Today I'm not just sharing a recipe. I'm sharing one of my favourite Italian desserts: CROSTATA!
This tart has 3 levels of bliss: a fragrant gluten-free base, cream in the middle and fresh fruits on top. The combination of it in your mouth just melts!
Crostata it's typically prepared with jam (you can also find my version of the Raspberry Crostata in the blog) but this time I decided to make a more "tropical" and lighter version with fresh fruits on top. Ok, this is clearly a celebration about our culture (with the additional touch of the colours of our flag) because I prepared it for a special occasion, however you can adjust it with your favourite fruits and berries.
Why this combination of ingredients?
1) THE CREAM This is the Italian version of the custard cream, it's perfect to be combined with fruit because it's fluffy, not too sweet and the taste is so delicate.
2) NO JELLY FRUIT TOP Most pastry shops prepare the fruit tart with a jelly coating however this is fresh and natural. Just prepare the base and the cream in advance, and add the fruit right before serving.
Ingredients (8-10 servings):
300 gr gluten free flour
10 gr xanthan gum
110 gr sugar
1 egg + 1 yolk
150 gr cold butter cut into cubes
1 tsp vanilla natural essence or 8 gr vanilla sugar
1 lemon (grated zest)
1 pinch of salt
For the cream:
350 ml milk
35 gr corn starch
90 gr sugar
1 vanilla bean (or 1 tsp vanilla natural essence)
Fruit as you please! In the example 1 banana, 2 kiwis, 6 strawberries
1. First of all some general wisdom about crostata: the butter needs to be very cold and you don't have to work with your hands for too long. So while you're preparing the ingredients a couple of tricks can help: if you have time, put your bowl in the fridge for at least 15 minutes before starting and do the same with the butter after you cut it into cubes.
2. Mix the dry ingredients in the bowl (flour, xanthan, sugar, vanilla, lemon zest, salt) and add the butter. Work quickly using the tips of your fingers until the mix becomes like sand (1 min).
3. Pour in the eggs and quickly mix with your fingers for a minutes then form a compact ball. Wrap in plastic paper and rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
4. In the meantime prepare the cream. Pour the milk in a sauce pan and add the vanilla essence or the seeds from the bean. Warm up over medium heat until it's about to boil. In a separate bowl whisk the yolks with the sugar. When it's homogeneous, sieve in the corn starch and keep beating with the whisk. When the mix is done add one ladleful of warm milk and stir together. 5. Pour the content of the bowl into the sauce pan and turn the heat up again. Mix gently over low heat until the cream becomes dense. At this point transfer the cream into a cool pot or tray to cool down.
6. While the cream is cooling down preheat the oven to 180 °C and take the dough from the fridge. Place the ball between 2 sheets of baking paper and shape it into a circle with the help of a rolling pin. It should be approximately 5 mm thick.
7. Transfer into a greased tart tin (a normal round tin is fine as well) and remove the dough from the sides if it's too high. Fill the tart with the cream (at this point it should be cool below 20 degrees). Bake the tart for 40 minutes in the oven.
8. Let the tart cool down for at least 30 minutes (or even a couple of hours if you can) and garnish with fresh fruit right before serving.
TIPS: You can preserve your tart with fruit only for less than 24 hours. If you plan to preserve it for longer you can store the base and cream for a couple of days and add the fruit only on the portions you'll eat.
Have you tried it? Do you have any suggestions? Leave your comment!