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Apple Crostata

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!!

apple crostata dusted with powdered sugar on a wooden board viewed from above.

Why you will 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. 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. Once you’ve mastered this pie dough recipe, you should try my Ricotta Pie or my Bocconotti.

If you have time to make two things, serve this paired with my delicious puff pastry apple tart!

Of course, the apples are amazing too! Partially 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!!

close up of tart filled with apples and a bone handle knife in front.

Ingredient notes

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.

  1. apples
  2. sugar
  3. butter
  4. cinnamon

While apples are in season, buy extra apples so that you can make my apple compote. It’s delicious for breakfast with a spoonful of yogurt.

Variations

  • 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
Close up of italian crostata with apple filling dusted with powdered sugar.

Instructions

  1. Firstly cook the apples in a skillet with little butter, sugar and cinnamon for just 5 minutes. Set aside to cool a little.
  2. For the crust, cream the butter and sugar
  3. Add the egg
  4. Then mix in the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and polenta to form a dough
  5. Wrap the dough in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.
  6. Press the dough out directly into the pan extend the side up above the edge
  7. Fill with cinnamon apple filling and fold the edges of the dough onto the apple.
  8. Bake until golden brown then shower with powdered (icing) sugar before serving

Tips and FAQ’s

Just like the dough for my Crostata di Marmellata, 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 wouldn’t want a burnt apple crostata.

Can I use different apples?

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.

Can this recipe be prepared in advance?

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.

What is the best way to store apple 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.

Serving suggestions

Serve slices of Apple Crostata with –

More recipes you will love

Puff Pastry Apple Turnovers
Cinnamon Panna Cotta with Apple Crumble topping
Old Fashioned Fresh Apple Cake recipe

Made this recipe?
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close up of apple crostata with bone handle knife in front

Apple Crostata Recipe

An Italian classic with all the tastes of apple pie but half the work!
4.95 from 39 votes
Print Pin Review
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Chilling time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings:12
Author: Marcellina

Ingredients

Filling:

  • 4 Granny Smith apples peeled, cored and cut into small dice
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Crust:

  • ½ cup (4 oz/115 grams) salted butter
  • ½ cup (100 grams) white sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk (white reserved)
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 ¾ cups (220 grams) all purpose (plain) flour
  • ½ cup (80 grams) polenta finely ground cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

Instructions

Filling

  • In a frying pan melt the butter then add apples, sugar and cinnamon.
  • Gently cook for 5 to 10 minutes stirring every now and then until just tender.
  • Remove the apples with a slotted spoon to a bowl. Set aside.
  • Simmer the remaining syrup until reduced by half. Set aside.

Dough

  • 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. Please note that if the weather is hot, it's best to refrigerate the dough.
  • 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. Brush the apples with the reserved syrup 2 or 3 times during the cooking.
  • Can be served warm or at room temperature. Dust with powdered (icing) sugar before serving.

Notes

  • 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.
This recipe has been adapted from David Lebovitz
 
 
Tried this recipe? Give it a star rating and leave a comment below!

Nutritional Estimate Per Serving

Calories: 262kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 55mg | Sodium: 92mg | Potassium: 181mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 384IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

Nutritional information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. For accurate results, it is recommended that the nutritional information be calculated based on the ingredients and brands you use.

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Recipe Rating




26 Comments

    1. No, you can substitute all purpose flour. The polenta provides texture but I’ve also made it with only all purpose flour and it’s delicious.

  1. I made this yesterday and it was so easy but i must say i thought the polenta made the dough a little grainy. I want to try making it again but this time using semola rimacinata . Its a shame because it looked amazing and the filling was so good .

    1. Glad you enjoy the crostata, Janet! Yes, the dough is grainy – that’s the feature of it. If you don’t like it you could probably substitute 1:1 with flour.

  2. 5 stars
    What a glorious apple pie tart! It’s simple to prepare and the cinnamon apple filling is the best!
    Angie

  3. 5 stars
    I used this recipe to top an apple crisp, instead of traditional topping. BEST EVER.

  4. This looks wonderful, and doesn’t sound too sweet. I have limited baking skills but I think I could manage this! Thank you!

  5. Your crostata looks and sounds super. I like the idea of using polenta in the crust.

  6. This sounds like a real favorite. Love the semolina and cornmeal in the pastry!

  7. 5 stars
    I love the look of this apple pie, something in between a crostata, a galette, and a pie. Love that you added cornmeal and semolina. Can’t wait to try the pastry!

  8. Oh my Marcellina! I am such a nut for pies and this one looks fantastic. I LOVE the way you used the deep tart pan – it looks beautiful. Rustic and beautiful. We visited Sydney and the Blue Mountains this past fall. What a wonderful city! Have a terrific day 🙂

  9. Hehe if I made an apple pie every day, I’d be very popular in this household too! This looks like an intriguing recipe with the polenta.

  10. this looks very tasty marcellina! apple pies are always popular with everyone and this version looks great. have a great 2018. cheer sherry x

  11. It sure looks delicious and if you’ve baked it already twice in 2018, I will have to give it a try.