Saturday, November 27, 2010
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.
I would say this is the easiest Daring Baker Challenge ever! Crostata, an Italian baked dessert tart that happens to translate into nothing else but pie seems to be familiar to anyone who ever picks up baking. Well, for food bloggers this would be an easy task. And to some, this could be something that they have been baking or making more than once.
But despite all that, Crostata is definitely a beautiful name that generates flow of creativity. One could choose to play around with the crust (or what Simona mentioned as pasta frolla), the filling or the topping.
For the crust, they are many possible ingredients to use in order to create a certain texture and flavor. For filling, jam or marmalade is one of the options among pastry cream, lemon cream, custard, crème patissiere, or simply whipping cream. Some would even combine jam with cream or fresh fruits with cream. For topping there are many options such as chocolate, caramel, any family of nuts, or the most favorable fresh fruits.
For practical purposes, one could choose to just blind bake the crust, leave it to cool, keep it in an air-tight container and stuff with whatever desired filling just before serving. But others might like to actually bake the crust together with the filling, either just jam, jam with fresh fruit, jam with cream, or fresh fruit with cream. The possibility is just endless. And feel free to serve it warm or cold.
I like pies, and therefore I decided to bake 4 crusts in one go. In that way, I could just store them in air-tight container and fill whenever I like later on. That also triggers me to constantly think about interesting filling that I have never made before. As a consequence, I assume that I would be consuming lots of pie for the next 30 days. I do hope that T will help me on this...
Thanks to Simona for this wonderful challenge and the opportunity to try out new recipes that are different from the few that I had used before. The taste is wonderful and I just couldn’t stop eating these. Somebody has to stop me now…
For those of you who would like to find the complete Challenge recipe, click here. Happy Crostata!!!
Makes one 9 inch pie
1. Pasta Frolla for Crust
Prepare: 9 inch tart pan
- 1/3 cup [80 ml, 75 g, 2 2/3 oz.] superfine sugar or 1/2 cup [120ml, 60 g, 2 oz]powdered sugar (see Note 1.)
- 1/2 cup [120 ml, 65 g, 2 3/8 oz.] unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup [120ml, 65 g. 2 1/4 oz.] whole-wheat pastry flour
- 1/4 cup [60ml, 28 g, 1 oz] unpeeled ground almond
- 1/4 cup [60ml, 28 g, 1 oz.] whole-grain barley flour or unbleached all-purpose flour
- a pinch of salt
- 6 tablespoons[90ml, 85 g, 3 oz] cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Whisk together sugar, flours and salt in a bowl.
- Rub or cut the butter into the sugar and flour mixture until it 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 flour and butter mixture and pour the beaten egg and vanilla extract into it.
- Use a fork to incorporate the liquid into mixture 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.
- Heat the oven to 190ºC
- Roll out a batch of the pasta frolla and cover the base of the tart pan.
- Cut a piece of parchment paper or aluminum foil large enough to cover the bottom of the crust and extend out a bit over the edges of the pan.
- You can use pie weights or dry beans to blind bake. Place whatever weight you’re using directly on the parchment paper or aluminum foil in an even layer.
- Place the crostata shell in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove the weights and parchment paper and continue baking the crostata shell until the border is light golden, about 5 minutes (watch carefully to avoid over-baking, which results in a hard shell). In the absence of weight, the crust may rise in the middle: if that occurs, gently push it back down with the back of a spoon.
- Remove from the oven and let the crostata shell cool completely before proceeding.
2. Creme Patissiere
- Milk > 350 ml
- Egg yolks > 3.5
- Granulated sugar > 90 grams
- All purpose flour > 18 grams
- Corn flour > 18 grams
- Vanilla essence > 1 teaspoon
- Boil milk in the saucepan. Remove from fire and leave to cool slightly.
- Whip egg yolks and sugar until pale and thick. Fold in all purpose flour, corn flour, and vanilla powder.
- Slowly pour milk into the egg yolk mixture and combine to form custard.
- Place custard back into saucepan and cook at low heat while stirring continuously until it is thick. Leave to boil for one minute. Keep stirring.
- Pour into shallow container and cover with cling film. Leave to cool.
- When it is cool, beat with electric mixer until smooth. Set aside.
- 1 batch of Creme Patissiere.
- Strawberries and orange segments.
- Pipe the prepared pastry cream over the cooled shell.
- Decorate the surface with strawberries and orange segments. The crostata must be cool, but not cold, so if you refrigerate it, take it out of the fridge half an hour before serving. This crostata is best eaten the same day it is prepared.