Torta di Mele {Apple Torte with Breadcrumb-Hazelnut Crust}

We’re continuing on our showcase of FRIULI and it’s flavorful recipes. I can’t tell you how it has me YEARNING for a visit *sniff sniff* Oh how I miss it! but luckily when my current issue of bon appetit magazine arrived what do I see right smack on the front cover “LIDIA”S FRIULI: Her special menu”! Ah, my beloved FRIULI. I have always enjoyed Lidia Bastanich but had NO idea she grew up in Friuli. Now I love her even more ; )

I completely bypassed everything else in the magazine {of course I revisited later} and went straight to her feature. The article starts “Lidia Bastianich LOVES all of Italy, but her heart belongs to Friuli”

They could have been talking about me! I read every word and drooled over ALL of her delicious recipes, but the one that called out to me was her Apple Torte with  Breadcrumb-Hazelnut Crust. I had a dinner party coming up and THAT was going to be our dessert. Simple, seasonal and satisfying my new mantra and it fit the bill perfectly.

So I got my apple corer {which will save you so much time in the kitchen} out and went to town. I made a few adjustments, Lidia’s recipe called for rolling out a top layer but that wasn’t working for me {you know I’m not the best baker in the world} so I decided that a crumble top would work just fine and it did ; ) I love how flavorful the breadcrumbs make this crust and the lemon zest gives it a nice punch of flavor not to mention that smell of sunshine.

The filling is divine. Just the right amount of sweetness. I used a dry white wine because I didn’t have any hard cider on hand and well we always have wine ; ) The fresh whipped cream was the perfect final touch! It was a sweet ending to a beautiful meal!

Grazie Lidia per la ricetta ; )


Print This Recipe

Apple Torte with Breadcrumb-Hazelnut Crust
adapted from Lidia Bastianich’s recipe featured in bon appetit Magazine October 2010
What you’ll need:
3 cups breadcrumbs
1 cup hazelnuts – chopped and toasted
10 tablespoons sugar – divided
4 teaspoons lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup whole milk
6 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 pounds Granny Smith apples – peeled, cored and cut into 1/2″ wedges
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup hard apple cider OR dry white wine

What to do:
1. Into the food processor add 6 tablespoons sugar and the hazelnuts. Pulse into finely ground. Add breadcrumbs and process 5 seconds. Transfer mixture to large bowl. Stir in 4 tablespoons sugar, lemon zest and salt.

2. Combined milk and butter in small saucepan. Stir over medium heat until butter melts. Pour mixture over breadcrumb mixture. Stir to combine {dough will be sticky}. Let dough rest until  liquid is absorbed {approximately 15 minutes}.

3. Transfer 1 cup dough to a lightly floured surface. Gather into a ball and then wrap in saran wrap and chill at least one hour.

4. Transfer remaining dough to lightly floured surface. Gather into a ball and then flatten into a disk. Spray your 9″ tart pan with cooking spray. Press disk onto bottom and up sides of a 9″ tart pan with removable bottom. Cover and chill at least 1 hour.

5. WHILE dough is chilling, arrange apples in even layer in a large heavy bottom skillet. Sprinkle with sugar then pour apple cider {or wine} over. Cover and cook over medium heat until apples are tender. Gently turning as necessary. Approximately 8-10 minutes. Uncover, cook until juices evaporate. Gently turning as necessary {turn carefully to keep apple slices intact}. Let apples cool completely in skillet.

6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Fill crust with apple mixture. Gently crumble reserved dough ball on top. Bake torte until crust i deep golden and crust begins to pull away from sides of pan. Approximately 45 minutes. Allow torte to completely cool in pan prior to serving. Remove sides from tart pan, transfer to serving platter and garnish with fresh whipped cream or powdered sugar.

Buon Appetito!


  1. 1

    Oh I very much prefer the torta di mele to the apple pie….I guess that comes from being Italian but every time I have apples I make it and have it also as a breakfast treat! I love your crust! Must try!

  2. 2

    i LOVE hazelnut crusts! this sounds amazing…what a great idea to combine the nuts and breadcrumbs!

  3. 3

    Oh. Yum. You look like a baker to me with this one!

  4. 4

    The Apple Torte looks incredible — I bet it tastes wonderful too. Thanks for sharing your love of cooking with us.

  5. 5

    Well isn’t that just beautiful!!! I love it. I’ve always wanted to visit Italy, but now I know what part of Italy I should make sure to see (or at least to eat!). What a lovely dish.

  6. 6

    That looks great. I love the add of hazelnuts.

  7. 7

    It looks gorgeous!!! We used to make a similar crust when we lived in Germany.

  8. 8

    Awwwww gorgeous!! Love apple anything.. tart, pie.. etc!

  9. 9

    I was looking at this torte and thinking that it looks familiar and that’s because I have the magazine open in front of me right now! I’m starting in on it tonight, having made the custard for the bourbon ice cream.

    You’ve decided me on the apple torte. It looks delicious and absolutely something my family would enjoy (probably with bourbon ice cream!).

  10. 10

    Your photos are always amazing!! Love this recipe!

  11. 11

    hmmm! good stufffff

  12. 12
    Karen /

    Oh my that looks good! Am going apple picking tomorrow, will be making this!

  13. 13

    I love the crumble idea. Lidia e’ fantastic e anche tu! Brava! That looks so good!

  14. 14

    Congrats Congrats going onto challenge #4!!! Must be exciting for you! Good luck and all the best. Happy Thanksgiving to you! You’ll be getting the next vote from me 🙂 Your awesome!

    Have a happy thanksgiving!
    jen @

  15. 15

    oh my, this is absolutely mouthwatering!

  16. 16

    Hazelnut crust… YUM!

  17. 17

    This looks wonderful!! I love the idea of using breadcrumbs!

  18. 18

    I love hazelnuts! This crust must be amazing! I am interested in the apples cooked in cider/wine. I bet it is very good! Intriguing me to try for sure!

  19. 19
    Patricia /

    Thank you for posting this recipe! I don’t know if anyone else noticed, but in Bon Appetit, the ingredient list asked for 8 cups of breadcrumbs. So I made 8 cups of breadcrumbs. Reading the directions, I only saw 3 cups used, and couldn’t figure out where the other 5 cups of breadcrumbs went! Looking forward to making this torte for Thanksgiving, and now I have plenty of breadcrumbs to make some Eggplant Parmigiana! (Not for Thanksgiving) 🙂

Leave a Reply