Non-Intimidating Dessert: Free-Form Crostatas

In her cookbook Barefoot Contessa Parties, Ina Garten says of her Apple Crostata, "This is my absolute, all-time favorite dessert. I've made it so often that I'm sure my friends are saying behind my back, 'No, not the apple crostata again'..."

We've made the recipe so many times, our friends probably think the same thing. But it is one of those low-effort, big payoff desserts that we think everyone should try—especially this time of year...

Yes, it still requires making a pie crust and rolling it out. But the filling is not much more than a pile of fruit in the middle. And because you aren't transferring the dough to a pie plate, the rolling out is a very forgiving process. You make any amoeba shape that's somewhat circular and then just roughly fold and flop the edges over. You bake it on a sheet pan, so it's simple to cut and serve (no sacrificial first piece).

Don't get us wrong, we also love pies. But when you've got some really good fruit you want to showcase in simple, rustic way, we highly recommend trying this.

Here are some recipes:

Related: Recipe: Basic Pie Crust

(Images: Mark Thomas for Bon Appétit; Flickr member podchef, licensed under Creative Commons)

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