I don’t know if you’ve ever baked in someone else’s home or baked while you were in a different country. It isn’t the same as baking in the comfort of your own little kitchen.
You know exactly where every ingredient is in which cabinet in your kitchen. You know if there is a clear container sitting on a shelf with the flours that is lacking any label will be the sugar and the one near the pepper and other spices will be the salt.
This spring when I had my surgery, my mother-in-law was here to help take care of me. She cooked and baked her incredible recipes every day. One of the recipes she made while here was her crostata agli amaretti. It is sweet pastry dough filled with amaretto cookies soaked in espresso.
I posted it here and you can see the different ways it can be made. I don’t know if it’s the quality of the flour or the espresso, but this crostata was so much better than the one she made while she was here. It could be because Teresa baked this one in the comfort of her little Italian kitchen and knew exactly where to find every ingredient. Whatever the case, I hope you give this crostata a try.
To see what it looks like with lattice layers on top of the filling, look here.
Directions Pasta Frolla (Sweet Pastry Dough)
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for the work surface
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt or table salt
Zest of 1 lemon
1 cup confectioner’s sugar (I use granulated sugar)
1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
Put the flour, sugar, salt, and lemon zest in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse briefly to combine the ingredients. Distribute the butter around the bowl and pulse until the mixture is crumbly. Add the egg and egg yolks and process until the dough just begins to come together.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and gather it together. Knead it briefly and shape it into a disk. Wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1hour, until well chilled.
To make the tart shell:
Cut the dough disk into 2 portions, one slightly larger than the other. Rewrap the smaller portion and set aside. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the larger portion into a 13-inch round about 1/8-inch thick or slightly thicker. Carefully wrap the dough around the rolling pin and drape it over an 11-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Gently press the dough into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Trim the overhang to about 1/2 inch and fold it in, pressing it against the inside rim to reinforce the sides of the tart shell. Use the rolling pin or the flat of your hand to press around the perimeter of the pan to cut off any excess dough. Put the lined tart pan in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
While you are preparing the crostata, preheat the oven to 325 F. Soak one pack of the amaretti in 1 1/2 cup of the cold espresso. Let the cookies soak a minute. With your fingers, drain the amaretti cookies a little and then place the soaked cookies across the dough.
Then dip the other amaretti cookies one cookie at a time on both sides and spread them out across the dough. Keep dipping and spreading them out.
Add the remaining 1/2 cup of cold espresso to the tops of the cookies. If you dipped them well enough, you don’t have to add this extra coffee. Teresa noticed the cookies were a little dry. She always leaves a reserve of the coffee just in case a cookie needs a little more moisture.
Roll out the remaining half of your dough and lay it out across the crostata filling.
Bake on 325 F for approximately 30-45 minutes. You want the crust to be a nice golden brown.
Thank you for stopping by to say “CIAO” while I’m here in bella ITALIA! I hope you are having a relaxing summer. Teresa is keeping me busy with her recipes.