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Originally published Wednesday, December 4, 2013 at 6:06 AM

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Recipe: Apple Crumb Crostata with Bacon Toffee Sauce


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Eight to 12 servings

For the crust:

1¼ cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon sugar

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces

1 / 3 cup ice-cold water, more as needed

1 egg, beaten

Raw sugar, for garnish

For the filling:

6 to 8 Granny Smith or other tart apples, peeled and cut into 16 slices each (about 6 cups total)

¼ cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon cornstarch

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon lemon zest

¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

For the crumble:

¼ cup sugar

1½ cups all-purpose flour

¼ cup brown sugar

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature

For sauce:

1½ cups heavy cream

1 (1-pound) box dark brown sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon salt

5 ounces (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

2 ounces rendered bacon fat (from about 4 slices thick-cut bacon)

1. Make the crust: Combine flour, sugar and salt in a food processor and blend for five seconds. Add butter, pulsing, until mixture resembles small peas. Add ice water and pulse until mixture comes together in moist clumps; if mixture is too dry add a bit more water a tablespoon at a time. Gather dough into a ball, flatten into a disk, wrap in plastic and chill for at least one hour or freeze for up to a month.

2. Make the filling: In a large bowl toss together sliced apples, brown sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, zest and vanilla. Set aside.

3. Make the crumble: In a medium bowl, mix together sugar, flour, brown sugar and cinnamon. Drizzle in melted butter and, using a fork, stir until mixture is crumbly and all the flour is incorporated; the crumbs should be smaller than 1 inch.

4. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove dough from fridge; let sit at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 14-inch circle. Transfer to baking sheet and chill until firm, about 15 minutes.

5. Remove baking sheet from fridge and let dough soften for one to two minutes. Arrange filling evenly in center of dough, leaving a 4-inch border all around; reserve the juices. Brush exposed border with beaten egg and fold edge in up over fruit, making pleats every 2 inches; 6 inches of fruit should remain uncovered. Pour remaining juices over fruit, brush folded outer edge with beaten egg, and sprinkle with raw sugar. Cover exposed fruit with 1 cup crumble.

6. Bake crostata until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbling, about 40 to 50 minutes. Remove and let cool before serving.

7. Make the sauce: In a heavy medium saucepan, combine cream, sugar, vanilla and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce to a low simmer, and allow to cook for three to five minutes, being careful not to let it get too hot and bubble over.

8. Remove from heat and whisk in butter followed by bacon fat; stir until thoroughly combined. Serve sauce warm. (Can be stored in an airtight container, chilled, up to 10 days.)

Adapted by Mark Bittman, The New York Times from Claudia Fleming



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