Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Daring Bakers: November 2010 - Crostata

I've been feeling rather guilty having not updated my blog for practically a month. I swear to you I've been in the kitchen quite a few times, and just this past week I whipped up a tasty batch of cookies. I just didn't get around to posting any of my escapades, but thankfully I baked up something for this month's DB challenge. I'm so glad that I joined this group... it's keeping me in-check, and making it so I have to post at least once a month.

I don't know where my time's been running off to. I have been working, but that part of my weekly routine seems to have settled itself out, and I'm getting use to my work schedule... maybe it's because I've been really engrossed in catching up with Arsenal FC's 2010/2011 season (The Premier League, UEFA Champions League and Carling Cup). These guys play brilliant football, and I can't help but be enamored with their dedication to the sport and great team play. I'm sure they'll take the top of the table by the season's end, and with the number of injuries the team's had to endure they're doing amazingly well. The team's last EPL game, they topped Wigan Athletica and like a winter fairlytale, lovely white snow began falling on the pitch.

But anyways, here's my long-awaited blog post for November's DB Challenge: 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.

Pasta Frolla (crust)


  • 1/2 c. minus 1 tbsp superfine sugar or a scant 3/4 cup of powdered sugar
  • 1 and 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 stick [8 tbsp] cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • grated zest of half a lemon
  • 1 large egg + egg yolk, lightly beaten in a small bowl
  1. Whisk together sugar, flour and salt in a bowl.
  2. 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 or an implement of choice.
  3. Make a well in the center of the mounded flour and butter mixture and pour the beaten eggs into it (reserve about a teaspoon of the egg mixture for glazing purposes later on – place in the refrigerator, covered, until ready to use).
  4. Add the lemon zest to your flour/butter/egg mixture.
  5. Use a fork to incorporate the liquid into the solid ingredients, and then use your fingertips.
  6. Knead lightly just until the dough comes together into a ball.
  7. 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.
  8. Roll dough, and form into a baking pan. Add filling, and bake in 350degree oven for 45minutes.
Berry Filling


  • 1/8 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour + additional 2 tbsp flour for roux
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup mixed field berries
  • 1 large egg and 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten in a small bowl
  • Enough milk to make a thick batter (1/4 to 1/2 cup)
  1. Melt butter in a heavy bottomed saucepan, add in the sugar and 2 tbsp flour to form roux.
  2. Add in the berries, and heat over medium until berries become macerated.
  3. Add 1/4 cup milk to the mix and continue stirring mixture.
  4. Add in the flour + baking powder mix, stirring until well combined.
  5. Slowly add in the eggs, mixing well to ensure that the eggs do not begin to cook; and if batter remains thick, add in additional milk to form a batter with pudding-like consistency.
  6. Pour into the pasta frolla crust and bake at 350degrees until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Yay!! The crostata was tasty, and with the winter-ish weather doing it's business outside (seriously, I can't believe it began snowing already) my family enjoyed the warm pie with a big dollop of whipped cream. Mmmmm... I cannot wait until Christmas rolls around, it seems so close yet so far!