Apple Crostada

My husband and I have a favorite restaurant that we used to frequent when we lived in the DC area called Maggiano’s. It’s a family-style Italian restaurant, and we’ve yet to find anything that we don’t like on the menu. One of our favorite favorites is an item on their dessert menu called an Apple Crostada.

Peeling, Slicing, and Coring

Peeling, Slicing, and Coring

While I was searching for apple recipes, I began fondly remembering this treat and wondered if I could find a copycat recipe for it anywhere. I found a couple options that looked promising, so I thought I’d give one of them a whirl.

Foamy butter & sugar - lightly browned

Foamy butter & sugar - lightly browned

The two recipes were almost identical except one used about twice as much butter as the other. I’m sure the extra butter version is divine, but I’m still trying to lose baby fat, so I opted for the “lighter” recipe. 🙂

Seasoned Apple Mix

Seasoned Apple Mix

I used my food processor to mix the crust, which worked like a champ. And my apple peeler/corer/slicer also made the job pretty simple, and it ensured that my apple pieces were all pretty uniform in size, which results in more uniform baking.

Crostada - shaped & brushed with cream and sprinkled with raw sugar

Crostada - shaped, brushed with cream & sprinkled with raw sugar

We were very happy with the result. I didn’t think it was exactly like the Maggiano’s version, but it was close enough & a very yummy imitation. The pastry is very much like shortbread, which happens to be my favorite type of cookie. My husband even repeatedly made comments afterward about how good these were.

Mine certainly weren’t as pretty as Maggiano’s either. Oh well, I’ll just have to try again, huh?

Fresh from the oven

Fresh from the oven

The original recipe was unclear on how many crostadas the recipe would make, so I just tried two. Even with the division, they were still huge, so next time I’ll divide the dough into thirds or quarters.

Below is the recipe the way I made them. We will definitely be making these again.

Apple Crostada

Recipe adapted from Rocky Mountain News
Yield: 3 – 4 Crostadas

1 c butter, cold
2 c all-purpose flour

1/3 c superfine sugar (Note: I didn’t have superfine sugar, so I ground some regular sugar in my food processor)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 c ice water

3 Granny Smith apples — peeled and diced
1/2 c superfine sugar
1/4 c butter
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 T cornstarch
1 T water
Heavy cream (optional)
(Note: I definitely included the cream)
Crystalized sugar (optional) (Note: I used Turbinado raw sugar)


  1. Mix flour, sugar, and salt together.
  2. With a knife, cut the butter into 1/4″ cubes and keep cold. Add the butter to the dry ingredients, using a food processor (using the flat paddle attachment), if available; otherwise use a pastry cutter or two knives. Pulse until butter is in small pieces.
  3. Add the ice water and mix. Stop before it is a solid mass. (It’s better to leave it a little crumbly.)
  4. Press the dough together and form into one mass. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.


  1. In a large saute pan, over Medium heat, melt the butter until foaming.
  2. Add the sugar. Cook about 5-7 minutes until light brown.
  3. Add the apples, and cook until apples are slightly soft, giving up their juices.
  4. Add the spices, mixing well.
  5. Mix cornstarch and water together until fully dissolved. Add to apples and mix well. Cook for 1 minute and allow juices to thicken.
  6. Remove filling from heat, and cool completely.


  1. Divide dough into 3 or 4 equal parts.
  2. Roll each section of dough into a 6-8″ round circle and place on a baking sheet.
  3. Scoop the apple filling in the center of the dough.
  4. Free-form dough around filling, using 8 folds to result in a 3-4″ opening in the middle.
  5. Brush the top of the dough with heavy cream. Sprinkle the top of the crusts with the raw sugar.

Bake in a 350°F preheated oven until lightly brown, about 35-40 minutes.

Serve warm with caramel sauce and/or vanilla ice cream.


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