-floured wooden board and form into a circular disk.
- Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour.
- While peeling, coring, and slicing the apples, place them in a bowl of cold water with the lemon juice to prevent them from turning brown.
- In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, combine flour, sugar, crushed vanilla wafer cookie crumbs, salt, cinnamon and corn starch, pulsing a few times to mix.
- Add the butter slices and pulse until crumbly (If it isn’t crumbly, do so with your hands).
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Place the chilled dough on a floured wooden board; using a floured rolling pin, roll dough into a large circle.
- Place the rolled out dough on top of parchment paper
- Layer the apple slices on the dough leaving a 2″ border.
- Sprinkle the streusel mixture evenly over the apples.
- Gently fold the 2 inches of the outer dough border over the apple mixture, overlapping the dough into a folded side border top.
- With the uncooked crostata still on the parchment paper, carefully lift it up and place it (parchment paper included) inside a baking pan; it should have a snug fit (which prevents the overlapped dough from falling down).
- Brush some melted butter on the dough and sprinkle with sugar.
- Bake for 20 minutes on the lowest oven rack, then remove and cover the dough on the sides with aluminum foil to prevent burning. Keep an eye on the crostata for any signs of burning; cover with aluminum foil if streusel also begins to turn dark brown or black.
- Return to the oven and bake for another 40 minutes.
- Serve warm with ice cream and caramel sauce.
Here are a few more delicious apple dessert recipes for you to enjoy: