Monday, August 4, 2014

The wait is OVER! Fresh Farmers Market Crostatas are here!

Crostatas, the Italian free form pie which just so happens to be a fan favorite of
Lady E Cooks Readers. For the past several years during the summer I have boiled, stewed, rolled, pinched and grated these beautiful pastry creations with stone fruit. And, then my Sister and Niece moved home and stone fruit move over and let the summer seasonal strawberry shine.
Leave it to my Sister (Rosalind Copeland) and my beautiful Niece (Mahlet Copeland) to take the pastry delight to a whole new level. I’ve been hesitant to use fresh, ripe and sunshine sweet strawberries from the farmers market to make Crostatas. One, heated strawberries … not my idea of tasty. But, with a little insistence on their part I opened up to the idea. And I’m glad I did.
Made the Crostatas as normal (See Weekly Crostatas Tasting tab to see previous recipes) and made a jam out one pint of strawberries.

One pint cored strawberries (whole)
One pint cored and sliced strawberries
1/4 c water
2 tablespoons Baker’s Sugar (or honey)
Zest of one lemon
Bring the strawberries to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer until thickened. Once, the dough has chilled for one hour, roll out to a round and pour the cooled strawberry jam into the center of the pie. Smooth out and fold corners over filling. Bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes. Let cool and ice with lemon icing.
Another twist is the plain ole peach.
2 large peaches
2 tablespoons of homemade vanilla sugar
Crostata crust **Peel two peaches and cut wedges from around the pit. Slice the wedges into ¼ inch slices and build a circle in the middle of the rolled dough. Once the peaches are lined up and before folding sprinkle the vanilla sugar over the top for added sweetness. If the sugar spills over onto the crust its okay…it’s pretty tasty.

Vanilla sugar:
1 plastic container
Fill with Baker’s sugar
Place an opened vanilla bean into the container with the sugar.
If using Madagascar vanilla bean slice in half lengthwise and use the back of a knife or spoon to scrap the bean paste out. Toss in sugar and shake. Store the sugar in the fridge and shake occasionally to loosen the bean.

Two new ways to make my beloved Crostatas….Thank you again Giada De Laurentis (my favorite go to Chef) for introducing me to this amazing dessert. And in this case, the Peach Crostata for breakfast as my Niece exclaimed!

Remember cooking with love, make every recipe taste better…. Especially with family.