Dairy and Egg Free Apple Cranberry Crostata

_RKP3316As many of you can already tell, I love desserts that aren’t fussy and simple to pull together…with or without the kids around. Desserts that use pastry are perfect for allergen free baking, and can be modified in a variety of ways; pies, tarts and crostatas. In fact, crostata is just another name for a tart. The dough is rolled out and the center is filled with a variety of fresh fruits or jam. The sides are then folded over the filling to give the tart a rustic look (have your kids help fold over the sides, it’s like playing with play dough for them). Bake for a short while in the oven as you would for a pie and that’s it. How easy is that?

In my crostatas I love to use fresh fruit, and whatever is in season. Of course, it is already apple season so now is the perfect time to make this. I love the color and flavor contrast of dried cranberries so I’ve added them here, but you could certainly leave them out if you wish. This dessert is best served warm and perhaps with a scoop of soy vanilla ice cream. Or you could simply sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar if desired. I particularily love serving this crostata with a mug of warm mulled apple cider. Have fun making this wonderful fall dessert!

Apple Cranberry  Crostata

Change the filling any way you want—pears, nectarines, mixed berries, and peaches would all be great here.

 Yield: 6–8 servings

 1/2 recipe Easy Pie Dough (or 1/2 box Pillsbury Pie Crust; contains Wheat)

2–3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1-inch chunks

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1 tsp. fresh lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 c. brown sugar

Soy ice cream, for serving

Prepare Easy Pie Dough recipe below as directed. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Transfer dough disk onto prepared baking sheet. Shape dough into a 12-inch circle.

In a medium bowl, combine the apples, cranberries, vanilla, lemon juice and 1/4 cup brown sugar. Place on top of the pastry, leaving a 2-inch border. Fold dough gently toward center, crimping as needed. Bake about 30 minutes, or until dough is golden brown. Cool slightly on baking sheet, and serve warm with dairy-free soy ice cream.

Easy Pie Dough (use 1/2 dough for the crostata recipe, and freeze the other half wrapped in plastic wrap for later use)

Yield: Makes enough dough for a double-crust 9-inch pie

 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup dairy-free shortening (I use Crisco), chilled and cut into small pieces

5–7 tablespoons ice water

Combine flour, sugar, and salt in food processor. Add small pieces of shortening, and pulse a few times until mixture resembles small crumbs. Add ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to flour mixture, pulsing until the dough just comes together. Transfer mixture to a sheet of plastic wrap. Use wrap to pull sides of dough together to form a rounded disk. Chill at least 30 minutes before using.

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