Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Crostata di Marmellata - Raspberry Crostata

The last year ended and the new year started on a good note for me with cute awards galore from plenty of blogging buddies. I had no idea blogging would entail all this when I started to blog. Last week I was really thrilled and happy to know that Sudha of Wit, wok & wisdom had passed on the Triple cute awards and the Cherry on Top award to me. Thank you very much for the awards, Sudha. I'm posting a sweet recipe here to celebrate the sweet surprise.

I recall first hearing the word crostata when I was watching one of the Australian "Masterchef" episodes. Though it lingered on my mind, it wasn't until much later that I looked up the word on the Internet. I searched and found, to my sweet surprise, that crostata is a sweet, Italian tart. I *heart* pies and tarts. So this was bookmarked to try sometime in the future and now finally I have the reason and the energy to make this sweet tart.
Obviously, there are many different types of crostatas. The one I have made is called a crostata di marmellata, which is a jam crostata. Since I have a buckload of lovely Croatian raspberries lying in the deep-freezer, I naturally decided to make a crostata with raspberry filling. Traditionally, a crostata is made panless like a large cookie, resembling a galette, but since I did not want to take any risks, I made my crostata in a 9" cake plate.

The most difficult part of making a completely new dish is always finding a recipe that you wholeheartedly want to follow. This search was made really easy for me because the standard crust used to make a crostata, is called pasta frolla. The recipe for this is pretty much standard. Pasta frolla is a very versatile, sweet crust that is not only used to make crostatas but also pies, cookies, holiday cutouts, Dulce de Leche Crumb Bars, and Sicilian Twists. The recipe for the pasta frolla I found here and it has been modified. The baking powder is optional, and is added to make the crust lighter. As I understand, in traditional recipes deriving from Artusi, you don't add any baking powder. 

Pasta frolla:
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
115 g unsalted butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg and 1 large yolk
1/2 tsp baking powder

2 cups raspberries
3/4 cup caster sugar (adjust)
1/2 tbs lemon juice

Mix the flour and sugar first. Cut the butter into small sticks. Crumble the butter with the flour mixture and make sure all the flour is mixed with the butter. Make a small hole in the middle and add the eggs there. Use a fork to combine the ingredients first and then work with your fingers. Pat the dough lightly just until the dough comes together into a ball. Don't knead like you would a bread dough. This is a sticky dough and should remain so. But if you have a difficult time patting into a round ball, don't lose heart, add some more flour and pat into a ball. Divide the crust into two parts. Shape the dough into a flat disc and wrap up 2/3 of the crust, needed for the bottom, in a plastic sheet and the remainder, needed for the lattice top, separately in another plastic sheet and refrigerate for minimum 1 hour or overnight. I read somewhere that you can refrigerate this dough for upto 3 days. In any case, I let it rest overnight.
Meanwhile, prepare the raspberry filling or jam. In a large pan, boil the raspberries with the sugar and the lemon juice at below medium heat. Crush the raspberries and stir until it becomes thick and is not runny. Put aside to cool. You can prepare the marmellata a day ahead as well, if it is more convenient, and keep it in the fridge.

Lightly butter a pie plate or a round cake plate. Now, take the 2/3 crostata dough needed for the bottom out of the refrigerator and roll it out on a properly floured cold working surface. Flour the kitchen roller as well prior to rolling out the dough. Transfer the dough to the pie or cake plate and press against the sides. Trim the edges with a pizza cutter or knife. Stick the bottom with a fork. Spoon in the marmellata and even it out. Take the other dough out and roll it out into a block. Cut the dough into 6 even strips with a pizza or pasty cutter. Arrange the lattice top, on top.

Bake the crostata in the lower parts of a preheated oven at 350 F (175 C) for about 35 minutes or until golden and crispy. Allow it to cool on a wire rack completely before serving. Serve with ice-cream, custard or whipped cream, or enjoy it as it is. Good luck!


Anonymous said...

Congrats ~ Found your blog on Google while searching for a related topic, your site came up, it looks good, keep them coming !

Umm Mymoonah said...

Cute pie, love the crust and filling.

Ramya said...

this is such a lovely dessert.. thanks for linking with my event

Rathai's recipe said...

Anonymous: Thanks for you well wishes. :)

Um Mymoonah: Thank you, dear. :)

Ramya: Thanks for letting me link my entries to your event, Ramya. :)

Vimitha Durai said...

Gorgeous looking pie. Yum

Sudha said...

Dear Rathai,
Thank you so much for writing about the award - really glad that it made you so happy:)If you think of making a dessert as gorgeous as this every time you get an award,I'm willing to pass on one to you everyday, my dear friend!!The Crostata looks so so delicious and absolutely perfectly made - awesome!

Anzz said...

I love the colors and the combination.. A real treat.. Thanx for linking it to my event dear..!

My event- Valentines Day Special

Deeps @ Naughty Curry said...

that looks scrumptious! love that colour & love the criss cross on top.. infact makes for a very good val-day treat too :)

Kanan said...

hey i am new to this blogging world.
anyways such a lovely dessert for valentine. love the crust.

Mahi said...

Crostata looks colorful..enjoyed your writing! Congrats on your award as well! :)

Rathai's recipe said...

Thank you guys for the lovely comments. :)

Riceandcoconut said...

Thanks for checking out my blog,you had a great blog as well,we can share our recipe from now on,BtW the pie looks delicious i love berry's on anything :)

Anzz said...

Had to drop by and take another peek... so delicious..!

My event- Valentines Day Special

Padhu Sankar said...

Wow Looks divine!

Asmita said...

This crostata looks amazing! Love that with a cup of your masala chai. Yum!!!

Suma Gandlur said...

That's an amazing crostata. Thanks for linking it to CEDD event.