oh, lardy me. tried making cornish pasties, which was a complete failure, and also left me with una caja de manteca, a big box of lard, which took ages and miles to find. no wrinkling of noses! you'll look like the pig from whence it came. also, it is better for you than margarine, and creates the kind of texture you want in your flaky, tender pastry--namely, flakiness and tenderness. much like those annoying mcdoctors in that...that show. i digress. lard love you, it is what you need to make a very good shortcrust pastry. so says the man. follow his recipe, because it's only a splash away from the one i used.
because i lack that pie thingy of which he writes, this is a very freeform apple pie so grandly renamed "crostata," because it sounds better than "freeform" (which i believe is the name of a training bra). and, to somewhat dispel the idea that all baking is all measure twice, calibrate often, here is the rather haphazard recipe.
you don't need to use apples, just whatever fruit you have on hand--i did indeed use two granny smiths and one roma peeled and sliced, but anything from berries to stone fruit will work. once you've got your dough done, let it rest in the refrigerator for about half an hour; prepare your fruit whilst waiting. take the rested pastry from the fridge, let it warm up a bit, then roll out evenly to the size of a large dinner plate. as an added sweet touch, a judicious grating of almond paste was laid over that--just enough to add that cyanide-y taste of marzipan, and just enough sweetness to balance out the tart apples spread out on top. to glaze or not glaze is your choice (i did, with some blood orange marmalade found in the fridge. more bitterness for my bitter heart. sweetness for me sweet tooth.) do i need to tell you to make sure you don't spread out the filling to edges, but instead leave about a one-inch border of crust? no. but i did. fold that border over in the most attractive way you can. brush the edges with a little beaten egg, sprinkle on a bit more sugar, pop in the oven at 200˚C or 400˚F, until the edges are golden brown, about 40 minutes. very good no matter what, but best if served warm.