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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Daring Bakers' Crostata



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!!!

CROSTATA
Makes one 9 inch pie



1. Pasta Frolla for Crust
Prepare: 9 inch tart pan

Ingredients:
- 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



Method:
- 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



Ingredients:
- Milk > 350 ml
- Egg yolks > 3.5
- Granulated sugar > 90 grams
- All purpose flour > 18 grams
- Corn flour > 18 grams
- Vanilla essence > 1 teaspoon

Method:
- 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.



3. Assembly

Ingredients:
- 1 batch of Creme Patissiere.
- Strawberries and orange segments.

Method:
- 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.

64 comments:

  1. Just the crust is gorgeous, bravo very well baked!

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  2. What a splendid crostata! It is such candy for the eyes. Love everything about it. And I bet it tastes divine too.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  3. Pure beauty and pleasure! My admire! :)

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  4. Pure beauty and pleasure! My admiration!

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  5. When i first saw this i was like Ohh WOW! i want this! *drooling*. i bet it tastes Dee-licious!! Gorgeous photos!..

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  6. Wow Kris, that's a gorgeous looking crostata! Love the way it turned out-the crust looks so pretty and the fruits on top are making me crave at 2:00 in the morning! Excellent job!

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  7. That looks absolutely stunning. Your crostata shell looks perfect and your pastry cream looks so creamy and light, and who can beat all of that delicious fresh fruit??? Everything about your crostata is fantastic.

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  8. Lovely crust, and beautiful toppings! Blind baking crusts and saving them for later is a great idea!

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  9. Stunning as always, Kris! I agree, I think this was the easiest since I started. Still a lovely thing to make.

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  10. Your crostata is so beautiful to look at. a work of art, colourful, flavoursome by the look at the ingredients. First time at your blog and it is stunning.

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  11. A very elegant crostata! I like the combination of strawberries and orange.

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  12. Beautiful, colorful, wonderful Crostata! Your photos are mouthwatering!!

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  13. Wow, that looks beautiful! Your crostata looks delicious and your photos are gorgeous. Great job on the challenge!

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  14. This is so beautiful!! I love how you piled on the filling and artfully arranged the fruit on top. It looks chic and luscious.

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  15. OMG looks scrumptious can't wait to try. I must say that you chose very bright colour fruit to decorate the crostata which enhance its beauty. As usual outstanding.

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  16. Lovely pictures as always, love the color combination.

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  17. Wow- your photos are too much. Totally jealous... Super job this month!

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  18. WOW what spectacular photos and I love how you did the second version of the pastry with the barley flour it makes the final shell looks so intriguing and your final crostata is stunning, it is always a pleasure visiting your blog it is top quality. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

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  19. Stunning photographs as usual. I would have never thought to leave the leaves on the strawberries. But it adds so much to the pictures. Well done!

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  20. LOve the almond flecked crust and beautiful summery colours of your tart. Yes, it was one of the easiest DB challenges but fun and tasty too.
    One of these days, I'm going to travel to Thailand just to eat your bakes, Kris. :)
    And thanks for telling me pics were good.:) They weren't the best but all I had. LOL

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  21. Your photos are stunning, and I love the fresh fruit on top - the colours are lovely!

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  22. Gorgeous Kris - I love how light and delicate you made this challenge look, it's beautiful :)

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  23. Mama Mia...you were born to bake beautiful tarts, and this has me mesmerised my friend! I knew you would outdo yourself, and this is the prettiest one I have seen! You work magic into food, and pictures. Well done indeed. Love the texture and perfection of the crust!
    xo

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  24. Oh Kris, this looks delicious. I only recenlty discovered the crostata...as in a week ago!!!!!!!1 I love the idea of baking the jam in it, and a friend made that version for me with peach preserves - nice. Looking forward to the summer when I can make jams and use them to fill crostatas!

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  25. Beautiful, one of the most beautiful, captivating photos!

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  26. Oh my wow! Your photos are always stunningly beautiful! They take your food to the next level, is that possible?

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  27. Your crostata looks perfect as I would expect. I love the swirly and beautifully pipped cream patissiere and the fruit topping. This is a pie I would definitely enjoy.

