Welcoming Autumn with a Rustic Apple Crostata

apple crostata


Autumn is here and apple season is upon us so now is the perfect time to make a rustic apple crostata. A crostata is basically a folding of fresh fruit with a little sugar and spice into a buttery pastry dough. The crostata is the Italian version of the French Galette but in essence they’re the same thing.

The best thing I like about making a crostata is that the process is free form, easier than making a pie, and when you make them no two will look alike, but that’s the rustic charm of it.autumn apples

It really doesn’t matter what type of apples you use, use what you like, but look for large ones so you’re not peeling forever.autumn applesapple slices

I actually ended up using large Gala apples for this sliced about 1/8 inch, as opposed to quartering the apples and having them chunkier, the slices will lay better in the crostata and you’ll be able to fan them out and layer on top of each other which makes it look prettier.apple crostata

This is a dessert you can make in a pinch, especially if you have some store-bought pie crusts tucked away in your fridge like I do. I happen to love Trader Joe’s pie crusts, you can actually see pieces of butter in the dough. It’s looks elegant and tastes amazing and your house smells incredible while it’s baking in the oven.apple crostata

Apples, cinnamon and crust oh my!apple crostata

Serve it alone or with a scoop of ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream, either way you’re going to love it.

Desserts don’t have to be fussy and complicated to taste awesome, cut into a piece of this apple crostata and see for yourself!

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Rustic Apple Crostata
  • 1 quality store-bought package of pie crust, room temp for easy rolling or homemade pastry dough (I used Trader Joe's)
  • 3 or 4 large apples of your choice, I used Gala, peeled, seeded and sliced into ⅛ inch
  • ¼ cup sugar plus a little more for sprinkling on crust
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon or to taste, I like alot. You can also add in some nutmeg to your liking
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon, melted butter
  • 1 egg, for egg wash
  • a squeeze of lemon juice onto apples so they don't turn brown
  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment and heat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Place sliced apples into a bowl and add the sugar, a squeeze of lemon juice, cornstarch, cinnamon and a pinch of salt, tossing gently until well coated, set aside.
  3. Un wrap your dough and smooth it out with a rolling pin, stretching it out and pressing together any breaks.
  4. Place dough onto parchment lined baking sheet.
  5. Arrange the apple slices on top overlapping them and fanning them into a circle leaving a good 1½ inch border all around.
  6. Fold the dough over the apples in a rustic fashion, if the dough tears just pinch together.
  7. Drizzle the melted butter over the top of apples.
  8. Whisk the egg and brush all over the crust then sprinkle crust with sugar.
  9. Bake at 400 for 40-50 minutes or until it is nicely golden brown according to your oven temp.
  10. Let it sit before cutting, serve with ice cream or whipped cream
  11. Enjoy!



Baking with Fruits of the Season

When it comes to baking I usually go for the more “rustic style”, nothing long and complicated for me, quick breads, muffins, one bowl whatever. I get excited when I don’t have to pull out my hand held beaters. I don’t own a Kitchen Aid and probably never will although I do like those pasta attachments!

That’s why I love making this cake, Torta di Mele, which is an Italian apple cake. Just grab a big bowl and combine:

2 Cups of flour
4 Eggs
1 Cup of canola oil
1 Cup sugar
2 Teaspoons baking powder
3 Tablespoons Amaretto liqueur
6 apples cored, sliced and tossed in the juice of one lemon

Preheat oven to 325F. Combine all ingredients in bowl and stir until smooth. Pour batter into a buttered 9 or 10 inch spring form pan and place your apple slices all around gently pressing them in as pictured above, then bake for 60 to 70 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Cool and serve at room temperature.

I love Italian plums, when I see them I’m instantly reminded of my favorite aunt and uncle who grew them proudly on their property, they’re much smaller than the standard black and red plums that we normally see, their texture is a little firmer and they hold up great in baking. My friend Stacey calls this recipe, Plum Cake for Dummies, which is right up my easy baking alley!

Italian Plum Cake

For my recipe I used the Italian plums which I sliced in half and pitted, you can use as many as you want filling the whole top of the cake if you so desire. The key to this recipe is the easy batter which consists of;

1 1/2 Cups flour
2 tsp Baking powder
1/2 Teaspoon salt
3/4 cup of sugar
1 egg
1/4 Cup canola oil
1/2 Cup milk

Cinnamon sugar to sprinkle over plums,
1 Tablespoon of sugar combined with 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.


Mix the wet with the dry ingredients, I used my hand held mixer, then pour the batter into a buttered 8 inch square pan.
Place your plum halves on top of the batter facing cut side up, I pressed one deep into the batter and then another one directly on top of that, so I used 2 halves per section right on top of each other pressing down a bit.

Sprinkle the plum halves with cinnamon sugar and dot the top of them with 2 tbsp of butter and bake at 375F for 40-45 minutes.
This cake was super moist and great with a hot cup of french roast coffee! This would be equally good using other stone fruits or even apples, why not!

And lastly, for a nice Sunday breakfast that you can prepare the night before and pop in the oven the morning of, Baked Cranberry Apple French Toast.

Wouldn’t you like to wake up to the smell of this baking in your oven? It’s easy, here’s how you do it.


1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup melted butter
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
2 or 3 tart apples, depending on size, peeled, cored and thinly slice
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 loaf of Italian or French bread, cut into 1-inch slices
3 large eggs
3/ 4 cups milk
1 tbsp. pure vanilla
Feel free to spike it with some rum or Amaretto for extra added flavor!

Toss apples and cranberries with brown sugar and 1 tsp. cinnamon. In a buttered 8×8-
inch baking dish arrange bread cubes on top. Mix the eggs, milk, vanilla and remaining 2 tsp. cinnamon until well blended. Pour mixture over bread, soaking bread completely. Arrange apple and cranberry mixture all over then cover and refrigerate overnight. Next morning, bake covered with aluminum foil in a preheated 375F degree oven for 30-40 minutes. Uncover and bake 5 minutes more. Remove from oven and let it stand for 5 minutes.
Serve warm, garnish with slivered almonds and serve with maple syrup!
Buon Appetito!