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Apple pizza tart with walnut crumb topping

SERVES 10

Though this is large and impressive, it doesn't require the artistic hand that the preceding pies do because the top of the pizza is covered with a crumb topping rather than a crust. Also, there is extra pastry to work with, so you don't have to struggle when it's time to roll it out.

PASTRY

2 1/4 cups flour

Pinch of salt

1/2 cup butter, cut up

1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening

1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar mixed with 1/3 cup ice water

1 egg, lightly beaten

Extra flour (for the board)

Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Add the butter and shortening and work them with a metal palette knife or pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Combine the vinegar-water mixture with the egg and stir it into the crumbs with a fork.

When the mixture comes together to form a dough, turn it out onto a lightly floured board and knead it gently until it is smooth. Shape the dough into a flat round cake and wrap it in foil. Refrigerate it for 30 minutes.

Have on hand a 14-inch pizza pan. On a floured board with a floured rolling pin, roll out the pastry until it is 16 inches across, turning it often to prevent it from sticking.

Lift it onto the rolling pin and drape it over the pizza pan. Leave the edges draped over -- they will be folded in later.

FILLING AND TOPPING

10 cooking apples (see above)

Grated rind and juice of 1 lemon

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup light brown sugar

3 tablespoons flour

3 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Set the oven at 375 degrees.

Peel, core, and slice the apples and toss them with the lemon rind, juice, and sugar. Pile them into the pizza pan. Lift the edges of the pastry over the apples (there should be a large open circle uncovered).

In a bowl with a metal palette knife or pastry blender, combine the cinnamon, sugar, flour, and butter and work these until they resemble bread crumbs. Stir in the walnuts and spread the mixture on the apple tart.

Bake the tart for 1 hour or until the pastry is golden brown and the apples are tender when tested with the tip of a knife.

Leave the tart to settle for a few minutes, then cut it into wedges and

serve with softly whipped cream.

Sheryl Julian

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