Saturday, November 27, 2010

November 2010 Daring Bakers Challenge #46: CROSTATA!, Pasta Frolla with lemon curd and fresh berries

Crostata di frutta fresca: or Crostata with fresh fruits, is the version of Crostata that I make for this month's Daring Bakers Challenge.  Simona from briciole and who is the hostess for the November edition of the Daring Bakers' Challenge, want to introduce us to pasta frolla and let us experiment with it in preparing a crostata of our choice.

She give us two version of the pasta frolla, 1. Simple version, using all purpose flour, butter, egg, sugar and another one is the one that she suggest for the person who want to play with different kinds of flours (MEEEEEEEE! ^^), using almond, whole-grain barley and coconut flour instead of some of the all-purpose flour.
But because I don't like coconut in my tart, I have to change a bit, so I use the mix of almond flour and brown bread concentrate instead of coconut. And for the filling, I really want to try many things, haha, first I want to make simple Crostata with fresh fruits, the one that uses pastry cream. But when thinking about the nutty crust (the almond and brown bread concentrate make the pastry very nutty, I ate a lot of unbaked dough, haha), I want something that adds more flavor to the pastry than the plain vanilla pastry cream. 
So, I choose the lemon curd to be the filling, as it has a lovely tangy taste with a soft and smooth texture like the pastry cream, and when combine with the fresh fruits, the tangy taste makes the Crostata very refreshing. 
Actually you can use any kinds of lemon curd (good quality one from supermarket is OK), but I think making it by yourself is not hard to do and you can be sure about the deliciousness, haha. 
Many recipe will tell you to put the filling into a cool pastry shell, but for me I like to put the lemon curd into hot shell, because it will cook the base of the lemon curd and the shell will be less soggy (I brush the shell with the egg white too, so the crust won't soften easily). 
At last, I end up with my Crostata di frutta fresca, the nutty pasta frolla with lemon curd and fresh fruits, ^^, which I really like it. So, Thank you! Simona, for giving me new great pasta frolla recipe.

"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."

Crostata di frutta fresca
(Pasta Frolla with lemon curd and fresh berries)
Make 4 (using 11cm tart pan)

Pasta frolla:
1/3 cup [80 ml, 75 g, 2 2/3 oz.] superfine sugar 
1/2 cup [120 ml, 65 g, 2 3/8 oz.] unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup [120ml, 65 g. 2 1/4 oz.] whole-wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup [60ml, 28 g, 1 oz] almond flour, or almond meal, or coconut flour
1/4 cup [60ml, 28 g, 1 oz.] whole-grain barley flour or unbleached all-purpose flour (I use 10g of brown bread concentrate and  18g of all purpose flour)
a pinch of salt 
6 tablespoons[90ml, 85 g, 3 oz] cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract 

Filling and Topping:
........................................ half recipe of Simple lemon curd
500g .............................. Fresh berries of your choice

Red berry glaze:
½cup ............................. Any red berry jam (I use Strawberry and Blueberry Jam)
1tbsp .............................. Water

......................................... Chopped pistachio 


Whisk together sugar, flours and salt in a bowl.
Rub or cut the butter into the sugar and flour mixture until it 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.
Make a well in the center of the flour and butter mixture and pour the beaten egg and vanilla extract into it.
Use a fork to incorporate the liquid into mixture and then use your fingertips.
Knead lightly just until the dough comes together into a ball.
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.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF [180ºC/gas mark 4].
Roll out a batch of the pasta frolla and cover the base of the tart pan. 
Cut a piece of parchment paper or aluminum foil large enough to cover the bottom of the crust and extend out a bit over the edges of the pan.
You can use pie weights or dry beans to blind bake. Place whatever weight you’re using directly on the parchment paper or aluminum foil in an even layer.
Place the crostata shell in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
Remove the weights and parchment paper and continue baking the crostata shell until the border is light golden, about 5 minutes (watch carefully to avoid over-baking, which results in a hard shell). In the absence of weight, the crust may rise in the middle: if that occurs, gently push it back down with the back of a spoon.
Note from dailydelicious: After taking the weight out, I brush the crostata with egg whites put it back in the oven for 5 minutes, the egg white will prevent the shell to become soggy ^^. 
Remove from the oven, pipe or spread the lemon curd into hot shell, and let them cool completely.

Put jam in small microwaveable bowl, heat for 20-30 seconds or until melt, mix water into the hot jam and strain.
Dip the berries into jam glaze before placing over the lemon curd.
If using cherries, pit and dip them in jam glaze before placing them over the lemon curd,
Decorate with finely chopped pistachio. 
The crostata must be cool, but not cold, so if you refrigerate it, take it out of the fridge half an hour before serving. 
This crostata is best eaten the same day it is prepared.

November 2010 Daring Bakers Challenge #46: 
CROSTATA!, Pasta Frolla with lemon curd and fresh berries


  1. OMG your tarts look so gorgeous and pretty I love the shine on the fruit on top and the idea of lemon curd is superb. Great work on this challenge. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

  2. I am in complete agreement with Audax: your creations look just beautiful. And I like the chopped pistachios idea.

  3. I love your little crostata, they're beautiful.

  4. Beautiful! thanks for sharing your tips. Btw, how long does it take the crust to become soggy? Thank you. :)

  5. The crust will be soggy after 2 or 3 days, but I think you will finish the tart before ^^.



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