Saturday, November 27, 2010

Novermber Daring Bakers: Pasta Frolla for a Crostata (Don't panic... it's just a tart. :)

My cute Sister-in-Law Amy, talked me into joining The Daring Kitchen. I had heard of this site a while back, but I had never taken the time to figure out how it worked. When she explained it to me, it sounded like a lot of fun! I signed up and anxiously awaited my first challenge... only to be a little intimidated (dare I even go so far as to say disapointed) when I saw our first "fancy" challenge. My initial thought was, "Oh great... this is going to be one of those recipes I will never use, with a mouth-full-of-a-name that I can't even begin to pronounce." I COULD NOT HAVE BEEN MORE WRONG! (... about the recipe- I still can't quite take on the name. :) I took the challenge and I have made it four times because I liked it so much.

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.

First of all... if you are getting caught up on the fancy name thing like I was, lets just call this a "perfect" tart. There... now a tart is something you can make, right... or if you can't... you very soon will!!!
I was surprised at how simple the process was! As you can see in the above picture, I wasn't very carefull about rolling my crust out thin- I just wasn't careful in general, but I found I kind of liked the thicker crust- it was almost like a cookie. I think the lemon zest makes a huge difference! It adds such a great balance of flavor- especially when you have a really sweet fillling.

*For my fillings, I used my homemade blackberry jam, frozen blackberries, lemon juice, and a pinch of sugar. And for the apple tarts, I used an amazing pie filling recipe my friend shared. We put up over 20 quarts of it. I'll be sharing that recipe soon- it was delicious! But you can do just about anything... fruit, jam preserves, cheesecake with fresh fruit, mousse, pudding, or any kind of pie filling. Pretty much you can't go wrong!

*I also wanted to add that when I made this the first time, I didn't have a tart pan with a removable bottom. I just used a cake pan. It didn't come out very well, but it cooked up fine. I liked the recipe so much, though, that I came across one at the local "Salvation Army" store and I bought it for a buck. :) I figured I would definitely be making this one again. It worked perfectly, too. :)

Pasta Frolla for a Crostata by Simona of briciole
  • 1/2 C. minus 1 TBSP. superfine sugar or a scant 3/4 C. of powdered sugar.
  • 1 3/4 C. flour
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 stick cold 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.

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

2. Cut the butter into the flour mixture using a fork, fingers, or a pastry cutter until the mixture has the consistency of coarse crumbs.

3. Beat together eggs lightly. 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)

4. Sprinkle lemon zest over top. Use a fork to incorporate the liquid into the solid ingredients, and then use your fingers.

5. Knead lightly just until the dough come together in 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 may refrigerate the dough over night.

6. Take out of the fridge and unwrap. Cut away 1/4 of the dough and reserve to make the lattice top of the crostata. Refrigerate this dough while you work on the tart base. On top of the plastic wrap, roll out the dough into a circle about 1/8th inch thick. Center the dough over the pan and press down. Poke wholes into the base of the dough with a fork. Trim away excess dough around the side.

7. Spread what ever filling you want into the middle and bake for about 25 minutes at 350 F or until the crust is golden brown. If you need to fill it after the crust is cooked, blind bake the crust. To do this, place parchment paper or aluminum foil over the crust and fill the tart with pie weights ( or just use dried beans). Then cool and fill the tart with what ever you want.

Posted by Picasa


AmyJo said...

Your tarts look wonderful! It looks like yours turned out much better than mine. I chose a yucky pastry cream. I liked the crust though! I am going to make it again soon with a better filling! Good work, Lyd.

Audax said...

Hello and welcome to the DBers and congrats on your first very very successful challenge. I'm stunned that you four of them it is great that you have found the perfect tart (pie, crostata) recipe for you superb work on this challenge.

Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

jess and seth said...

Aunt Lou,

That's yummy. We want to bake it. We don't have any blackberries. We should buy strawberries.

Jacob & Eleni

Simona said...

Welcome to Daring Bakers. I am so glad to read you liked the recipe! If you visit my post on the challenge, you can listen to the audio file with the pronunciation of crostata.