So how did it go, everyone?
Lots of family, friends, and love? Some turkey with stuffing? Mashed goodness? Sweet goodies in crusts?
I was lucky this year and celebrated two Thanksgivings, once with my friends and once with my family. That meant double the fun, double the cheer, double the poultry, and double the dessert. So this month’s Daring Bakers challenge could not have come at a better time! This way, I could make the challenge for one Thanksgiving and make the dessert of my choosing for the next. And ohhh how excited I was to make this challenge! It was actually quite easy and I imagine it won’t be the last time I attempt to make a lovely crostata with some minis for snacking.
The 2010 November Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Simona of briciole. She chose to challenge the 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.
Makes 1 crostata.
For Pasta Frolla:
- scant 3/4 c powdered sugar
- 1 3/4 c unbleached all-purpose flour
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 c (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- grated zest of half a lemon
- 1 large egg and 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten
For Chocolate Pastry Cream:
- 2 c whole milk
- 4 large egg yolks
- 6 tbsp white granulated sugar
- 3 tbsp cornstarch, sifted
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 7 oz bittersweet chocolate, melted
- 2 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature and cut into small piece
- fruits of your choice, sliced if necessary
For Pasta Frolla: [I made mine using a food processor but see the DB website if you are making it by hand.] Pulse sugar, flour, salt, and lemon zest in a food processor to mix. Then add cold butter and pulse until the mixture is the consistency of coarse meal. Empty contents of the food processor onto your work surface.
Make a well in the center of the mixture and add the beaten eggs. Using a fork, begin to combine the eggs with the dry ingredients then use fingertips to finish. Knead until a ball forms – do NOT overknead as the cold butter will get warmed by your hands and you will lose the flaky crust – and wrap tightly in plastic wrap, patting into a round disk. Chill for at least two hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350F. Roll out dough to about 1/8 inch or 3 mm and place in tart pan (or pie plate which is where I made mine). Cut off excess around the edges. Place a piece of parchment paper or aluminum foil large enough to cover the dough and hang over the edges and place in pan. Fill with dried beans or rice in an even layer and bake for 20 minutes. Take off weights and foil/parchment and bake again for 5 more minutes. If the dough begins to puff up without the weights, gently push it back down with the back of a spoon. Allow shell to cool completely before filling.
You can use leftover dough to make cookies or these little fruit crostatas I made by spooning a bit of strawberry jam atop rounds of dough followed by a lazy lattice (not woven) of dough strips on top.
For Pastry Cream: Heat milk to a boil in a small saucepan.
Meanwhile, in a heavy-bottom saucepan, whisk together egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch, and salt until thick. Whisk in about 1/4 c of the hot milk, stirring constantly so as not to cook the eggs. Then, slowly add the rest of the milk while whisking constantly. Heat this over medium heat and bring to a boil while continue to stir constantly. Once at a boil, continue to cook while whisking constantly for 1-2 minutes, then remove from heat.
Whisk in the melted chocolate and let sit for five minutes. Then, whisk in the butter until fully incorporated. Cool the custard either by refrigerating with a piece of plastic wrap pressed against the surface or using an ice bath and stirring occasionally.
To Assemble: Whisk cream briefly, then spoon into pastry shell. Smooth top with back of spoon. Layer fruit however desired.
PS. Don’t forget about the giveaway!