Peanut Butter and Purple Onions

Sounds crazy until you try it.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

An Ugly Duckling Crostata

A crostata is such a friendly, forgiving dessert. The dough comes together with hardly any effort in the food processor -- even pie-crust-phobes like myself can do it. Any high-quality jam that catches your eye can become a silky jewel-like filling (although you'll want to consider the seed issue). And the free-form shrug of a structure is so much less intimidating than, say, a lattice-weave crust.

Which is not to say that my blueberry crostata isn't -- well, misshapen is putting it kindly. Next time I would spend a little more time keeping the edge even. But isn't this why klutzes like me adore rustic desserts?

Blueberry Crostata
Adapted from Giada de Laurentiis

Serves 6-8ish.

1.5 c. all-purpose, unbleached flour
2 T. granulated sugar
juice and zest of one big lemon
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
10 T. unsalted butter, chilled and cut into half-inch pieces
3 T. ice water
3/4 c. high-quality blueberry preserves
1/2 c. fresh blueberries

In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, zest, and salt. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse meal. Add the ice water gradually, pulsing the dough, until it begins clumping together. Gather the dough out of the processor, shape it into a ball and then flatten it into a rough disk, and wrap it in plastic wrap. Chill about an hour.

Heat your oven to 400. On a large piece of parchment paper or Silpat, roll out the dough into a more or less 11-inch round. Move the dough and paper/Silpat to a large baking sheet. Mix together the preserves and the lemon juice, then spread over the dough, leaving a two-inch border. Fold the border over the edges of the filling, being as careful as you can to seal up cracks. (As you can see from the top picture, we had some leakage. Oh well.) Sprinkle the fresh berries over the jam.

Bake until golden, about 40 minutes. Let the crostata cool about ten minutes before moving it off the sheet. Best lukewarm with strong coffee.

* Almost any jam or preserves will do; you may want to stay away from very sour preserves.
* Next time I would paint the crostata with a light egg wash before baking.


  • At 11:04 PM, Anonymous Jennifer said…

    Oh, what's that old saying, something about beauty is in the eye of the tastetester? I'd gobble it up in a heartbeat--the filling sounds divine.

  • At 10:33 AM, Blogger Lis said…

    My mother and I live by the rule, "It doesn't matter what it looks like.. as long as it tastes good!" But to me.. that looks really, really good.. I so lurve blueberry anything! :D

  • At 11:14 AM, Blogger karina said…

    "Rustic" does cover a multitude of sins, darling. ;-)

    In truth, when something is imperfect and obviously homemade, I prefer it to slick perfection.

    Rock on.

  • At 12:07 PM, Blogger BNA said…

    Absolutely, Jennifer -- and yes, the filling was so good and intensely blueberry.

    Lis! I like your rule. I hereby adopt it as my motto!

    Karina! We've missed you so!

  • At 2:15 PM, Anonymous Ivonne said…

    I bet it tasted unbelievable! And I always like it when the juice runs out!

  • At 2:39 PM, Blogger Ruth said…

    I personally stick to "rustic" myself - then I don't feel so bad when it doesn't look like a "Martha Stewart" perfect creation. After all - taste IS everything! Your's looks very tasty indeed!

  • At 4:59 PM, Blogger Bonnie Loves Cats =^..^= said…

    Heather will be hosting WCB #62 at if you have a kitty photo to share.

  • At 6:51 AM, Anonymous Ellie said…

    It looks like it was made with loving hands - I know I'd much prefer to eat something that delicious and fresh rather than a store-bought picture perfect pastry whose freshness is anybody's guess!

  • At 11:12 AM, Blogger BNA said…

    I have to admit, the juice puddle made me giggle, Ivonne!

    Thanks Ruth! I shall embrace my rustic side.

    Thanks Bonnie! I've been remiss in WCB but thanks to your tip I did make it this week.

    Hiya Ellie! This one definitely didn't last long enough to become stale...!


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