I had a sudden need to make a crostata last night. I am pleased to say that it that worked rather well.
A crostata is an unstructured pie, usually with a sweet shortcrust pastry and a seasonal fruit filling. My main motivation in making it was to try and find a new way, in addition to the black current scones, to use my foraged berries from the weekend. I also added some ripe peaches and strawberries and raspberries that I found lurking in the fridge. You can use many types of filling which would work beautifully in a crostata, rhubarb and strawberry, plums, apples, apricots; really anything you would put in a traditional pie.
One of the things I like about this recipe is that you can really cut down on the amount of sugar you add. You only need to use a little in the pastry and only as much you want in the filling. When making a normal shortcrust pastry I use two parts flour to one part butter, I enriched this crust is by increasing the ratio to three parts flour to two parts butter and added two eggs yolks. As a result the pastry is lovely and buttery and very easy to work with. Delicious on it’s own, the crostata would be even better served with a little whipped cream or creme fraiche.
sweet pastry (makes two pastry disks)
- 12oz /340g/23/4 cup plain or all purpose flour
- 8oz/225g/2 sticks butter cut into small cubes, super cold
- 2TBS sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- ice cold water as needed
- mix of 3/4 peaches,sliced, handful of black currants ( blueberries would work too), some raspberries and strawberries
- sugar to taste, I do not use much as fruit is sweet already
- egg mixed with a little cold water for egg wash
- whipped cream or creme fraiche
- Preheat oven to 400f/200c
- line a large baking sheet with parchment paper
- Add the flour and sugar to a large bowl.
- Add the butter and rub in until mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
- Make a well in the center of the flour.
- Mix the egg yolk with two tablespoon of water and add to flour mixture.
- Either by hand or using a kitchen aid gently mix all ingredients, slowly adding more water until dough starts to come away from the side and form a ball.
- Tip dough onto a floured surface, divide into two and quickly knead into two disks.
- Wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes
- On a floured surface roll out one of the disks into a circle, and put onto prepared baking sheet
- Leaving a good one inch border, pile fruit into the center of the pastry disk.
- Fold the edges up to hold the fruit in.
- Brush pasty with eggwash and sprinkle fruit and pastry with sugar.
- Bake in oven for 30-40 minutes until pastry is cooked and golden brown.
- Serve warm or room temperature with a little whipped cream or creme fraiche