The very first season of Top Chef holds a special place in my heart. It’s what inspired me to start cooking in earnest and it made me much more aware of all of the hard work that happens behind closed doors to bring food to our tables when we dine out. Season one featured my favorite Top Chef “cheftestant” of all time, Harold Dieterle, and it also introduced me to Katie Lee. A fellow southerner, Katie was born in West Virginia and eventually moved north to New York where she worked in restaurants and became a professional fishmonger. Since her days in the back of the house, Katie has gone on to work as a co-host of The Kitchen on Food Network and write her own cookbook dedicated to comfort foods, The Comfort Table: Recipes for Everyday Occasions. Today she’s sharing a recipe with us that is perfect for the upcoming holidays: a free-form apple pie. Known also as a crostata, this pie has a rustic elegance to it that embraces imperfection and makes your life a little easier if you’re trying this for the first time. I love any recipe that doesn’t require perfection and embraces a homemade look, so this is definitely going on my holiday to-do list. Thanks to Katie for sharing this with us! xo, grace
Click through for the full recipe after the jump!
Text and Images from Katie Lee’s “The Comfort Table: Recipes for Everyday Occasions”
-5 medium apples, peeled, cored, and sliced 1/8-inch thick (about 4 cups)
-1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons lightly packed dark brown sugar
-2 tablespoons cornstarch
-1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
-2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
-¼ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
-2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
-¼ teaspoon kosher salt
-3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
-1 pie crust for a 9-inch pie, homemade or store-bought (rolled to an 11- to 12-inch diameter)
-1 egg, lightly beaten
-1 tablespoon raw sugar
Preheat the oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine the apples with 1/3 cup brown sugar, the cornstarch, lemon juice, and cinnamon. In another small bowl, combine the remaining 3 tablespoons brown sugar, the oats, flour, salt and butter.
Place pie crust on the prepared baking sheet. Spoon the apple mixture in the middle of the pie, leaving about a 1½-inch border. Fold crust edges over the filling, pleating occasionally. Spoon oat mixture over apples. Brush the crust with the egg and sprinkle with the raw sugar. Bake 40 to 45 minutes until crust is golden brown and apples are tender.