Last week while laboring on some lamb racks an annoying waiter with a penchant for opera, (and they sure are annoying aren’t they!) which whenever entering the kitchen asks if anybody speaks English, this to a predominantly Latino crew excluding me and he is Italian! Without even starting with a hello chef, right as if in mid sentence he blurts out and asked me how he could make a crust less apple pie? I rolled my eyes and suggested some flour, a tab of butter as well as some leavening to make a sort of crumble mixture and bake? I hadn’t given it much thought, but today I considered apples as the weather though still spring like or even summery had hints of fall, the idea popped in my head of a dessert I had made before, brustengolo. Origins of this dessert are from peasants in Umbria, the ingredients are: apple, pine nuts, and corn flour. I had made this dessert before for an event; a funny thought was a peasant dish for elite New Yorkers! So today I put the two ideas together for a crust less apple tart, with a loose rendition of brustengolo of Mario Batali from his recently departed food network show, Molto Mario! His is in line with a batter as is the classic version, mine on the other hand was more a crumble filling with an egg folded in at the end and baked with the apples in a cast iron pan! I read that pine nuts or walnuts are common as well hazelnuts.In my case I only had almonds available. The cinnamon isn’t classic either but I like the flavor.
Brustengolo for two
2 apples diced (rough, this is peasant food)
3 Tbsp. butter
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. corn flour
3 Tbsp. A.P. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
2 Tbsp. sliced almonds, or whatever nuts you like?
2-3 Tbsp. golden raisins
1 egg beaten
squeeze of lemon
Pinch of cinnamon, not typical but I like it!
Dice apples, add raisins, drop of lemon and cinnamon. In a separate bowl make a crumble mix with flour, sugar and butter. Combine apple mix to dry ingredients,adding the egg last and folding till just mixed.
I used a 6.5 " cast iron pan that was lightly oiled and baked the brustengolo for about 25-30 minutes.