Orange is a great place to live. Not too big, not too small, not too far, not too close. Small enough to know everyone yet big enough to hide.
1½ cups plain flour
2 tablespoons caster sugar
Grated zest one lemon
¼ cup water
3 tablespoons ground hazelnuts
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons plain flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
5 medium Granny Smiths
Juice of one lemon
Place the flour, sugar, butter and zest into the bowl of the food processor and process until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs. Tip into a bowl and add the water. Gently knead together to form a soft dough. Wrap the pastry in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until firm.
Combine the hazelnuts, brown sugar, flour & cinnamon. Set aside.
Without peeling them, cut the apples into wedges, remove the core and then slice. Pile into a wide shallow pan and add a generous amount of butter, caster sugar and the juice of the lemon. Cook slowly until softened.
Roll out the dough into a circle approximately 28cm in diameter. Place it onto a baking tray which has been lined with baking paper.
Scatter the hazelnut mixture over the pastry leaving a border of 5 cm or so around the outside. Spread the apples on top of the filling. Draw the pastry border up and around the apples, pleating it where necessary to form an edge.
Scatter with the chopped hazelnuts and then bake @ 180C for 30 - 40 minutes. The pastry should be nicely browned.
Cut the crostata into wedges and serve warm with thick cream, ice cream or both. Serves 10
Lesley opened the Orange Regional Cooking School in a former general store in Orange in 2005. A professional cook of twenty years standing, Lesley learned her trade in Melbourne and her career has included restaurants, hotels, cafes and guest houses. Her approach to food is fresh and simplewith the emphasis on quality ingredients and robust flavours.
Lesley also teaches commercial cookery at Western Institute of TAFE, is one of the founding members of Slow Food Orange and an avid supporter of the Orange Region Farmer's Market.