Our take on Giancarlo Trattoria’s Apple Crostatas

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summary: recipe for Half-Apple Tarts, based on Jason Barato’s recipe for Giancarlo Trattoria’s Apple Crostatas; served with blue cheese; (click on image(s) to see larger view and more photos)

I love the Chef’s Showcase page in the Toronto Star’s weekly TV guide!

appletart When you make apple pie, do you usually slice the apples after coring and peeling them? You do? Well, so did we. Until we tried Jason Barato’s recipe for apple crostata, published in the Toronto Star’s Chef’s Showcase.

For reasons known only to themselves, the Star has neglected to include this recipes in their archives. Silly them. It makes one of the best apple tarts we’ve ever had. And we’ve had a lot of apple tarts….

Of course, we didn’t follow the recipe exactly (and when I say “we”, you know I mean “he”). But it was pretty close.

And we also disregarded Barato’s advice to serve the tart with ice cream. Oh my no! Serve it with blue cheese, please. (One of us might have had ice cream but when he knew that we didn’t have any ice cream in the freezer.)

Here’s what we did to make the tart:

Half-Apple Tarts
based on Jason Barato’s recipe for “Apple Crostata”

makes two tarts

  • spoonful brown sugar
  • glug of rum
  • 1 Granny Smith apple
  • 1 c unbleached all purpose flour
  • 3-4 Tbsp cold butter, cubed
  • cold water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  1. Apple filling: Two or three hours before making the tart: In a small bowl, mix together sugar and rum. Peel and core the apple. Cut it in half and put it into a small casserole dish. Pour the rum mixture over the apple, making sure that all of the apple halves are covered – to stop them from browning. Cover the dish with a plate and set aside on the counter to allow the apple to macerate. (Barato omits the rum and leaves the apple in the fridge overnight. This probably creates the same amount of juice.)
  2. Pastry: Stir flour and salt together in a small bowl. Cut the butter in until it is pea-sized. Add a little cold water and stir together just enough to form a ball. (Handle as little as possible.) Put it in the fridge to chill until you are ready to assemble the tarts.
  3. Tarts Just before dinner: On a floured board, roll the dough out into a rectangle. Cut it in half to form two squares and place them on a parchment papered cookie sheet.
  4. Reserving the juice, take the apples out and place them flat-side-down on each of the pastry pieces. Brush the halves with some of the liquid. Fold the pastry overtop of each apple half and seal the edges. You can use some of the apple liquid to wet the pastry edges if you want. Put a few knife slashes through the top layer of pastry, taking care not to pierce through the apple to to the bottom layer.
  5. Baking Bake for about 30 minutes at 325F until the pastry is gold coloured and the apple is bubbling.

Serve warm. Drizzle the rest of the apple liquid over the hot tart and put slices of good quality blue cheese on each plate. (Barato suggests serving the tarts with ice cream instead of cheese.)


Remind me to get more apples. We still have a little blue cheese left. We neeeeeed to have apple tarts with it.




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2 responses to “Our take on Giancarlo Trattoria’s Apple Crostatas

  1. Joanne

    I love apple-infused desserts ad this one sounds especially delicious! What a fun take on an apple pie!

    It is, Joanne. It is delicious. You’ve got to try it! -Elizabeth

  2. barbara

    Hmm. I always hated “baked apples” because the apple somehow was somehow both mushy and unpleasantly firm. But other people seemed to love them. Are the apples in these tarts like those baked apples? Say it ain’t so!

    Hmmm. I think I can safely say it ain’t so, Barbara. I confess that I didn’t notice whether the apple was both mushy and unpleasantly firm, which indicates that it probably wasn’t. I just remember being thoroughly satisfied. Unlike with baked apples. The thing I always disliked about baked apples was the skin and how slick yet impossible to cut or bite through it is. Not to mention that they are always missing the pastry. -Elizabeth


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