Crostatta Pasta Frolla via Crema Pasticcera… aka. yum…

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.

Well…. I have logged onto my blog for the first time in nearly a month and am very ashamed to report that my last blog was a daring bakers challenge… a month ago… I think the last month must have been swallowed up in time somewhere because I have no idea where it went! I think most of my time was spent pouring over big thick boring books to get all my essays done on time and then with coloured textas and pens in hand to create mind maps for my exams… not to mention the hours spent reciting these study notes in my bedroom like a crazy woman…

but school is out and my oven is on once more and I’m trying to bake as much as I can before we have to pack up and leave our little house… as graduation often requires… this week was our last Sabbath at Gosford Church and we were extremely sad to have to leave all those lovely people behind!

We invited our small group up for lunch and I decided it was an ideal opportunity to test out the Crostatta for the daring bakers challenge this month…

Crostatta is an Italian pastry that is made with eggs, butter and sugar.. I added a bit of lime zest to mine because limes were super cheap at safeway and I wanted to make a citrus style tart… however.. the candied limes which I’d hoped to put on the top turned out to be no so candied bitter tasting messes so I opted for a traditional Italian pastry cream with a berry jelly top which was quite delicious (I had the leftover jelly for breakfast) and inspire a new love of all things gelatin so look forward to more jelly recipes in the future!

Pasta Frolla (pastry)

Ingredients:

  • 100 g castor sugar
  • 235 g all-purpose flour
  • a pinch of salt
  • 115 g cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • grated zest of a whole lime.
  • 1 large egg and 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten in a small bowl

Making pasta frolla by hand:

  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 lime 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.

Crema Pasticcera (Pastry Cream)

Ingredients

  • 2 extra-large eggs
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 500 ml milk
  • 3 strips of lemon peel (use a peeler and avoid the white pith)
  • 3 tablespoons pastry

Making the Crema Pasticcera

  1. Pour the milk into a pan, add the lemon peel and warm up to to well below boiling point.
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar until the mixture is bubbly. Sift the flour over the egg mixture and beat briefly until it is incorporated.
  3. Temper the egg mixture with a small quantity of milk, then slowly add the rest of the milk, mixing with a wooden spoon.
  4. Pour the mixture into the pan and set it to very low heat, stirring at least every couple of minutes. When the froth on the surface disappears completely, the crema starts to feel slightly thicker
  5. From then on stir almost continuously. When the crema reaches boiling temperature and thickens, cook briefly (1-2 minutes), then remove the pan from the heat, remove the lemon peel, place the saucepan in a cold water bath, and stir the crema to bring down its temperature. While the crema cools down, stir it every now and then to prevent the formation of a film over it.

3 Berry Jelly

Ingredients

  • 300g frozen mixed berries
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp gelatin
  • 1/2 cup boiled water

Making the Jelly

  1. Place the frozen berries and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to the boil, remove from the heat.
  2. Mix the gelatin with the boiling water and add to the berry mixture.
  3. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Bringing it all together…

  1. Roll out the pastry in between two sheets of baking paper to the size of a regular flan tin. Chill in for 30 mins.
  2. Line the flan tin with the chilled pastry and add the pastry cream.
  3. Cook in a 180 degree oven for 30 minutes.
  4. Allow to cool to room temperature.
  5. Spoon the berries from the jelly mixture onto the top of the tart, spreading them evenly.
  6. Pour a little of the jelly mixture over the top to fill the tart. There will definitely be left over juice: pop it in a class and have berry jelly for breakfast like I did!
  7. Chill the tart overnight in the fridge to allow the jelly to set.
  8. Serve cold with a big dollop of double cream!

Happy Baking!

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