Nothing says Autumn like apple pie and this rustic crostata is an Italian version. The delicate crust has the surprising addition of Parmesan cheese in honor of my father who always declared, “Apple pie without the cheese is like a kiss without the squeeze!” Hazelnut crumble adds sweetness and crunch.
For the pastry:
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup very cold unsalted butter, diced
2 tablespoons ice water
For the filling:
2 large Honey Crisp or McIntosh apples, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon sugar
Zest and juice of one small orange
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
For the topping:
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, diced
1/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
For the pastry: Place the flour, sugar, Parmesan cheese, and salt in a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse a few times to combine.
Add the butter, one cube at a time, and pulse several times, until the butter is the size of peas.
With the motor running, gradually pour the ice water through the feed tube.
Keep pulsing to combine, stop the machine just before the dough becomes a solid mass.
Turn the dough onto a well-floured board and form into a disc.
Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least one hour.
Preheat over to 450°F and make the filling.
For the filling: Peel, core and cut apples into thin slices and place in a large bowl.
Toss apple slices with sugar, orange juice, orange zest, and nutmeg.
After the dough has been chilled for one hour, place on a floured surface and roll pastry into an 11-inch circle.
Arrange apple slices in the middle of the pastry, leaving a 1-1/2 inch border.
For the topping: Combine flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and allspice in a bowl of food processor fitted with a steel blade.
Add the butter and pulse until mixture is crumbly.
Pour into a bowl and rub it with your fingers until it starts holding together. Mix in the hazelnuts.
Sprinkle crumb mixture evenly over apple slices and gently fold the border over the filling to enclose the apples, pleating it to make a circle.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until the crust is golden and the apples are tender.
Serve warm or at room temperature with vanilla bean ice cream. Crostata will keep in the refrigerator for 5-7 days.ice cream.