Happy spring, and what a great day for pie! A rustic tart or pie is called a crostata and in my opinion, crostatas are an easier alternative to a classic pie because you don’t need to fit raw dough into a pie plate, but simply crimp the dough around fruit filling on a sheet pan. As far as pie filling, it can be identical to a standard pie with ingredients like sliced fresh or frozen fruit, lemon juice and some sugar, but in this rustic tart, I added frangipane, a creamy almond filling that’s easily made in your food processor or blender.
I’ve been making crostatas for twenty years or more, and I have even sold them at farmer’s markets once upon a time. To me, there is something so therapeutic about creating a rustic pie, it’s not just the fact that you can shape it any which way you choose, but you can be pretty playful with the edges and how thick or thin you prefer to roll the dough. I find that crostatas have so much more personality than a classic pie in a pan, and the most challenging part of the entire process is getting it off the sheet pan after it’s baked. But no worries, you don’t actually need to remove it from the sheet pan because you can serve it from there, if you choose. I served mine from a pizza peel because I thought it looked pretty cool and rustic.
The flavors of apples and cherries just burst in your mouth and the frangipane really has an intense almondy taste. I used frozen pitted cherries in this recipe because that’s what I had on hand and I love cherry and apples paired together. It’s also so much easier to use fruit that has been already pitted for you. However, you can always substitute other frozen berries, but definitely don’t skip the apples and frangipane portion of this recipe. They make a great base for a crostata.
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
8 tablespoons cold butter, diced
1/2 cup ice water
4 apples, peeled and sliced
10 ounces frozen pitted cherries
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 cup blanched almonds
1/3 cup granulated sugar
4 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup granulated sugar
4 tablespoons cold butter, diced
4 tablespoons olive oil
heavy cream – for brushing on edges of crust
(Makes 1 Crostata)
- In a stand mixer or large bowl, combine both dry Crust ingredients and mix on low speed. Add diced butter while mixer is running on low, followed by ice water. Mix until dough just begins to come together. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, up to overnight.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, combine all Filling ingredients and set aside.
- In a food processor, add all Frangipane ingredients and pulse until mixture is creamy and smooth.
- In another large bowl, combine all dry Topping ingredients and stir. Add butter and oil and mix with fingers until coarse crumbs, set aside.
- Remove dough from refrigerator and roll out into 12 inch circle on floured surface. Roll dough up around pin and unroll on parchment lined sheet pan. Spoon frangipane into center and spread within 3 inches of edges. Top with filling and fold edges around perimeter forming a large circle or oval. Top fruit with crumb topping and refrigerate crostata for 20 minutes to set.
- Brush edges with heavy cream and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until crust is deep golden brown. Remove and let cool for 1 hour before serving. Enjoy!