I bet I have your attention, right? This month’s hostess is Simona from briciole. She invited us to make a crostata as she remembers from her childhood. The base of a crostata is pasta frolla (or pastafrolla), sweet short crust pastry (or sweet tart dough) made of flour, sugar, butter and eggs. Different from a pie crust which is flour, a fat and cold water. She suggested trying the pasta frolla with either fruit preserves for a traditional treat, or pastry cream which I decided on. I was excited to dig right in and try this recipe out.
The pasta frolla was surprisingly easy…
- 1/2 c. minus 1 tablespoon [105 ml, 100 g, 3 ½ oz] superfine sugar (see Note 1) or a scant 3/4 cup [180ml, 90g, 3 oz] of powdered sugar
- 1 and 3/4 cup [420 ml, 235 g, 8 1/4 oz.] unbleached all-purpose flour
- a pinch of salt
- 1 stick [8 tablespoons / 4 oz. / 115 g] cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- grated zest of half a lemon (you could also use vanilla sugar as an option, see Note 2)
- 1 large egg and 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten in a small bowl
While I waited for the dough to chill, I started to work on my pastry cream. This was my first attempt, but found it to be simple and delicious! I had large lemon peel slices in my milk (500 ml) & sugar (1/3 cup). I used 1 whole egg with 3 egg yolks and 3 Tbsp. pastry flour. As soon as the milk came to a simmer, I tempered the eggs and then brought the whole mixture up to a simmer for about 6 minutes. It thickened nicely and cooled it off in an ice bath.
I rolled out my pastry and did a 5 minute blind bake at 350 degrees to start with. Then I added the pastry cream, added the lattice work to the top, brushed with egg white and finished baking it for 30 minutes. After cooling I topped it with some frozen blueberries and dusted the top with powdered sugar.
So, how did it turn out? Really delicious!
I think the tart went over quite well with my taste tester. In fact, I was told that I could make a crostata anytime! I am looking forward to next month’s challenge already.