Apple Crostata
Apple Crostata is a very rustic-style apple pie with some added crunch.  The crust is very flaky due to the addition of vegetable shortening but you can substitute all butter if you prefer. You can also use a pre-made 12-inch refrigerated pie dough if you do not wish to make the homemade crust. This recipe is easily adapted to create other types of fruit crostatas; try sliced pears, peaches, or berries.

1-1/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons solid vegetable shortening (Crisco)
Ice water

Crunch Topping:
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup old-fashioned oatmeal
3 tablespoons butter, melted

3 medium-size apples (we like McIntosh)
1/4 cup sugar
1 heaping tablespoon flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of salt

3-4 tablespoons apricot preserves

Egg wash: 1 egg yolk, beaten with 1 tablespoon  water
Confectioners' sugar for dusting (optional)


To make the crust:
In a food processor, combine flour, salt, and sugar.
Pulse in butter and shortening until mixture looks like cornmeal.
Add just enough water until dough starts to come together.
Flatten into a disk, wrap, and refrigerate about 30 minutes.

To make the crunch topping:
In a bowl, combine all the topping ingredients. 
Work the mixture together with your fingers to create a crumbly texture.
Set aside.

To make the apple filling:
Peel, quarter, and thinly slice apples.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt.
Add the apples and gently toss to coat them with the mixture.

Preheat oven to 375° F.

On a lightly floured piece of parchment, roll the dough into a 12-inch circle.
Spread the apricot preserves over the center, leaving a 2-inch border.
Place 3/4 of the crunch topping over, still leaving the border.

Lay the apple slices in concentric circles, adding layers until all the apples are used. Sprinkle with remaining topping. Gently fold the dough border up and around the edges of the filling, pleating it as you fold.

Carefully slide the paper with the crostata onto a baking sheet.
Brush the top of the dough with the egg wash. Bake for 40 minutes.
Check to see if the crust is starting to get too brown; if so, cover the edge with foil. If not, just return the crostata to the oven and bake an additional
5 to 10 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the filling is slightly bubbly. Transfer the crostata to a wire rack to cool.

If desired, dust the crostata with confectioners' sugar before serving.
Serve with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream.
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This reversible board functions in such a way that one side can be used for work with dough to keep it smooth all the time and the other side as a cutting board.
A non-tapered rolling pin applies pressure evenly, so that your pie crust is of even thickness from the center to the edges.
Created from an original wood carving by artist AL Pisano.  Each door topper is hand cast and then hand painted and stained. Measures 27 inches wide and 8 inches high and about 1 inch deep.  Includes recessed hangers for easy hanging. 
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Pie Crust Shortening
If you choose flavor over flakiness for your pie crust, make an all butter crust.  Butter has a sweet taste that you can't get from any other type of shortening.  If you want a flaky crust with a mild flavor, vegetable shortening, such as Crisco, is the fat of choice.  Vegetable shortening is a stable fat, so crusts are easier to work with and retain their shape well.  For the flakiest crust, use lard.  Vegans,  and those looking for a crust with no trans fat or cholesterol, can use vegetable, olive, or nut oils to make their crusts.