If I wasn’t so set in my traditional holiday ways, I would totally swap out the classic pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving Day for this roasted autumn fruit crostata. It’s a beautiful dessert with a crust so good, you’ll want to eat every last crumb and while the apples, pears and quince are roasting in the oven, the kitchen will fill with the lovely aroma of an unforgettable holiday.
It’s just too bad that I’m so stubborn I have to have my turkey and pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving Day =P A couple years ago though, I did swap out the turkey for a few cornish game hens, so I suppose that’s a start? Perhaps next year I’ll be able to move on from pumpkin pie and finally break tradition! (Last year was one exception because Anthony and I actually spent Thanksgiving Day on the plane flying back from Paris… but that doesn’t really count )
For now, this crostata is going on my Halloween menu and perhaps if quince is still around in December, we’ll be having it for dessert on Christmas =) The roasted quince is so good in here, I’m actually considering swapping out one of the pears for another quince. It holds it’s shape incredibly well during roasting and tastes both apple-y and pear-ish… almost like having the best of both worlds! Anthony and I both really loved the roasted quince in the crostata so whenever we came across a piece in our slice, we’d cut it in half and share After all, sharing’s caring!
We had the crostata with a scoop of the ginger-pear sorbet featured in our newsletter last month, but you can also go classic a la mode with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of freshly whipped cream with some powdered sugar and ground cinnamon. It doesn’t really matter how you eat it, just be sure to have plenty of forks and plates to go around because everybody will be wanting a piece of this =D
|PREP TIME||30 Min|
|COOK TIME||1 Hr 20 Min|
|READY IN||3 Hr|
|2||Bartlett pears, firm but ripe (about 12 ounces)|
|2||Gala apples (about 12 ounces)|
|1||quince (about 8 ounces)|
|2||tablespoons fresh lemon juice|
|1/3||cup granulated sugar|
|2||tablespoons packed dark brown sugar|
|1||(1/2-inch) piece fresh ginger root|
|1 1/2||cups all-purpose flour|
|7||tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces|
|2||tablespoons granulated sugar|
|pinch vanilla powder, optional|
|1||teaspoon cold water|
|3||ounces almond paste|
|flour, for dusting|
|1||egg, beaten for egg wash|
|1||tablespoon raw cane sugar|
|Large cutting board|
|Chef’s knife (See the Guide)|
|Heat-resistant spatula or wooden spoon|
|Large oven-proof skillet|
|10-inch round tart pan|
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Peel, quarter, and core pears, apples, and quince. (You can leave the apples unpeeled if you prefer.) Slice each quarter in half and toss all together in a large mixing bowl with lemon juice. Set aside.
- In a large oven-proof skillet, heat 1/3 cup granulated sugar until lightly caramelized over moderate heat, about 3-5 minutes. While the sugar is melting, do not disturb the sugar by stirring it. Simply swirl the pan to evenly coat the bottom with the caramel to prevent any crystallization. Carefully add the sliced fruits, along with any juices, and toss to coat. Be extra careful since the caramel will bubble. Add the sliced ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and 2 tablespoons brown sugar. Stir to combine and bring the mixture to a boil. Spread the fruit in an even layer and transfer the skillet into the oven. Roast the fruit, stirring once or twice, until glazed and caramelized, about 20-25 minutes. (Alternatively, in a large mixing bowl, combine the fruits, lemon juice, spices and sugars, and toss to coat. Arrange the fruit mixture, along with any juices, in a large oven-proof skillet and roast, stirring once or twice, until glazed and caramelized, about 25-30 minutes.) Let cool in the skillet on a rack at room temperature.
- Meanwhile, prepare the pastry shell while the fruits are roasting.
Combine. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and salt to combine. Add in the cold butter pieces.
Sablage. Working quickly, rub the flour and butter between your fingers or the palms of your hands without overheating the butter in order to create a mealy, sandy texture.
Mix. Create a well in the middle and add the 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, vanilla powder, if using, egg and water. Using your index finger, stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients just to incorporate. Using a pastry scraper, transfer the mixture onto a clean, cold work surface, such as a marble countertop.
Fraisage. Form the dough by smearing parts of the unformed dough across the work surface with the heel or palm of your hand. With your other hand, using a pastry scraper, gather up the smeared parts and repeat this process until you can use a pastry scraper to fold the dough back upon itself and form a flat round. Be careful not to overwork the dough.
Chill. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge until firm, at least 1 hour.
Combine the flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to combine. Add the cold butter pieces and pulse a few more times to create a mealy, sandy texture. Add the 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, vanilla powder, if using, egg and water. Pulse just until the dough starts to come together. Transfer onto a clean, cold work surface and quickly form the dough into a flat round and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill in the fridge until firm, at least 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Set a 10-inch round tart pan on a baking sheet. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured work surface with a lightly floured rolling pin into a 14-inch round, about 1/4-inch thick. Carefully fit into the tart pan, letting the excess dough hang over the edge. Do not trim the pastry shell. Set aside. (Alternatively, simply transfer the rolled out dough onto a lined baking sheet for a more rustic and free-form crostata.)
- On the same floured work surface, roll out the almond paste into a 10-inch round, about 1/8-inch thick. (The almond paste is quite sweet so you want a very thin layer.) Place the almond paste round in the bottom of the pastry shell.
- Lay out the cooled roasted fruit over the almond paste round to form a rosette. Discard the cinnamon stick, ginger, and cloves. Pour any remaining juices on top. Fold the edges of the pastry over the filling, pleating the dough as necessary. Brush the folded pastry edges lightly with egg wash and sprinkle with a tablespoon of raw cane sugar.
- Bake until pastry is golden brown, about 40-50 minutes. Let cool slightly. Remove the tart pan ring and slide the crostata onto a cutting board. Slice and enjoy warm with ginger-pear sorbet, vanilla ice cream or freshly whipped cream on the side.