This recipe is part of the “Celebratory Goose Dinner” miniseries. For the complete menu, timetable, and printable shopping list, see the introductory post.
In my world, the true hallmark of a good recipe is one that gets made more than once. With so many exciting new recipes to try amidst the sea of cookbooks, magazines and Pinterest links I’ve surrounded myself with, it seems a shame to repeat a recipe if it isn’t a family classic or one of Mr. M’s favorites. After all, while it would be foolhardy to try a new Italian meatball recipe (this one is the ONE), it would likewise be wasteful to limit yourself to a single pie when so many options abound!
Yet I’ve made this recipe not once, not twice, but three times now since I first discovered the recipe fifteen months ago. That’s high praise. My favorite part is the crust: delicious and — stay with me here — easy. Yup, easy pie crust. If Julia Child can embrace the food processor, then so can I, with no shame. Let me explain…
I love baking, but tend more toward the cake/brownie/gooey/quickbread/cookie end of the spectrum. Pies and pastry, meringue and custards…well, they’re generally not very chocolately, so what good are they? I may fuss with appetizers and enjoy gourmet treats, but I want my desserts rich, fudgy, and messy. I suppose this makes me fairly American.
Not all menus can support such rich desserts, however, and the goose dinner menu falls squarely in that category. So what does any red, white and blue-blooded American eat for dessert if there’s no chocolate? Apple pie, of course.
But…crust. Pie crusts are notoriously finicky. If your family is anything like mine, usually one or two folks take on the role of designated family pie maker, and the rest of us are off the hook. Who wants to deal with the fuss? And while I’ll take a cue from Julia and embrace the food processor, I will NOT take a cue from a certain unnamed family member who recommends using Pillsbury dough. (Clearly not one of the designated pie makers).
So there’s got to be something special about a pie recipe that begs a novice to make it three times. The appeal is twofold: First, the dough is whizzed together in the food processor. Hard for the butter to start melting if you aren’t even touching it with your hands, and there’s no fussing with pastry cutters and forks.
Second, as you probably picked up on from the title, this isn’t truly a pie, it’s a crostata. A rustic crostata. If “cozy” is the real estate market code-word for “sardine can,” then “rustic” is the gourmand’s short hand for “sloppy.” As for “crostata?” One crust, no pan. One less crust to mess up. No crimping, no blind baking… Now, that’s my kind of pie! And yes, it tastes most excellent as well.
Recipe from Mitchell Kaldrovich of Sea Glass in Cape Elizabeth, ME, via Bon Appetit
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into ½” cubes
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Pinch of fine sea salt
- 2½ pounds Golden Delicious apples (about 5 large), peeled, halved, cored, cut into ¼”-thick slices (about 7 cups)
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons raw sugar
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup or agave syrup