Italian Apple Pie with no fail pastry is always going to be popular. Take apples douse them in cinnamon, sugar and butter, put them into a easy, buttery pastry case and bake until golden brown. Perfection and so is the pastry.
Need a quick dessert?
I found this recipe on Deborah Mele’s lovely blog Italian Food Forever when I needed a quick dessert. Deborah in turn attributed it to David Lebovitz who in turn attributed it to someone else and so on. They’ve all added their own twists as did I so the final recipe is not terribly similar to the original. I substituted the polenta in the crust for half polenta half semolina just because that’s what I had and the result is great. I think the polenta/semolina mix ensures the pastry isn’t soggy and stays crisp and toothsome AND no need to roll, simply press into the flan tin.
Some tips on making this Apple pie
This Italian Apple Pie, or crostata if you wish, is really easy just like my Apricot Crostata which uses olive oil. Firstly the apples are gently cooked in a pan with little butter, sugar and cinnamon for just 5 minutes. The pastry comes together quickly once the butter and sugar are creamed. Then press the dough out directly into the pie dish without resting. Or if you have time to rest the dough for 30 minutes you can roll it out (if you want to) and fold the sides over the filling as I have done.Because this pastry is so forgiving you can patch up holes, cracks and any shortcomings or extend the dough by just pressing no rolling. Finally when it’s baked and golden brown shower it with icing sugar because everything is improves with a dusting of sugar.
I can’t get enough of this Apple pie!
Apples and Apple Pies are so popular in my family, I can never have too many Apple Pie recipes. I have baked this Italian Apple Pie twice this year (yes, 2018) and am about to bake another one tomorrow. Maybe I’ll have to make it today….I feel an Italian Apple Pie craving coming on.
A classic apple pie with an Italian twist and easy and forgiving pastry
- 5 Granny Smith apples peeled, cored and cut into small dice
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 3 teaspoons cinnamon
- 125 grams (4 oz) salted butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk (white reserved)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 1/2 cups plain flour
- 1/4 cup polenta or finely ground cornmeal
- 1/4 cup finely ground semolina
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- In a frying pan melt the butter then add apples, sugar and cinnamon.
Gently cook for 5 minutes stirring every now and then. Cool it a little before pouring into the crust.
- Beat butter and sugar until well blended and creamy. I used my stand mixer. You could use a hand held beater or a wooden spoon and a bit of muscle.
- Add the egg and egg yolk. Beat to combine - it will look curdled but that's ok.
- Sift the flour, baking powder and cinnamon.
- Add sifted flour together with polenta and semolina to the butter mixture. Stir until just combined and mixture forms a dough
- If you have time the dough can be rested in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. If not continue with the recipe.
- Preheat oven to 180C/375F. Butter a 25cm/10inch shallow flan tin with removable base. Really you can use whatever you have but remember to adjust baking time if you use an alternate pan. This particular pan makes it easy to remove that pie when it's done.
- If the pastry has rested and chilled, roll it out on a floured surface into a round larger than the flan tin.
- Wind the pastry around the rolling pin to move it to the flan tin easily. Ease the pastry into the tin. There will be extra pastry above the rim of the tin. (You want that).
- If the pastry has not rested, simply press into the flan tin, pushing it up the sides and a little bit higher if you can.
- Spoon the apple mixture evenly into the pastry lined tin and if you have overhanging pastry now is the time fold it onto the apples allowing the apples to show in the middle.
- Brush pastry with reserved beaten egg white.
Bake the pie in preheated oven for about 30-40 minutes or until it is golden brown.
- Remove from the oven.
- Can be served warm or at room temperature. Dust with icing sugar before serving.
- This pastry is very forgiving. It is not a problem to break pieces off to patch up holes, splits or shortcomings.
- If you don't have enough apples, make up the quantity with a pear or two.
- I like it well browned and crispy but each oven is different. Check and turn the pie, if necessary for even browning. You may find 30 minutes is enough baking time.