Crostata

This has been a staple dessert for my mother for as long as I can remember. A relatively simple dessert (really just jam and pastry), but makes for a stunning and impressive presentation, not to mention super delicious. A great option to bring to a holiday party!

Musings

3 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1 cup butter, cut into ½” cubes
2 slightly beaten eggs
¼ cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
⅓ cup blueberry jam, ⅓ cup apricot jam, ⅓ cup strawberry jam

In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar and baking powder. Cut in cold butter with a pastry blender until texture resembles coarse meal. In a small bowl, stir together eggs, milk and vanilla. With a fork, create wells in the dry ingredients and pour in wet ingredients (a little at a time). Mix wet and dry until it clumps together. Divide and form two balls, one larger than the other, and chill for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 F. Spray an 18″ x 13″ baking sheet with non-stick spray. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the larger dough ball until large enough to cover baking sheet (if not quite large enough, can use trimmings to fill in edges as necessary). Line baking sheet with rolled-out dough and trim edges to fit. Lightly score the dough into three partitions. Spoon the jams into their own sections, using the back of a spoon to spread the jam evenly.

Roll out the smaller dough ball into a long, vaguely rectangular shape. Using a knife (or for extra fancy points, a fluted pastry wheel cutter), slice dough into 1″ thick strips, the number of which will depend on how dense you wish the lattice to be. If the dough is getting sticky, chill the strips in the refrigerator before laying them out. Take half the strips and lay them on a 45 degree angle atop the jam-smeared pastry, and repeat with the other half of the strips (in the opposite direction). Trim the strips to fit. Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown. Let cool slightly on rack before cutting into squares (I recommend you leave in pan to serve, to preserve the lattice presentation).

Musings

The crostata was a hit at the holiday party, as guests nearly cleaned out the pan before the night was done (with some going back  for seconds, thirds, even eighths!). It’s a delightful combination of flaky pastry and sweet jam, the flavour of which you can customize to your tastes. Glad to have added this dessert, which I always associate with my mother, to my own stable of recipes!

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