Nov 29, 2010

{daring bakers: rustic apple crostatas}

The 2010 November Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Simona of briciole. She chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ to make pasta frolla for a crostata. She used her own experience as a source, as well as information from Pellegrino Artusi’s Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well.

This months Daring Bakers challenge was crostatas or tarts. Tarts are made up of a sweet short crust pastry dough and either fruit or pastry cream based fillings. With Thanksgiving coming up I decided to make an apple tart and since I had no tart pan, I went for the rustic look (which I think adds to the homeyness of it all). I adapted my filling recipe from Joy of Baking and used one of the pasta frolla recipes provided.

It was quite an adventure.

I wanted to serve the tarts on turkey day which meant I needed to assemble and bake these babies day of. I planed ahead with the hostess to make sure there would be space for me to work/bake and discovered she had three ovens! Awesome. I prepped my pasta frolla the day before and brought it with me along with the rest of the ingredients. After rolling out my dough, filling my tarts and folding over the rustic edges, I was ready to bake. I went to place my pan in the oven and what do you know, it doesn't fit! Not to worry, I thought, I'll go pre-heat the big oven downstairs and bake it in there. So, I place my tarts back in the fridge so they stay firm and run downstairs. Since there was no light indicator as to whether or not the oven was pre-heated, I decided to give it a half hour to get hot. Once the time had passed, I walked downstairs precariously holding my tarts and placed them in the oven...which wasn't really that hot but I figured it would be okay. Using my trusty iphone timer I set it for 30 minutes and walked back upstairs to mingle. The alarm goes off. I happily hop downstairs to check on the tarts and what do you know, the oven was warm enough to keep a plate warm and make my dough gooey. Fantastic. So along with some help I try to transfer the tarts to a smaller baking pan...let me tell you...gooey dough does not transfer. Thankfully, a fellow daring baker was there to advise me (and help me remain calm!) to place the pan back in the fridge to firm up again before transferring it to a smaller pan. This worked wonderfully and we ended up having the tarts with the late night turkey day snack.

Despite the bumps along the way, everything came out pretty delicious. I really loved the crust and the filling was nice and lite. I will definitely be making these again as I thought the whole process was actually fairly simple. Thank you Simona for a fun challenge!

See more pics and the recipe after the jump.