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.
I made this months challenge twice, once at the beginning of the month using the Crostata con la Crema recipe provided by the host and again later using a chocolate cream filling for my husbands birthday. The first one (crema) came out a little dry- probably due to my own error, but it looked pretty:
The Chocolate Cream recipe came from Dorie Greenspan, but I used the Crostata recipe for the crust.
The tart comes out very rich and smooth— perfect for a holiday party, especially if jazzed up with some peppermint candy canes. A little goes a long way so you can slice small pieces.
The pie slices really well after being in the refrigerator for 6 hours. It looks nice on a plate. I tend to get frustrated with overly-crumbly pies and trying to serve them!
The mini candy cane adds contrast.
The deer plate is a little much. I should have went with something plain and not patterned.Just plain red would have been best.
I’m probably a little too excited about the new pie plate I got. But I think it’s pretty and versatile. I can see using it for the holidays as well as the 4th of July- filled with a blueberry pie then of course!
Excited about the pie plate indeed. . . But I’m not as excited about that as I am about this!
I know you probably aren’t supposed to buy yourself something so big so close to the holidays but the deals on them this time of year are pretty good. I did buy the cheapest one and I decided that if I bought one it would be an investment. I’m hoping it will save me in medical bills in the future from the back aches and carpal tunnel I get from kneading so much dough! In a way, I’m not kidding. Working in the kitchen, as so many of us know, is tough work. I think those of us who still take time to bake the “old-fashioned way” deserve a little luxury since it is so time consuming and we could very well go out and buy preservative-laden goodies but we don’t— for that we are entitled to a little reward.
1/2 c. minus 1 tablespoon [105 ml, 100 g, 3 ½ oz] superfine sugar (see Note 1) or a scant 3/4 cup [180ml, 90g, 3 oz] of powdered sugar
1 and 3/4 cup [420 ml, 235 g, 8 1/4 oz.] unbleached all-purpose flour
a pinch of salt
1 stick [8 tablespoons / 4 oz. / 115 g] cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
grated zest of half a lemon (you could also use vanilla sugar as an option, see Note 2)
1 large egg and 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten in a small bowl
Note 1: Superfine sugar is often also referred to as ultrafine, baker’s sugar or caster sugar. It’s available in most supermarkets. If you cannot find “superfine” sugar, you can make your own by putting some regular granulated sugar in a food processor or blender and letting it run until the sugar is finely ground.
Note 2: There are different ways of making vanilla sugar. I keep vanilla beans in a jar half-filled with sugar until I need to use them, for example, to make vanilla ice cream. After I remove the split bean from the custard that will go into the ice cream maker, I rinse it, dry it and put it back in the jar with sugar.
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 lemon 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.