This was my second challenge since joining The Daring Bakers in October 2010. I had never made a crostata before but was anxious to give it a try and see how mine would turn out. I decided to fill it with pastry cream (we were given many options to try) but since I had never made pastry cream before either, I opted for that. Here are the recipes I used and my final outcome:
1/2 c. minus 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1 and 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
a pinch of salt
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
grated zest of an orange
1 large egg and 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten in a small bowl.
Whisk together sugar, flour and salt in a bowl.
Rub or cut the butter into the flour until the mixture has the consistency of coarse crumbs. You can do this in the bowl or on your work surface, using your fingertips. (I used the bowl method).
Make a well in the center of the flour and pour the beaten eggs into it.
Add in the orange zest.
Knead lightly until the dough comes together into a ball.
Vanilla Orange Pastry Cream: (recipe courtesy of Emeril Lagasse) www.foodnetwork.com
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cups sugar
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped (I used 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract)
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup cornstarch, measured, then sifted
In a medium, heavy saucepan, combine the milk, sugar, vanilla, orange zest and juice. Bring to a gentle boil over medium heat, whisking to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and cornstarch until pale yellow, about 2 minutes. Slowly add 1/2 cup of the hot milk mixture to the egg yolks, whisking constantly until smooth. Add the egg yolk mixture to the pan of hot milk and whisk to combine. Return to medium heat and cook, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Remove from the heat and strain into a clean container, scraping the bottom of the strainer with a spoon. Discard the vanilla bean (if using). Cover with plastic wrap, pressing down against the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until well chilled, about 3 hours.
While the dough and filling were chilling, here's what I did to prepare my sugared blueberries for the top:
Whisk 1 egg white with a drop of water until foamy. I then added approximately 3/4 cups of fresh blueberries and stirred gently to cover each in egg white. Remove the blueberries to a separate bowl and toss with granulated sugar to completely cover each in sugar. Place blueberries in a single layer on a parchment coated sheet pan and allow to completely dry (several hours) at room temperature.
When everything has been sufficiently chilled: Here's what you need to do to assemble and bake your crostata con la crema:
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9 inch fluted tart pan (with removable bottom).
Take the pasta frolla out of the fridge, unwrap it.
To help roll the crostata dough, keep the cough on top of the plastic wrap that you had it wrapped in. This can help rolling the cough and can also help when transferring the dough to the pan.
Lightly dust the top of the dough and your work surface with flour. Keep some flour handy to dust the dough as you go along.
Roll the dough into a circle about 1/8th inch thick.
If you used the plastic wrap as a rolling surface, flip the dough over the pan, centering it, and delicately press it all around so the corners are well covered. Peel away the plastic wrap. Trim away the excess dough and make sure your dough is even all around the pan. Prick the bottom with a fork to avoid puffing of the bottom crust.
Fill the crostata with the chilled pastry cream and smooth it as evenly as possible before baking.
Bake for 30 - 35 minutes until the tart is a nice golden hue and cool completely.
I hope you enjoyed this recipe and will try it for yourself sometime. I'd love to hear back from you if you do.
Thanks for visiting my Kudos Kitchen. My door is always open for you :)