Apple Crostata with Dutch Crust

I literally only came up with this recipe because I had a ton of apples I needed to use up. So. Many. Apples. And while I could have dumped all of my proverbial apple-eggs into one basket, and make one colossal apple dessert, that seems lame and kind of unoriginal. I would rather stretch out the torture that is eating so many apple desserts that my natural instinct when seeing one is to chuck it at someone I don’t like and make at least a half-dozen different apple recipes. Embrace the process, I say! For this recipe, I went with a crostata. Which is a fancy Italian way of saying an open-faced pie or tart. Basically, think pie or tart dough, rolled out into a circle, and folded around a filling. Really rustic. My favorite word to describe something that uses very minimal effort. I also went with a Dutch crust inspiration, which is making a crumble topping with walnuts, butter, and cinnamon, sprinkling that on top of the unbaked tart, and baking it all together to create this gorgeous, caramelized exterior! The filling is a pretty standard apple pie mixture, made by sauteeing the apples off in butter with sugar first, then thickening them with flour. The shortbread, I’m using dark brown sugar, just to give everything a more caramel-y feel. This crostata recipe was a very efficient way to use up a couple apples, and it came together pretty quickly, all things considered!

For the crumble topping:
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 tbsp dark brown sugar
2 tbsp coarsely chopped up walnuts
a pinch of salt
1 tbsp unsalted butter
a pinch of cinnamon

In a bowl, mix everything together until combined into a dough. Crumble up the dough into small, pinkie nail-sized pieces, and bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes. Cool down the crumble before attempting to use.

For the brown sugar shortbread:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tbsp dark brown sugar
a pinch of salt
4 tbsp unsalted butter, kept cold
2 tbsp cold water(can substitute with chilled bourbon or brandy too!)

In a bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, salt, and butter until they form a sandy mixture, similar to the crumble topping. Mix into that the water or liquid to form a dough. Refrigerate the dough for 15-20 minutes first. In the meantime, prepare your apple filling.

For the apple filling:
2 apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/8 inch-thick slices
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
a pinch of salt
a pinch of cinnamon
1 tsp all-purpose flour
2 tbsp unsalted butter

In a bowl, combine the ingredients, sans flour and butter. Allow the apples to sit for 5 minutes, just to let some liquid leech out of them, then toss the apples in flour, liquid and all. Melt down the butter in a pan and saute the apple mixture until it begins to thicken. Allow the mixture to cool down before pouring into the shortbread crust.

To assemble:
On a floured surface, roll out the shortbread into an 8-inch disk. Transfer the disk to a lined sheet tray. Place the apple filling down in the center and fold up the sides, allowing them to only cover about half of the filling. Sprinkle the crumble on top. Bake at 375 degrees F for 25 minutes. Allow the tart to cool completely before transferring to a serving surface.

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