Friday, October 1, 2010

An Apple A Day- Apple Torte with Breadcrumb-Hazelnut Crust

An apple a day- using that as a guideline, I won't be seeing a doctor ever.  You will be seeing a number of apple recipes here now that apple season is upon us. I love apples and apple desserts, and am always happy to try a new one.  This recipe is a little time consuming to make, but the result is delicious.  a few things in the recipe were a little confusing, but basically it was simple to follow.  It looks more like a pie than a cake, but does not taste like the traditional American apple pie.  Anyway you look at it from my perspective, you can't really go wrong with apples in a delicious crust.

Apple Torte with Breadcrumb-Hazelnut Crust
from Lidia Bastianich in Bon Appetit, October, 2010

Apple Filling
2 pounds Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, cut into 1/2 inch wedges
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 cup hard apple cider or dry white wine

8 cups fresh breadcrumbs made from crustless Italian or French bread, finely ground in processor
1 cup hazelnuts, toasted and husked
10 tablespoons granulated sugar
4 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup whole milk
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch pieces

Apple Filling:  Arrange apples in even layer in heavy large skillet. Sprinkle with sugar and then pour apple cider over. Cover and cook over medium heat until apples are tender, gently turning apples occasionally, 8-10 minutes. Uncover and cook until juices evaporate, frequently but carefully turning apples to keep wedges intact, about ten minutes. Let cool completely in the skillet.

Crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread breadcrumbs on large rimmed baking sheet. Bake until dried and light golden, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Cool.
Finely grind hazelnuts and 6 tablespoons of sugar in a food processor. Add 3 cups of breadcrumbs and process 5 seconds. (although the recipe calls for 8 cups breadcrumbs, there is no use for the other 5 cups in the recipe- a mystery to me) Transfer mixture to large bow. Stir in 4 tablespoons sugar, lemon peel and salt.  Combine milk and butter in small saucepan.  Stir over medium heat just until butter melts. Pour milk-butter mixture over breadcrumb mixture  Stir until moistened (dough will be sticky).  Let dough rest in bowl until liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes.  Transfer 1 cup of dough to floured work surface. Gather into ball and flatten into disk. ( i mixed in some flour to make the dough less sticky and easier to work with). Press out to 9 inch round. Wrap in plastic.  Chill at least 1 hour for top crust.  Transfer remaining dough to work surface.  Gather into ball. Flatten into disk. Press disk onto bottom and up sides of 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom, pushing crust up to extend 1/2 inch above sides. Cover and chill at least 1 hour.
     Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Fill crust with apple mixture.  Place top crust over filling.  Fold bottom crust overhang up over top crust edges, pressing together to seal.  Bake torte until crust is deep golden and crust begins to separate from sides of pan (top crust may crack) about 1 hour.  Cool in pan on rack at least 2 hours.  Carefully remove sides from tart pan.  Transfer to platter and dust with powdered sugar.  ((post by Susan))

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