Crostata con la Crema - A Daring Baker's Challenge

Crostata con la Crema
The 2010 November Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Simona of briciole. She chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ to make pasta frolla for a crostata. She used her own experience as a source, as well as information from Pellegrino Artusi’s Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well.

Crostata is something I don't recall ever eating. I was pretty happy with the whole idea, because I know it's one of those desserts that can be light on the sugar and you can do a lot with them. After showing the hubby the different kinds of crostata that we were given, we decided to try the Crostata con la Crema.
Pasta Frolla

  •      1/2 c. minus 1 tablespoon [105 ml, 100 g, 3 ½ oz] superfine sugar (see Note 1) or a scant 3/4 cup [180ml, 90g, 3 oz] of powdered sugar
  •      1 and 3/4 cup [420 ml, 235 g, 8 1/4 oz.] unbleached all-purpose flour
  •      a pinch of salt
  •      1 stick [8 tablespoons / 4 oz. / 115 g] cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  •      grated zest of half a lemon (you could also use vanilla sugar as an option, see Note 2)
  •      1 large egg and 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten in a small bowl
Note 1: Superfine sugar is often also referred to as ultrafine, baker’s sugar or caster sugar. It’s available in most supermarkets. If you cannot find “superfine” sugar, you can make your own by putting some regular granulated sugar in a food processor or blender and letting it run until the sugar is finely ground.

1. Whisk together sugar, flour and salt in a bowl.

2. Rub or cut the butter into the flour until the mixture has the consistency of coarse crumbs. You can do this in the bowl or on your work surface, using your fingertips or an implement of choice.

3. Make a well in the center of the mounded flour and butter mixture and pour the beaten eggs into it (reserve about a teaspoon of the egg mixture for glazing purposes later on – place in the refrigerator, covered, until ready to use).

4. Add the lemon zest to your flour/butter/egg mixture. Use a fork to incorporate the liquid into the solid ingredients, and then use your fingertips.

5. Knead lightly just until the dough comes together into a ball.

6. Shape the dough into a flat disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Place the dough in the refrigerator and chill for at least two hours. You can refrigerate the dough overnight.
The recipe above is straight from The Daring Kitchen post for this month's challenge. If you would like to check out what the others have done and the recipes please go to The Daring Kitchen website!

Crostata con la Crema

I choose to make a cream filling. I used pastry cream recipe we were provided from Briciole as it didn't have a lot of sugar. Just about any filling works like jam, fruit, or you can make it savory and add in things like eggs! (I saw a picture that one of the hubby's family sent recently, that showed a savory version of crostata, though it probably went by a different name :D.)


Assembling and baking the Crostata con la Crema

1. Heat the oven to 350ºF [180ºC/gas mark 4].

2. Take the pasta frolla out of the fridge, unwrap it and cut away ¼ of the dough. Reserve this dough to make the lattice top of the crostata. Refrigerate this dough while you work on the tart base.

3. To help roll the crostata dough, keep the dough on top of the plastic wrap that you had it wrapped in. This can help rolling the dough and can also help when transferring the dough to your pan. You can also use parchment paper for this. However, you can also roll the dough directly on a work surface if you prefer.

4. Lightly dust the top of the dough and your work surface (if you’re rolling directly on a work surface) with flour. Keep some flour handy to dust the dough as you go along.

5. If the dough is very firm, start by pressing the dough with the rolling pin from the middle to each end, moving the rolling pin by a pin's width each time; turn the dough 180 degrees and repeat; when it softens, start rolling.

6. Roll the dough into a circle about 1/8th inch (3 mm) thick.

7. If you used the plastic wrap or parchment paper as rolling surface, flip dough over the pan, centering it, and delicately press it all around so the corners are well covered. Peel away the plastic wrap.

8. Trim the excess dough hanging over the edges of the pan. Press the remaining dough around the border into the sides of the pan making sure the border is an even thickness all the way around.

9. Prick the bottom of the dough with a fork in several places.

10. Take out of the fridge the reserved pasta frolla you had cut away earlier. Roll it with your pin and cut into strips or use cookie cutters to make small shapes (this is not traditional, but it looks cute); or roll with your hands into ropes.

11. Instead of jam or fruit preserves, cover the bottom of the crostata crust evenly with the pastry cream.

12. Use the prepared strips or rolls of dough to make a lattice over the surface, or decorate with the cut shapes. (Note: You can use dough scraps to make cookies: see the Additional Information section for some pointers)

13. Brush the border and strips of dough with the reserved beaten eggs. You can add a drop or two of water to the beaten eggs if you don’t have enough liquid.

14. Put the tart in the oven and bake for 30 minutes.

15. After 35 minutes, check the tart, and continue baking until the tart is of a nice golden hue. (Note: Every oven is different. In my oven it took 45 minutes to bake the tart until golden.)

16. When done, remove the tart from the oven and let cool. If you have used a tart pan with a removable bottom, then release the tart base from the fluted tart ring. Make sure the tart is completely cool before slicing and serving.
The recipes above are straight from The Daring Kitchen post for this month's challenge. If you would like to check out what the others have done and the recipes please go to The Daring Kitchen website!

Crostata con la Crema

As you may have noticed (and I don't know how you couldn't), the edges got really dark (not black, just really really dark!). I did have it perfect but the vines and leaves in the middle didn't have practically any color. So I did what I shouldn't have and put it back in for a little longer :(. Luckily that didn't effect the rest of crostata and it tasted great, just had to not eat the dark part!

When I make a sweet version of this again I'll include some fruit as it would have been a nice touch with the pastry cream (which turned out lightly lemony and oh so smooth without being too sweet :D).


Please Do Not Feed The Animals. said...

Love your creativity - brilliant!

Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite said...

Rochelle it's absolutely GORGEOUS!! Well done. I love that your hubby chose the recipe with you :-)

Audax said...

WOW I love how you decorated the crostata and when you bake nothing is burned it is well caramelized LOL LOL and the crema looks great well done on this challenge. Lovely work. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

Lynn @ I'll Have What She's Having said...

I love the way you decorated your crostata!

shelley c. said...

Wow - your crostata is impressively beautiful. I love that you made a simple crostata then jazzed it up with such a stunning topping design. I can only imagine that it tasted as amazing as it looks. Fantastic job.

sara @ CaffeIna said...

I love how creative you were in decorating your crostata. Crostata con la crema is one of my favorite together with the one with nutella Great job for the first time crostata

Belinda @zomppa said...

That is a piece of art!! You need to show that off for the holidays.

Evan @swEEts said...

I absolutely love the vines and leaves as decorations! How creative. Well done on the challenge :)

es65 said...

I love how you decorated your crostata. It's beautiful! I'm sure it tasted wonderful too.

Chef Dennis said...

you did an outstanding job with this crostata!! I love the vines and leaves, what a great touch!

Jeanne said...

The vines and leaves on top are beautiful! And it sounds wonderful with the pastry cream filling!

penny aka jeroxie said...

That looks stunning! I have to try and make one as well.

The Betz Family said...

What creativity! Nice job on the challenge!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful!!! It looks and sounds great.

Todd M said...

Love the creative topping - looks delicious.

Simona said...

I really like the decoration you made on the top! And I am glad you liked the pastry cream recipe I provided.