I don’t often mention it but we have a rental cottage on our property. When we decided to add a second story to the cottage we knew that we would need a place to live for an extended period of time. We first had our contractor build a garage for us with an apartment above it. David and I lived there for two years while the cottage was reconstructed. We now rent it out on a short term basis from April to the end of October. I have a link for it on my side bar.
Last year we had a great couple from Iowa staying there for a week while they looked for a place of their own in the Lake Lure area. They have found a piece of property and are building a log cabin. You can imagine that supervising a construction from Iowa is not an easy task. They are back staying in our guest cottage this week.
We have had a dilemma. We will be on our trip to France for three weeks in June. I hate to board our dog Daisy for that length of time. Plus, who would look after our rentals? Light Bulb Moment! Tom and Diana need to be here as much as possible and they need a place to stay. They have agreed to stay in our cottage, manage the guest cottage rentals, take care of our dog and supervise the construction of their own cabin. They have a dog named Lucy. Lucy and Daisy like each other. Perfect solution.
We invited them to dinner Tuesday night to discuss the logistics. We enjoy their company and look forward to them moving here when their cabin is finished. But in the meantime, our minds are at ease about being gone for such a long time.
Dinner was Beef Bourguignon, mashed potatoes, Provencal green beans, yeast rolls and this Apple Crostata from Ina Garten. You can almost never go wrong with one of the Barefoot Contessa’s recipes. The recipe in Barefoot Contessa Parties! calls for doubling the pastry amount so that you can tuck one in the freezer for a future crostata. Guess you know what you are having for dessert Saturday night Penny and K. Yes, my blogging buddy Penny of The Comforts of Home and hubby will be here for dinner then.
FOR THE PASTRY (2 Tarts)
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated or superfine sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 pound very cold unsalted butter, diced
1/4 cup ice water
FOR THE FILLING ( 1 Tart )
1 1/2 pounds McIntosh, Macoun, or Empire apples
1/4 teaspoon grated orange zest
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated or superfine sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (1/2 stick), diced
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. Add the butter and toss quickly with your fingers to coat each cube of butter with the flour. Pulse 12 to 15 times, or until the butter is the size of peas. With the motor running, add the 1/4 cup of 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 out onto a well-floured board and form into 2 disks. Wrap with plastic and refrigerate one of the disks for at least an hour. Freeze the rest of the pastry.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Roll the pastry into an 11-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Transfer it to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
For the filling, peel., core and quarter the apples. Cut each quarter into 3 chunks. Toss the chunks with the orange zest. Cover the tart dough with the apple chunks, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border.
Combine the flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and allspice in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture is crumbly. Pour into a bowl and rub it with your fingers until it starts holding together. Sprinkle evenly on the apples. Gently fold the border over the apples, pleating it to make a circle.
Bake the crostata for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the apples are tender. Let the tart cool for 5 minutes, then use 2 large spatulas to transfer it to a wire rack.