This Italian Apple Crostata is made with a warm, cinnamon apple filling and an easy crust that you don’t have to roll out!
It’s a delicious rustic dessert ideal for the holidays or a cozy, winter night in! Take apples douse them in cinnamon, sugar and butter, put them into an easy, buttery pastry case and bake until golden brown. Perfection!!
Why you’ll love this recipe
Apple Crostata is like a classic apple pie but it’s so much easier. For one thing, there is no rolling out pastry. No need to chill or worry about it fitting your tart pan. Just press it in and right up and over the sides.
If the pastry tears or breaks, have you ruined it? Absolutely not. That’s why this recipe is so wonderful. Just patch it up and the apple crostata will be fine.
Of course, the apples are amazing too! Cooked before going into the oven means that they are soft and tender. And a little bit of polenta (fine cornmeal) means the juicy apples won’t make the crust soggy! It’s a win-win!!
For this no-roll pie crust, you’ll need some basic ingredients. As with most baking recipe, these ingredients are best at room temperature.
- softened butter – I use salted but you could use unsalted and add a pinch of salt
- sugar – superfine is the best choice for baking
- eggs – large
- all purpose (plain) flour
- baking powder
- polenta – this is just fine cornmeal
You’ll only need 4 ingredients for the apple filling.
- substitute two pears for two apples to make an apple and pear crostata
- fill with jam, fruit preserves or Nutella instead of apples
- add finely grated lemon rind to the crust and filling instead of cinnamon
- Firstly cook the apples in a skillet with little butter, sugar and cinnamon for just 5 minutes. Set aside to cool a little.
- For the crust, cream the butter and sugar
- Add the egg
- Then mix in the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and polenta to form a dough
- Press the dough out directly into the pan extend the side up above the edge
- Fill with cinnamon apple filling and fold the edges of the dough onto the apple.
- Bake until golden brown then shower with powdered (icing) sugar before serving
Tips and FAQ’s
This dough is so forgiving you can patch up holes, cracks and any shortcomings by just pressing.
Spread the filling evenly so there is plenty of apple in each slice.
Check the crostata at the 25 minutes mark because everyone’s oven is different and we would want a burnt apple crostata.
You can use your favorite baking apples. I prefer Granny Smith because they’re quite tart and soften really well when baked but it’s up to you. Try Royal Gala or Fuji.
Yes. If you want to prepare this in advance, make sure the apples are complete cool before filling the crostata. Complete up to step #8 then cover well with plastic wrap and refrigerator overnight. The next day, continue from step #9 for freshly baked crostata.
Store for a day or two at room temperature in a covered container or plate. Pop it into the refrigerator (in a cover container) to keep for up to 5 days.
Serve slices of Apple Crostata with –
- caramel sauce from my Chocolate Cake with caramel recipe
- vanilla icecream
- a dollop of Mascarpone Cream
- Italian pastry cream
- whipped cream
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Apple Crostata recipe
- 5 Granny Smith apples peeled, cored and cut into small dice
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ cup (4 oz/115 grams) salted butter
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk (white reserved)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 ½ cups all purpose (plain) flour
- ½ cup polenta or finely ground cornmeal
- 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 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 375ºF/180ºC. Butter a 10inch/25cm shallow flan pan 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.
- Simply press the pastry into the flan pan, extending it up the sides and a little bit higher.
- Spoon the apple mixture evenly into the pastry lined pan and fold the overhanging pastry 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 powdered (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.