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Suzanne Lenzer's Apple Crostata

A New Twist on Your Traditional Apple Pie

Article by Anna Barnes

Photography by Nicole Franzen

Originally published in Westport Lifestyle

Tired of the traditional apple pie for your Thanksgiving dessert? Try chef, expert food stylist and author Suzanne Lenzer’s Apple Crostata from her delectable book, GRAZE. What she's thankful for? Her eyes and hands, "almost everything I love to do—cooking, writing, gardening—it all would be lost to me otherwise."

Apple Crostata


1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
8 tablespoons very cold unsalted butter
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4-1/3 cup ice water
3 firm, tart apples 
Good squeeze fresh lemon juice
4 tablespoons sugar, plus more for sprinkling
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour


In a food processor, combine flour, butter and salt. Process the mixture until it resembles small peas, 10 to 12 pulses. Transfer dough to a large bowl and add 1/4 cup water. Use your hands to integrate the water into the dough, adding a bit more if needed to bring it together. You may need to add another 2 tablespoons to get it all combined. Be sure not to overwork the dough; you should see chips of butter. To make the crostata, form the dough into a flat disk, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour or up to 2 days.

While the dough chills, peel and thinly slice apples (use a mandoline to make it easier and more consistent). Toss apples in a large bowl with lemon juice, more or less depending on your own taste, but know that this also helps keep the apples from browning—along with 2 tablespoons sugar.

Once the dough is well chilled, unwrap and place it on a clean, lightly floured surface. Use a rolling pin to hit the dough a few times to start to flatten it and make it easier to roll out. Roll the dough into a large round about 1/8-inch thick (the edges will be scraggly, which is fine), then drape dough over rolling pin and transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a small bowl, combine flour and remaining 2 tablespoons sugar. Spread mixture in the center of the crostata, leaving about a 2-inch border. Top sugar-flour mixture with apples, using more or less depending on how much fruit you like. Fold edges of dough in over apples in pleats, so you have a border of dough with majority of fruit exposed in the center of the crostata. Chill crostata for 15-20 minutes while the oven heats.

Just before baking, brush edges of dough with water, sprinkle with more sugar and transfer to oven. Bake until crust is golden brown and fruit is bubbling, 20-25 minutes.