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?
Adapted from Giada de Laurentiis
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.