Monday, June 13, 2011

Rustic Mixed Berry Crostata

I have become a Fresh and Easy groupie. If you don't know what Fresh and Easy is, it's a wonderful low-cost food market where they make a lot of their foods organically and sell fruits and veggies at pretty much farmer market this place is wonderful for someone who is on a budget, like me! The only problem is that sometimes they have such great deals like a bag of grapes or a box of strawberries for .98 cents!

Anyway, last week I found I had a container of blueberries, a pound of strawberries and some blackberries in the fridge and there is only so much berries Stella and I can eat, so I decided to make this crostata before the berries spoiled. The original recipe was in the NYT and they only used strawberries, so my only change was combinining a variety of berries. I have to say this is pretty much the easiest baking I've done. A crostata is basically like a free form pie, so there no wrong or right way to do it. And, yes, it did get a little messy on my part but sometimes that the fun part, specially when I have my 20-month old helping me.

Pastry (makes two crostatas)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Grated rind of one lemon (optional)
  • 2 sticks (1/2 pound) very cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 6 tablespoons ice water

Place flour, sugar and salt in a food processor. Pulse a few times to blend. Transfer to a bowl, add butter and mix with your fingers to coat the butter with the flour. Return to processor; pulse 12-15 times. With processor on, add ice water. Continue pulsing until dough is just about to come together.
Turn dough out onto a well-floured cutting board. Roll into a ball, cut in half and form two disks. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for about an hour. (Freeze one disk for later use).

  • 1 ½ – 2 pounds (roughly two quarts) of strawberries, rinsed, hulled and thickly sliced, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries, or any combination of berries you prefer.
  • ¼ to ½ cup sugar, depending on sweetness of berries
  • 1 Tablespoon flour
  • Squeeze of lemon juice

Mix ingredients together. Drain any extra liquid just before using.

To assemble:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Roll pastry disk into an 11-12 inch circle on a lightly floured board. Dough should be approximately 1/8 inch thick.

Place dough on baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Mound berry mixture in center of dough, leaving a 1½- inch border. Fold pastry over fruit, pleating it to make a rough edge. Don’t worry about cracks; some juice will leak out during baking.

Brush crust with a beaten egg mixed with a bit of water.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until crust is golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes, then carefully transfer to a cutting board. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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