Every pastry shop in Italy has an amazing selection of crostata sitting in their window. They tempt me in every city no matter where we are.
One of the first things my mother-in-law Teresa taught me how to make is a crostata. It’s a sweet pastry dough and you fill it with whatever you’d like. We like to eat it with strawberry jam. She likes to make her own jam to fill in the dough. We like that too!
This time we made it with apples and strawberry jam. I love apple pie and I LOVE crostata filled with apples and strawberry jam. It is a perfect treat to have in the afternoon. In Italy they have lunch around 1 PM and then dinner around 8 PM. There is that long pause in between. A slice of this crostata and an espresso will hold me off until dinner at 8.
Apple and Strawberry Crostata
serves approx 6-8
Pasta Frolla recipe
300 grams (10.54 ounces)pastry flour
200 grams (7.025 ounces) unsalted butter
100 grams (3.512 ounces) sugar
1 whole egg and 1 yolk ( 60 grams eggs)
1 cup strawberry jam
2 medium sized apples, peeled, cored and sliced into quarters
Place the apple slices in a medium sized bowl and squirt some lemon juice on top of them so they don’t brown.
In the bowl of a food processor, add the flour and sugar and process a few times to mix together. Next add the butter and pulse a few times until the mixture looks like wet sand. Add the egg and yolk and process a few seconds more until the dough forms (this should be about 5-7 more pulses). Be sure to not overprocess the dough.
Dump the dough from the food processor bowl onto a lightly floured counter. Form the dough into a disk and chill in the refrigerator for about an hour.
baking the crostata:
(For some nice step-by-step photos on how to roll out the dough, check out this ricotta crostata I made last year.)
Preheat oven to 375°F with a foil-lined large baking sheet on middle rack.
When dough is nicely chilled, remove from the refrigerator. Roll out the dough between 2 sheets of plastic wrap into a 13-inch round about 1/8 thick.
Spray an 11-inch fluted tart pan with removable bottom with baking spray. Gently wrap the dough over the rolling pin and place it over the tart pan; release the rolling pin and let the dough fall into the tart pan. Press the dough softly into the bottom of the tart pan. If some of the dough breaks while you press it into the tart pan, that's not a problem. Simply piece the dough together. Press the sides of the dough about 1/2 inch up the side of the tart pan. The rim of the tart should be lined with a slightly thicker layer of pastry than the bottom (about 1/4-inch thick). Cut off the extra dough from the sides and keep these excess pieces to make the lattice topping. Place this tart pan in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes (or even longer if necessary) to chill.
When the dough is chilled and ready to fill, remove the tart pan from the refrigerator and prick the pastry bottom with a fork a few times.
Filling the crostata:
Preheat the oven to 375 F.
Spread about 1/2 cup strawberry jam on the bottom of the crostata. Place the apple slices in a concentric pattern on top of the strawberry jam. Spread the remaining strawberry jam on top of the apples.
Roll out the remaining piece of dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut out the lattice strips. Place the strips on top of the crostata in a lattice pattern.
Bake on 375 F for approximately 30-45 minutes. You want the crust to be a nice golden brown.
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