All content copyright Katrina Hall 2008 through 2025

Thursday, August 27, 2009

fresh fruit crostatas

Until yesterday, I had never made a crostata - a freeform sweet ( or, I suppose, savoury) crust filled with fresh fruits that's baked until fragrant and bubbly, then topped with a dusting of confectioner's sugar. Some little part of me was offended by the lack of structure and prettiness. No more, no way, no how!
In yesterday's food section of the Boston Globe, I found an article about Connie's Bakery and Fresh Food in Provincetown, and with it was a delicious recipe for individual fresh fruit crostatas.
Perhaps it was the smaller size ( most crostatas I've seen serve six), maybe it was the two boxes of strawberries and a box each of blueberries and raspberries I knew were cooling in the fridge; whatever it was, it propelled me into the kitchen to try my hand.
I was so pleased with the results! I was afraid the crostatas would be overcooked - not at all. Fresh and tasty whether served hot, warm, or cold ( yes, it was my breakfast, as well as my dessert last night ). And after an overnight in the fridge, the crostatas were less fragile, so think brown-bagging and/or school lunches.
The Globe article featured blueberry-peach crostatas, but I made blueberry, and also strawberry-raspberry. In a few weeks, I'll make a wild pear batch, I think. Mmmm, how about apple? Anyway, here is the recipe for your delight!
From the Boston Globe, adapted from Connie's Bakery
The Dough
2 1/2 cups King Arthur flour
1 T. sugar
1 t. salt
2 sticks unsalted cold butter, cut into little pieces
1/2 cup , more or less, ice water
Place flour, sugar and salt in food processor. Mix briefly.
Add butter and pulse until butter is incorporated well and mixture is crumbly.
With motor running, slowly add the ice water. Don't add all of it at once, since you often need less than called for. Buzz it just until it makes a ball.
Gently knead dough into a round, wrap in plastic or foil, and chill.
The Filling:
About 4 cups fruit , cut into bite size pieces
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 T. flour
1/4 t. ground mace, cinnamon, or nutmeg ( I liked the mace best)
1/2 t. salt
confectioner's sugar for sprinkling.
Since I was using two different fillings, I made up the sugar/flour/ mace mixture and divided it between the two bowls of fruit I was using. Stir and let sit for a bit.
To make:
Preheat oven to 375F
one foil or parchment covered baking sheet/cookie pan
Cut the dough into 4 pieces.
Roll each piece out on slightly floured board into a circle - about 6 inches.
Heap the fruit into the center and fold up the sides about 3/4ths, leaving an open center where the fruit peeks out.
Continue until all four crostatas are completed.
Bake for about 45 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the fruit is bubbly.
Remove, and cool.
Sprinkle heavily with confectioner's sugar and serve, or wrap gently in foil and store in fridge.
I know you're going to LOVE these!
Featured on TasteSpotting!


La Table De Nana said...

I have always been enamoured with freeform pies.
Natural.. full of flavor and always unique.
What a lovely fresh natural post:)

katrina said...

Really, Nana? Not me. I always thought the bigger crostatas just looked sloppy, and I said so, several times:) Guess I'll have to eat my hat on this post! When you say unique and natural, does that mean ugly( in a polite way)? Poor little crostatas.....

Martha said...

Love crostatas. An easy dessert.

katrina said...

It sure is, Martha! Love it. Love the fresh, fruity taste of the pastry itself, and the fun, funky, putting-together of it. Did I mention it makes a great breakfast?

Kate at Serendipity said...

I love rustic pies. Small ones, large ones, medium ones, personal ones. But BERRY ones are my favorites!

katrina said...

I think you're right, Kate, now that I think of it. Apple and pear are wonderful - but those little jewels of berries taste very special.

Jennifer said...

I like how adaptable this crostata recipe is for fruit that is in season. And, dessert for breakfast would make my day.

lisaiscooking said...

They look great! Wish I could taste a piece.

Kate said...

A individual free form pie... now that's beautiful!
I've always thought pie (crostada) is a perfect breakfast.
Grain, Fruit and a touch of dairy! Yum Yum. Photos are enticing!

katrina said...

Now that I think of it, Jennifer, the fact that this is adaptable to any fruit in season was one reason I instantly took to this recipe. I'm sure it's going to be one of those recipes I make over and over - and it's so quick!

katrina said...

Thanks, lisa and Sophie! I stuck one of the blueberry crostatas in the freezer, luckily! I wanted to see how they do after freezing - so I'm sure looking forward to having more crostata for lunch!

katrina said...

Thanks for your kind words, Kate! What is pie but a little croissant with fruit? That's how I think of it, anyway:) I think pie and/or crostata is a perfect way to start the day....mmmmmm!

Paige at The Spice House said...

I agree, the larger freeform pies always look a little messy to me. But I usually make little ones (4 inches or so) out of my leftover pie crust from regular pies, and eat them as a test to make sure the real pie will taste good.
Also, mmmmm, mace, also my favorite. So often overlooked, poor thing, yet so yummy in everything from spinach to pancakes.

katrina said...

Hi Paige!
I'm mulling over making some tiny crostatas; experimenting just in case a catering client wants a platterful. I love the idea!
And happy you agree about the often-forgotten mace, which has an intense, sweetbutspicy flavor - thanks!

Anonymous said...

Wow....these were a total hit and so easy to make. I am going to try mini crostatas next time, so instead of four, I will try 8 portions. For my first run, I used a mixture of apples and perfect, even the next day!

katrina said...

Oh, that's a wonderful idea, to make smaller ones - and much prettier, I'm sure, Anon!