Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Crostate con marmellate fatte in casa!

I have SO many things to post about - I haven't had any time in a while, and I was barely keeping up with the 'necessary' posts.. so I'll start with something I meant to write in a long time, i.e. one of my favorite desserts: crostata!

The main characteristic of crostata is the crunchy and yet buttery consistency of the outside ('crosta' means 'crust). Traditionally, it has only a layer of jam on top, although you can in principle put anything on it. In summertime, the fruity version is so wonderful - it's my favorite birthday 'cake' (see the post here for crostata di frutta).

Here you can see Crostata al limone (Lemon crostata), with my homemade lemon jelly
The recipe for it is in the 'Read more' section.

A really nice variation on the crostata theme is crostata with nuts in the dough. I was inspired by Fiordizucca to make this Crostata con mandorle coperta con marmellata di albicocche fatta in casa e cioccolato (Almond crostata covered with homemade peach jam and chocolate)
The recipe is also in the 'Read more' section.

I want to point out that making crostata is one of the easiest things you can try to do. Just make it a few times and you'll know exactly how much sugar you really want (maybe you can vary depending on the sweetness of the jam), how much butter you like in it, and you can experiment all different toppings. But really, if you don't have time and you want something quick and good for your guests, the simple traditional version with jam can never fail. :)

Crostata tradizionale (traditional crostata)
300 g flour (2 1/2 cups)
200 g sugar (1 cup)
100 g butter (1/2 cup)
~2 tbsp milk

Soften the butter. Mix the flour and the sugar and add the butter in. Add as little milk as possible to make the dough workable. Some recipes use more butter and don't add any milk at all. Work it with your hands, as little as possible. Let the dough rest in the fridge for ~20 minutes. Take ~2/3 of the dough and spread it on a buttered and floured baking pan, from the center to the borders. When you get to the borders, spread it a little bit on them (in 'vertical'). Make rolls (~1/3" in diameter, and as long as you need) with the rest of the dough, and use some to create the real borders. Spread the jam of your choice on the dough. Use the rest of the rolls to decorate. Bake at 400 deg for 20-30 min (it depends on how thick you spread the dough). Sometimes the crostata tends to grow a little bit in the oven, whereas you want it to be flat. So if it happens, gently tap on the inflated parts with a spoon while the crostata is still warm, and flatten it. Serve cold.

Crostata con mandorle coperta con marmellata di pesche fatta in casa e cioccolato (Crostata with almonds covered with homemade peach jam and chocolate)
This variation was inspired by this wonderful recipe by Fiordizucca (she had amaretti cookies and real peaches instead of jam in her version).
Use the same dough as before, but substitute 1/3 of the flour with the same amount of ground almonds. Use the same procedure to make the dough.
While the dough is resting, prepare the topping: beat one egg with 2/3 cup sugar, then add 1 tbsp cocoa powder (unsweetened). Add also ~2/3 cup peach jam. Mix in ~2 tbsp flour, to thicken. Spread on the crostata dough and proceed as with the traditional crostata for assembly and baking.
Are you curious about how to make the peach jam? It's really easy, I'll write it in the next post.

1 comment:

Chanita Harel חני הראל said...

all your new (and older) recipes and posts look great !!
I love them all, thank you :-)