1 1/2 cup All Purpose Organic Flour
1/2 cup Ground Pistachio’s
1 Tablespoon Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 cup cold Unsalted Butter (1 Stick) cut into 1/4 inch pieces
2 Large Egg Yolks
1/4 cup Ice Water
1 Tablespoon White Balsamic Vinegar
I made my dough in a food processor, but feel free to do it the old fashioned way.
Add your flours, sugar, ground pistachio’s and salt in the food processor and pulse 3 times to mix.
Scatter the butter over the flour mix and pulse 7 or 8 times to cut in the butter.
Add Egg yolks one at a time and pulse 2 -3 times to incorporate.
Fluff mixture with fork and then add your ice water and balsamic vinegar and pulse 5 or 6 times or until the dough begins to form clumps, do not let the dough form a ball on the blade!
It should look like coarse crumbs, dump mix into a large bowl, form into ball, then flatten into a disc, wrap with cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 1/ 2 hour. While your dough is setting prepare the Apples.
6-7 large Cortland Apples
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp Cinnamon
2 Tbsp Butter
Peel, core and slice your apples. Melt the butter in a large saute pan, add apples, brown sugar and cinnamon. Mix all the ingredients together well, coating the apples with the brown sugar. Saute apples for about 10 minutes, allow the butter and brown sugar to make a syrup that coats the apples. Remove the apples from the heat and allow them to cool.
Remove pie dough from the refrigerator, lightly flour your work surface. Roll out your pie dough to about an 16-18 inch circle. Place circle of dough on a prepared cookie sheet, place cooled apple mixture in the center of the pie dough and fold over in 5 folds about 3 inches of the dough, closing in your pie, but leaving about 6 inches uncovered in the center. Pinch your folds to seal the dough. You may brush your dough with milk, cream or lightly beaten egg, depending upon how you want the finished crust to look. The Crostata will have a rustic look, remember it does not have to be perfect!
We walked for about ten minutes through the city streets, until we came to an old boarded up restaurant. The name on the marquee read “Antoine’s” . It was hard to tell but it looked like it had been closed for quite some time. Mama Jeanette led me into the vestibule that led to a grand entrance with double high ceilings and a crystal chandelier, There was a long winding staircase up to a second floor. I followed Mama Jeanette through a set of double doors into a courtyard that led to her home. Everything was in desperate need of paint and repair, but you could tell that in its day it must have been incredible. Mama Jeanette showed me to a room, brought me towels and told me to get cleaned up and changed, I would find clothes that should fit in the closet. I was too hungry and too dirty to spend to much time looking around the room, but the room had a sad feeling to it, as though it had been waiting too long for someone to come home.
I felt better than I had in quite some time, taking a luxurious hot shower, and clean clothes…what a wonderful feeling. I had to roll up the pants a few times, and I had lost so much weight the pants were a little loose, but they were clean!
What followed next was more food than I had had all week long biscuits, grits, eggs, bacon, ham, sausage, potatoes and for the first time, I had crepes….I still remember those crepes….strawberries, sweet marscapone, candied pecans and vanilla sauce……I had no idea what marscapone was, but I would certainly find out. Mama Jeanette loved cheese of all types and Marscapone was her favorite dessert cheese. I also had my first espresso, Mama Jeanette laughed when she saw the face I made…..she then made me a cappuccino with a little chocolate and cinnamon, that became my breakfast drink, but always followed by a shot of espresso.
Breakfast that day will live in my memory forever, I don’t think I will ever enjoy a meal as much, or eat with such joy and wild abandon…..I knew then and there food would be my life, I just had no idea where it would take me.