Martha Stewart: Fruit Desserts

Martha Stewart takes us through three recipes from her new book (her 99th!), Martha Stewart's Fruit Desserts. This demonstration is filled with tips, tricks, and delightful personal anecdotes.

Apple Crostata with Cheddar Crust

Serves: 8 to 10
Active Time: 45 mins
Total Time: 3 hr 20 mins; plus cooling

Ingredients

Crust:

  • 2 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • ¼ to ½ cup ice water
  • 1 cup shredded sharp white cheddar cheese

Filling:

  • 2 tart apples, such as Granny Smith or Pink Lady, peeled, cored, and sliced into ½-inch wedges
  • 2 McIntosh apples, peeled, cored, and sliced into ½-inch wedges
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten, for egg wash
  • Coarse sanding sugar, for sprinkling
  • ¼ cup apricot preserves

Directions

  1. Make the crust: Pulse flour and salt in a food processor until combined. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal, with a few pea-size pieces of butter remaining, about 10 seconds. Drizzle 1⁄4 cup ice water evenly over mixture. Pulse until dough just holds together. If it is too dry, add up to 1⁄4 cup water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and pulse. Don't over mix. Add cheese; pulse until combined. Divide dough in half, pat each half into a disk, and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes or up to overnight. Dough can be frozen up to 1 month; thaw before using.
  2. Roll out dough to a 13-inch round, about 1⁄8 inch thick, on a lightly floured surface. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  3. Make the filling: In a large bowl, toss together apples, granulated sugar, flour, lemon juice, and cinnamon.
  4. Spread filling over dough, leaving a 1 ½-inch border. Fold border over edge of filling, brush with egg wash, and sprinkle with sanding sugar. Refrigerate until edges are firm, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375°F.
  5. Bake crostata until apples are tender and crust is golden, about 45 minutes. Let cool slightly. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat apricot preserves. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve, pressing on solids; discard solids. Brush apples with apricot preserves and serve.

Red-Grape Cake with Whipped Crème Fraîche

Serves: 8 to 10
Active Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 10 mins; plus cooling

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
  • 1 ¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • ¼ cup sour cream, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 ¼ cups red seedless grapes, plus more for serving
  • ¾ cup cold heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
  • 1/3 cup cold crème fraîche

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan and line bottom with parchment; butter parchment. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together butter and granulated sugar with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Fold in half of flour mixture, then sour cream and lemon zest. Stir in remaining flour mixture just to combine. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan, smoothing top with a small offset spatula.Scatter grapes over top.
  3. Bake until cake pulls away from sides of pan and a cake tester comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes. Turn out cake onto rack, remove parchment, invert cake, and cool completely.
  4. In a large bowl and with an electric mixer on medium-high, whip cream and confectioners' sugar to soft peaks, about 3 minutes. Add crème fraîche and whip to firm peaks, about 2 minutes more. Serve cake with whipped crème fraîche and additional grapes.

Ruffled Pumpkin Milk Pie

Serves: 8 to 10
Active Time: 40 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 40 mins; plus cooling

Ingredients

  • 8 tablespoons (½ cup) clarified butter or ghee, melted
  • 14 to 18 sheets store-bought phyllo (14-by-18-inch sheets), thawed if frozen
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ¾ cup pure pumpkin puree
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly brush a 9-inch round cake pan with clarified butter. Line pan with a 13-inch parchment round; brush parchment with more clarified butter.
  2. Place 1 sheet of phyllo dough on work surface with one long side parallel to edge of work surface. Lightly brush phyllo with clarified butter. Using your hands, loosely ruffle phyllo by pushing long sides toward each other to create a long accordion shape about 1 ½ to 2 inches tall. Place upright in center of prepared cake pan, folding around to create a spiral. Repeat process with remaining sheets, continuing the spiral outward until bottom of pan is covered. Brush remaining clarified butter over tops phyllo ruffles in pan. Bake until golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool while you make the filling (leave oven on).
  3. In a large bowl, whisk eggs, milk, pumpkin purée, granulated sugar, cream, vanilla, cardamom, cinnamon, and salt until smooth. Transfer mixture to a measuring cup or pitcher. Gradually pour over baked phyllo, evenly covering surface. Return pan to oven and bake until filling is set, 35 to 45 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Using parchment, lift pie out of pan; carefully remove parchment and transfer to a platter. Dust with confectioners' sugar and serve.

Tip

Clarified butter and ghee have the milk solids removed, so they have a higher smoke point than butter and work nicely with phyllo dough. They can be found at many markets, but feel free to use melted butter if you prefer