autumn happiness

Yes, I am still blogging.  I apologize for being MIA for the last few weeks.  The craziness of being a student teacher has started to kick in.  I am enjoying it, but it feels as if I get more and more tired every day!  The long Rosh Hashana weekend has brought some much needed relaxation and celebration, and I finally got to really enjoy my favorite season.  Besides welcoming in the Jewish new year, Mike and I celebrated five years of our wonderful relationship by renting a cabin in Montauk for the night.  It was perfect.  We enjoyed some cheese and crackers, chips and dip, and pumpkin beer with a cinammon sugar rim (as seen above) in the cabin while it rained outside.  It cleared up just in time for a walk to the beach around sunset and then we ate a late dinner at Dave’s Grill (arancini with smoked mozerrella and chipotle tomato sauce, monterey jack and goat cheese quesadillas, and chocolate banana bread pudding).  It was a short, sweet, and delicious escape from reality.

   

As I said, autumn is truly my favorite season.  I love the crisp weather, the hearty food, and the occasions that fall into the months of September, October, and November.  So, I will leave you with my first seasonal recipe of autumn: cinammon apple crostata — a fall twist on this summer fruit crostata.

Cinammon Apple Crostata

Ingredients

For the pastry:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 1/4 cup ice water
 
For the filling:
  • 2 1/2 lbs. apples (I used a mix of Gala and Granny Smith) 
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinammon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
 
For the crumb topping:
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 stick cold unsalted butter, diced

Method

For the pastry, place the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse a few times to combine.  Ad the butter and toss with your fingers to coat each cube of butter with the flour mixture.  Pulse until the butter is the size of peas.  With the motor running, add the ice water all at once through the feed tube. Keep hitting the pulse button to combine, but stop the machine just before the dough comes together.

Turn the dough onto a well-floured board and form into a flat disk. Wrap the disk in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Roll the pastry into an 11-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

For the filling, whisk together the sugar, corn starch, cinammon, and nutmeg. Add the apples and lemon juice and toss to coat the apples.

Transfer the apples to the crust, leaving a 3-inch border. Fold outer edges of crust over apples, pleating as needed.

For the topping, combine the flour, sugars, salt, and oatmeal in a large bowl. Add butter and combine with fingers until butter is evenly distributed and crumbs form. Sprinkle topping over the crostata.

Bake until juices are thick and bubbling, about 1 hour. Let crostata cool for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack.

Recipe inspired by Ina Garten’s summer fruit crostata and Bon Appetit’s apple crostata

How I eat it: right out of the oven with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

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