Crostata is my favourite dessert. I love the buttery cookie crust and the sweet jam. It’s a good heavy snack at any time of day (even an okay breakfast). Back in 2003, newly transported to Italy and doggedly attempting to suck up to my inlaws’ entire family, I received an intensive course in crostata-making from my husband’s paternal grandmother in Puglia (you have already met and loved her cookie recipe). This took place in the beach home in the heat of August, so I recall that the crust was not behaving. But the recipe is excellent and pretty fool-proof as long as it’s not 35 degress in the kitchen.
I made crostata with Vignola cherry jam the other weekend and photographed the process for you.
- 1/2 kilo ’00’ flour
- 200 grams sugar
- 4 eggs – of which 1 whole and 3 yolks
- 250 grams unsalted butter
- 2 jars of jam or a kilo of fruit to make your own jam
Using a pastry board or large shallow bowl, pile up your flour and sugar. Cut in the softened butter using two knives or a pastry cutter.
Create a depression in the center of the pile and pour in the eggs. Smush this with your fingers to integrate all the dry ingredients, and then quickly knead it into a solid ball. Handle it as little as possible. Separate into two balls, one larger than the other, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
Take the larger ball out of the fridge and roll it out on a floured surface with a rolling pin. Fit it to the bottom of a buttered container. Pour the jam right in there on top of the uncooked pastry.
Take your second ball of dough and roll it out. Using a ridged pastry cutter, cut strips and place them diagonally onto the jam, alternating directions for a latticework effect. Use any leftover dough to make a few little cookies.
Bake in the oven for about half an hour at 180 degrees celcius. Eat.