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Crostata Mele e Crema (Apple and Pastry Cream Crostata)

Crostata Mele e Crema-Apple and Pastry Cream Crostata

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5 from 2 reviews

Crostata Mele e Crema (Apple and Pastry Cream Crostata), a classic, simple dessert, where a buttery short pastry shell hosts a silky lemon flavored pastry cream and to finish it off juicy and crunchy cinnamon apple slices. Easy to make at home, you can also divide the preparation in two steps, making the short pastry, or the pastry cream (or both) the day before.

Ingredients

Scale

For the short pastry:

  • 220 g unbleached all-purpose (or cake) flour
  • 100 g butter, cold, cut into cubes
  • 100 g sugar (granulated or raw cane sugar)
  • pinch salt
  • 1 organic lemon, the zest, grated
  • 1 egg + 1 egg yolk, organic free-range

For the pastry cream:

  • 3 egg yolks, organic free-range
  • 3 glasses milk (about 400 ml)
  • 3 Tbsp potato starch (or cake flour), sifted
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 organic lemon, the rind

For the apples:

  • 2-3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, quartered, then thinly sliced (I used 2 but there was room for more slices)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 organic lemon, the juice
  • raw cane sugar, to sprinkle on top

Instructions

For the short pastry:

  1. In a large bowl work together the flour, cubed butter, sugar and pinch of salt, using a pastry cutter until you obtain a sandy texture. You can also use a food processor or a stand mixer.
  2. Add the egg and the egg yolk, the lemon zest, and work quickly with your hands to get a ball of dough. Wrap it in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  3. Take the short pastry out of the fridge, and take it to room temperature. On a floured work surface, roll the dough to a 4-5 mm thickness.
  4. With the help of the rolling pin, transfer the pastry into a rectangular tart mold (35 x 11 cm) with a removable bottom, or a round tart mold (about 22-24 cm in diameter).
  5. With a sharp knife, cut the excess dough on the borders and puncture the bottom with the tins of a fork. Set in the fridge to cool for at least 20 minutes. Gather all the leftover pastry dough (if you have it) and place it back in the fridge until you decide what to make with it (cookies, tartlet, or freeze it for later use).
  6. Preheat the oven to 180° C (350° F).

For the pastry cream:

  1. Heat the milk in a saucepan with the lemon rind; beat well the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl, then add the sifted flour (or potato starch) and mix with a spatula. Pour the heated milk mixture slowly, mixing with a whisk. Put back the mixture on the stove and stir constantly until the cream has thickened.
  2. Transfer the pastry cream to a bowl and let it cool with a plastic wrap directly on top to keep it from drying out.

For the apples:

  • Peel and cut the apples in quarters. Slice them fairly thin, then place in a bowl. Add the lemon juice and cinnamon and stir. Set aside.

Assembly:

  1. Take out the pastry shell from the fridge. Fill it with the pastry cream, smoothing it with a spoon.
  2. Arrange the sliced apples on top as you most like. Sprinkle with the raw cane sugar.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for about 40-45 minutes, or until nice and golden.
  4. Take it out of the oven and let it rest on a rack, until it cools completely.

Notes

You can divide the preparation into a few steps, by making the short pastry, or the pastry cream (or both) the day before. So, your prep time will vary considerably.

The cooking time indicated is only for the baking of the crostata.

For a tart with perfect edges, it is advisable to use a non-stick mold with a removable bottom (rectangular or round, as you wish). With the rectangular 35 x 11 cm tart mold I used, I had some leftover dough and I made shortbread cookies.

Store in the refrigerator, and consume within two to three days. It is good both cold and at room temperature.

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