How to Make Italian Crostata
Crostata, of Italian descent, sounds complicated but is not. If it is nowhere in your recipe staples, maybe it’s high time you line it up with your favorites.
Italian Crostata is one of the most popular recipes in Italy. This simple yet delicious pastry dish is very easy to make and has ingredients that are very easy to find; you might as well look around in your backyard.
Summertime is the best time to make an Italian Crostata with all the fresh, juicy fruits in season. You can choose from strawberry, peaches, blueberries, plums, apricots, etc. Homemade filling and jam add more to the charm and sweetness of the famous Italian dessert.
The other best feature of the crostata is the flaky crust. You make the Pasta Frolla or the pie dough from flour, sugar, baking powder, butter, an egg, and egg yolk. The pie dough for a crostata is unique. It must be a combination of not too soft but not too crumbly pastry. The secret is in the eggs.
Making the Pasta Frolla
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
¼ tsp fine salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 Tbs grated zest of lemon
11 Tbs ( 5.5 oz) cold unsalted butter,
cut into ½ inch cubes
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
Place all your dry ingredients and lemon zest in a food processor. Pulse briefly to combine the dry ingredients. Distribute the butter cubes around the bowl and pulse until your mixture looks crumbly. Add the egg and egg yolk and mix until the dough begins to clump together around 30 seconds. Then, move the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead into a smooth ball. Chill your dough ball for 30 minutes or an hour. After your dough has been chilled, you can now roll your dough to make the wonderful pasta Frolla.
Put aside around a quarter of your dough ball for the lattice. Then, roll the larger portion of your pie dough on a floured surface using a floured rolling pin. Roll your dough to about 4mm thickness. Place your rolled dough into a tart pan, pressing on the sides and the bottom. Prick the bottom of your dough with a pastry fork. Form your lattice with a pastry cutter into ¼ inch strips of pastry.
Picking the Filling
The filling can be homemade jams of fruits of the season, like apricots, strawberry, peaches, or blueberries. You can also use hazelnut spread (Nutella), which is a sure hit to the kids. If homemade jams are not available because it is off-season, you can use store-bought jams, which will still do the trick.
Bringing Everything Together
Spread your jam evenly on the surface of your pie crust. Place your strips of pastry over the jam in a diamond lattice pattern. Seal the edges of your pie with a fork to create a nice border around your crostata. Bake your Italian Crostata at 180 deg C/ 350 deg F in a pre-heated oven for about 35 minutes. Nice and easy!
Your dessert list needs to have this traditional Italian pastry, easy to make but truly delightful. Don’t you just love a slice of crostata with a cup of coffee as your afternoon delight or cap off your dinner with this beautiful buttery, soft yet crumbly pastry? Just thinking about it makes my mouth water.