Saturday, 27 November 2010

Crostata for the Daring Bakers

I seem to have been quite lucky so far with the daring bakers challenges. Most have been things that I have either made before, or ones that I have eaten and been interested to make for myself.
This month's crostata was no exception.

You know, of course, that Italian food my passion and my forte, so a crostata was a dessert well within my comfort zone. Although I'd never made 'pasta frolla' before, I have eaten it prepared several ways in Italy, so I felt as if I knew what to expect.
I was not disappointed with the recipe and had fun deciding what to fill my crostata with. As it happened, E came home last weekend and we enjoyed a fantastic family meal. M and D made a delicious chestnut and butternut squash soup/stew and I provided a bruleed raspberry - creme fraiche crostata and a cherry cobbler (recipe to follow).
We gourged ourselves on decadent desserts and tales of Paris in Autumn. We left jealous of her adventure and promising to visit when we could.

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.

Bruleed Raspberry and Creme Fraiche CrostataPasta Frolla
100g caster sugar
235g unbleached all-purpose flour
a pinch of salt
115g cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
grated zest of half a lemon
1 large egg and 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten in a small bowl
200ml creme fraiche
100g caster sugar
4 large egg yolks
1 large egg
2tsp vanilla extract
400g raspberries

Whisk together sugar, flour and salt in a bowl.
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.
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).
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.
Knead lightly just until the dough comes together into a ball.
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.
Preheat the oven to gas mark 5. Place a baking sheet in the centre of the oven.
Grease a 25cm loose bottomed flan tin with butter.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pasta frolla to 5mm thick.
Using the rolling pin to help you lift it, transfer the pasta frolla into the flan tin, pressing gently into the edges. Don't worry about trimming the edges, just let them fall over the sides.
Carefully remove the now hot baking sheet from the oven and place the flan tin onto it.
Line with greaseproof paper and pour baking beans over this.
Bake blind in the oven for 15 - 20 minutes until the pastry is just cooked and golden.
When the pastry is cooked, remove everything from the oven and very carefully, remove the baking beans back to their container and set them aside to cool down.
Turn the oven down to gas Mark 4.
In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the creme fraiche, sugar, eggs and vanilla until well combined.
Scatter the raspberries over the cooked pastry base.
Slowly pour the creme fraiche mixture over the raspberries.
Return the crostata to the oven for another 30-40 mins until the creme fraiche custard is golden and set.
Cool on a cooling rack.
To give a brûlée effect, scatter a few tablespoons of sugar onto the top of the crostata once it is cool. Use a blowtorch to caramelise the sugar until it is golden and bubbling.


  1. What a wonderful Crostata! What a great time spent with your family! Thanks for visiting my post and for your lovely comment!

  2. Moreish and delicious... I love the flavour combination. Well done on the challenge indeed!

  3. looks yum n delicious..mouthwaterybclick

    Tasty Appetite

  4. Crostata looks delicious and colorful. Nice combination of Rasberry and cream fraiche. wonderful job

  5. Beautiful filling! I like how your crostata turned out. Thank you for your lovely comment on my post. :)

  6. Wow well done on the challenge , the crostata and the filling is awesome. Beautiful pictures.


  7. Gorgeous filling, love the flavour combination yumm! Thanks for visiting my post and for your lovely comment!

  8. Great crostata. Like the speckled with red look of your crostata.

  9. Hey,

    Fabulous looking crostata...:)


  10. The combination of bruleed raspberries and creme fraiche sounds delicious.
    Unlike you, I am not familiar with the crostata, I've heard and seen them, but never had one.