Crostata – a Taste of Italy
On a recent visit to Italy we explored the countryside of Umbria with it’s authentic renaissance towns in perfect condition still occupied by locals with hardly a tourist in site. We stayed at a romantic AirBNB, Magic Winds, with welcoming hosts who produced the best peaches I have ever tasted from their parent’s farm, heavenly jam made according to Papa’s secret recipe and, for breakfast, Bernadetta and Sylvio produced this delicious Crostata. It’s not particularly sweet and the pastry is bread-like and keeps a few days. We love it for breakfast, afternoon tea or even dessert. We don’t have homemade jam but it’s important to use a quality product like Hanks Apricot Jam or perhaps the Harris Farm Market Blueberry Jam(add a handful of blueberries and some lemon zest to make it extra special). I also think it would be delicious using a good marmelade.
150g white sugar
1/2 cake fresh yeast or 1.5x7g sachet dry yeast (you need 10g)
2 cups jam(Hanks apricot or Harris Farm Blueberry + fresh Blueberries – optional) or marmelade.
- Break eggs and mix yolk and egg whites lightly with a fork in the Kenwood mixing bowl.
- Add sugar and beat in Kenwood Mixer with the ‘K’ hook until mixture forms a thick white cream and forms an ‘S’.
- Cut the butter into small cubes. Whilst continuing to mix the egg mixture, add the butter to the egg mixture a cube at a time.
- Then add flour and yeast slowly, mixing all the time.
- Now knead until you reach a homogenous mixture. I use the kneading hook on the Kenwood mixer for a while then finish off by hand.
- Place dough in the Fridge at least 30 minutes.
- Pull and stretch the dough then place 80% of it in 28cm round baking tin or a 24x34cm rectangular tin. Retain the rest of the dough to make strips for the top. This size pan will result in a bread like consistency. Use a slightly larger pan if you prefer a crispier base.
- Spread the jam on the dough in the tin leaving a ½ cm border around the edge free.
- Now make strips with remaining dough and layer across in a criss cross fashion.
- Bake at 170 degrees C for approximately 30-35 minutes.Buoni appetito!!!
NOTE: If the base is thin it will have be more crispy like a pastry consistency and if it is thicker it will be more bread like. Both are nice – it depends on what you are trying to achieve.