If I could make only one type of pie a crostata would be my choice. It is spectacular in presentation with a sublime choice of fillings. Its professional appearance belies the simplicity of its construction. A dessert to swoon over at the end of dinner.

A crostata is a tart filled with fruit or cream or even both. A crostata is shallower than a pie but has more structure than a galette. It is made with pasta frolla, a sweet, buttery, forgivable pastry, The sweet pastry dough is typically enriched with butter and egg yolk. The dough is easy to roll out and easily patched together if it tears. The dough is so forgiving and tender that I rolled out leftover scraps of pasty and cut out rounds for miniature fruits tarts. The much handled dough baked beautifully tender.

In Italy the basic crostata is made with a thick layer of good jam, preferably homemade, sandwiched between the bottom crust and a lattice top. Summer is a delicious season for crostatas. One can use fresh fruit cooked down a bit with sugar to make a quick jam. Almost any fruit, fresh or frozen, from strawberries, peaches and blueberries to figs can be used for the fillings. The jam for the filling can be stored in an airtight container for up to two 2 weeks. I like to make the pastry the day before and refrigerate it overnight night. This is a very accommodating recipe. A joy to make. The perfect dessert.

: fruit tart
Cuisine: Italian
: 10
This tart has a thick layer of good homemade jam sandwiched between the bottom crust and a rolled lattice.. Make the jam from almost any fruit from strawberries to figs.
  • PASTA FROLLA (sweet pastry dough)
  • Makes enough for a 9- inch lattice-top crostata
  • 2 cups (272 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ⅔ cup (65 g) confectioners' sugar
  • ¼ tsp fine salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon or 1 small orange - or a little of both (about 1 tbs.)
  • 11 tbs.(156 g) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½ inch cubs
  • 1 large egg, plus 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 lb. (453 g) blueberries, fresh or frozen (about 4 cups)]
  • Generous ¾ cups(150 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 2-inch strip lemon zest
  • 1 tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  2. Put the blueberries, sugar, and lemon zest and juice in a medium heavy-duty saucepan. Cook over low heat to dissolve the sugar, about 10 minutes.
  3. Use a potato masher to break the berries up a bit.
  4. Raise the heat to medium, and bring to a boil.Reduce the heat and simmer. stirring often, until the mixture has thickened, about 10 minutes
  5. Stir in the cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, and simmer until thickened to a jam consistency, about 5 minutes more.
  6. You should be able to drag a path through the bottom of the saucepan with a silicone spatula or a wooden spoon.
  7. Remove and discard the zest .
  8. Scrape the jam into heatproof bowl and let cool completely.
  9. (The jam can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks)
  10. PASTA FROLLA (sweet pastry dough)
  11. Put the flour, sugar,salt, baking powder and zest into food processor. Pulse briefly to combine
  12. Distribute the butter around the bowl, and pulse until the mixture is crumbly..
  13. Add the egg and egg yolk, and process just until the dough begins to clump together, about 3
  14. seconds or less)
  15. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and gather it into a ball.
  16. Form the dough into two flat disks, one slightly larger than the other. .
  17. Wrap each disk tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour of until well chilled (overnight is fine).
  18. Remove the dough from the refrigerator 30 minutes before rolling it out.
  20. Thirty minutes before you begin to assemble the crostata position a rack in the center of the oven. Put a large rimmed baking sheet on the rack, and heat the oven to 350F. Remove the pasta frolla from the refrigerator and let it rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  21. Have ready a 9 inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Lightly butter the pan.
  22. Lightly dust a work surface and rolling pin with flour.
  23. Roll the larger disk of pasta frolla into a 12-inch circle, lifting and turning the dough as you roll to prevent sticking and create an even round.
  24. Gently fit the dough into the pan without stretching it. Use the palm of your hand or the rolling pin to trim off the excess.
  25. Refrigerate while you roll out the second piece of dough.
  26. Roll the smaller piece into a 10-inch circle, and use a fluted pastry wheel to cut it into strips from1/2 inch to 1 inch wide.
  27. Remove the crostata base from the refrigerator. Spread the blueberry jam over the base.
  28. Position the strips of pastry on top in a lattice pattern.
  29. Press the edges of the strips into the edge of the tart shell to secure and trim off the excess.
  30. Put the crostata on the heated baking sheet and bake until the crust if golden-brown and the filling is set, for 40 to 45 minutes.
  31. Transfer from the baking sheet to a rack to cool completely.
  32. Remove the ring, and use a large, wide-angled spatula to transfer the crostata from the metal tart base to a serving place. (or simply cut the tart and serve on individual dessert plates.
  33. Dust with confectioners' sugar if desired and serve.
  34. Chef tips:
  35. You can roll the pastry between two pieces of parchment paper - if desired.
  36. The dough is easy to roll out, but warms up quickly - take care not to over handle it. Still, don't fret over it; the dough is silky and forgiving, and while it can tear easily, it is just as easily patched back together.
  37. STRAWBERRY JAM CROSTATA - 1 pound of strawberries, hulled and quartered, 1½ cups (312 g) granulated sugar, 2 2 - inch strips lemon zest, 1 tbs. fresh lemon juice. Follow the instructions for blueberry jam.

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