Apple Hibiscus Crostata


  • 5 cups flour
  • 6½ tablespoons instant polenta
  • 11¼ tablespoons sugar
  • 3¼ teaspoons salt
  • 1¾ cup unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
  • ½ cup cold water
  • 2 eggs, divided use
  • 1 cup almond paste
  • 8 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 5 tablespoons cake flour
  • 4 pounds apples, peeled
  • 2½ cups apple cider
  • 6 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ vanilla bean, split
  • 4 tablespoons hibiscus flowers
  • ¼ cup slurry
  • Egg wash


Combine flour, polenta, 8 tablespoons sugar and salt. Mix in butter until the mixture forms crumbs the size of lentils.

Mix 1 egg with water and mix into dough until it just comes together. Do not over mix. Shape into a ball, wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

Cream almond paste with remaining sugar to make frangipane. Add butter and blend until smooth; add remaining egg and mix in cake flour; set aside.  

Core and dice apples; set aside. Bring cider, honey, spices, vanilla and hibiscus flowers to a boil. Steep 20 minutes. Strain and return liquid to heat. Stir in slurry, add apples and cook until apples are tender. 

Roll dough to just under ¼-inch to form 5-inch circles. Pipe frangipane ½-inch thick in the middle of the dough to form a square. Brush edges with egg wash. Spoon apples onto the frangipane and pinch sides together to enclose filling. Repeat.

Bake crostatas on parchment-lined baking sheets in preheated 350 F oven 25 to 35 minutes until crust is golden. Makes 4 crostatas.

Executive Pastry Chef Cory Colton; Quality Eats; New York City