Chicago, Eat, Entertaining

H-apple-y New Year! Rustic Apple Pie Crostata

If you spend enough time with me, you’ll hear me reference The Food Network like it’s a part of my weekly schedule. Okay, it is a part of my weekly schedule. My new favorite food show, aside from hilarious Chicagoan Chef Jeff Mauro, aka The Sandwich King, it’s the new Saturday a.m. show: The Kitchen (DVR it). It’s my lucky day because Jeff is one of the hosts of the show. As is Chef Katie Lee, the mastermind behind this gorgeous nontraditional un-pie recipe: Rustic Apple Pie Crostata. She claims she’s not great at making traditional pies look good, but she made lemonade out of lemons with this one, because I actually think it might be prettier than the classic pan pie, and no pie pan is needed! After venturing to County Line Orchard in Indiana last weekend with Layne, Mara, Monica, and Sheri just in time for Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish holiday of apples and honey for a sweet New Year with some great friends, I had freshly picked apples and couldn’t get this recipe as-seen on The Kitchen out of my head. So, I brought it into my kitchen. Check out a photo of our apple picking excursion!

County Line Orchard apple picking near Chicago at County Line Orchard

The recipe is so easy- I had everything at home except the pie crust. After thinly slicing about 5 medium apples, I combined them with brown sugar, cinnamon, lemon juice (for brightness and preventing browning), and flour as a cornstarch substitution (I substituted 3 tbsp flour for each 1 tbsp of cornstarch since I didn’t have any).

Adding the flour, cinnamon, brown sugar, lemon juice, and salt to apple mixture.
Adding the flour, cinnamon, brown sugar, lemon juice, and salt to thinly sliced apple mixture.

I coated the apples, and placed them in the center of a rolled out pie crust on a lightly floured baking sheet.

Apple filling centered on pie crust and ready for folding.
Apple filling centered on pie crust and ready for folding.


Then, I folded the edges of the pie crust over the edge of the apple filling center.


I made the oatmeal crumble with melted butter, brown sugar, flour, and salt, then sprinkled on top. I brushed the crust with a beaten egg and sprinkled with brown sugar, instead of turbinado (raw) sugar since I had brown sugar handy for a textured, golden brown crust. Check out the end result after 40 minutes of baking at 400 degrees!

Rustic Apple Pie Crostata dessert for Rosh Hashanah
Rustic Apple Pie Crostata baked and ready to serve for dessert at Erev Rosh Hashanah dinner.

It came out so beautiful, full of textures, caramelization, and self-contained for easy slicing without it falling apart. And, it was so comforting and delicious. See the modified recipe below and try making it for a fall gathering, Thanksgiving dessert, or just a tasty treat for a dinner or dessert party!

Rustic Apple Pie Crostata (Recipe Adapted from Katie Lee on The Food Network’s The Kitchen)


5 medium apples, peeled, cored and sliced into 1/8-inch-thick slices (about 4 cups)
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons lightly packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch (or 6 tablespoons flour)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
One 9-inch piecrust, homemade or store-bought, rolled to an 11- to 12-inch diameter
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon raw (turbinado) sugar (or 1 tablespoon brown sugar)


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine the apples with 1/2 cup of the brown sugar, the cornstarch (or flour), lemon juice and cinnamon. In another small bowl, combine the remaining 3 tablespoons brown sugar, the oats, butter, flour and salt.

Place the piecrust on the prepared baking sheet. Spoon the apple mixture in the middle of the pie, leaving about a 1-inch border. Fold the crust edges over the filling, pleating occasionally. Spoon the oat mixture over the apples. Brush the crust with the egg and sprinkle with the raw sugar (or brown sugar). Bake until the crust is golden brown and the apples are tender, 40 to 45 minutes.

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