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  28. Fantastic crostata! I especially love the crust with the little flecks of nut. It's almost like a shortbread. And I love the combo of oranges and strawberries. They really add to the beauty.

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  29. Your dessert is so harmonious, Kris, both visually and in its taste (well, I can imagine)! Filling a tart crust with crème patissiere is like heaven to me :)

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  30. E' meravigliosa...e come al solito le tue foto mi fanno sognare!
    Buon inizio settimana

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  31. Lovely Lovely Tart...feel like digging a fork and wiping them off...absolutely stunning!

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  32. Wowo with fresh fruits this is one of the most beautiful crosata i have seen till now and yummy too.

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  33. Beautiful crostata, and stunning photos!

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  34. Your talent for food and photography is nothing short of brilliant! I am always in awe of what you do. Your crostata is devine!

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  35. Your crostata looks delicious! Excellent photos!

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  36. What a beautiful crostata! It looks so delicious...
    Ciao.
    Orchidea
    www.viaggiesapori.blogspot.com

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  37. You have to tell me your secret on how to cut fruits... they look so perfectly cut, and have I told you that you are a genius in playing with "sharp" colours? I'm seeing Lacroix on cakes ;)

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  38. Wow! A crostata of all crostatas! Magnificent! Nice to have traced your blog! I know I shall be learning from you a lot! Wonderful colors and brilliant photos! Thanks for sharing! Cheers!

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  39. Kris, EXCEPTIONAL as always! Maybe you should have shipped me one of your crusts:) I tried to free-form mine(the kind of crostata I'm familiar with) and everything was spewing out the bottom:( To make a long story short, mine ended up in the trash.
    Your crostata is truly a thing of beauty! I sure appreciate your culinary expertise. :)

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  40. A heavenly combination, Kris! I love how you piped the creme. The whole thing unfurls beautifully before my eyes. Now if only I could take a bite :).

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  41. Kris, this looks beautiful! Wow, you never fail to be impress me. :)

    Wardah

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  42. Kris, this is absolutely gorgeous and another beautifully done challenge.

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  43. Gorgeous crostata! Almost too pretty to eat!

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  44. Molto bella questa crostata, complimenti

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  45. Wow! I think this is the most beautiful crostata I've ever seen! All the components, from the crust to the fruit on top, sound and look amazing! What I wouldn't do for a slice or two of this...
    :)

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  46. What an absolutely beautiful job you did! Not only can you cook but you can decorate and photograph wonderfully! :D

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  47. Stunning! This is just gorgeous and maybe the crostata of all I've seen that my husband would jump on. I must make this for him when we get beautiful summer berries. A stunning DB dessert!

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  48. so pretty! i love that you left the greens on the strawberries, it looks so yummy.

    www.icyviolets.blogspot.com

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  49. Such fabulous photos! And a beautiful crostada.

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  50. Can I just stamp a permanent 'WOW' in your comment box for every time I comment here? lol WOW, WOW, WOW, as usual. Thing is, with this crostata challenge, the possibilities really were endless, yet I hit that block..go figure. I'm glad I decided to forgo the frangipan goo tart because I never would have discovered the chocolate-walnut pear, which was amazingly delicious, albeit nowhere near as gorgeous as yours. Again, WOW!

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  51. Wow - that crostata looks amazing! I bet the crust tasted great, especially in combination with the creme patissiere and the fresh fruit.

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  52. What a stunning photo! The red is my favorite color produced in all of nature. Gorgeous treatment of it.

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  53. O that looks so good Kris! In fact; I missed the Daring Bakers challenge (what else is new) but I might actually make this for christmas. With a few alterations to make it more in the holiday spirit; it would be perfect. Beautiful shots as always!!

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  54. This tart looks sooo gorgeous!! I love all your baking arts^^

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  55. That almond crust looks gorgeous!! Love the red in all the pics :)

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  56. WOW! Once again I am stunned by your glorious dish and fabulous photography!!

    Thank you for sharing your food and all the effort you put in the present is so perfectly.

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  57. Oh so pretty. I'm sure it tasted as good as it looks.
    Mimi

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  58. Great bake as usual Kris! Always in "wow" mode on your blog :D

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  59. What a beautiful looking dessert.

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