Fruit Tart

(“Crostata”)


 


 

 

This recipe comes from the Tuscan side of my wife’s family.
My mother-in-law, la signora Danila Occhiali, often baked this “pie” for the family, leaving it on the kitchen counter with a knife nearby.  Every time I or other family member passed nearby, we would cut a slice to eat and to our enjoyment the crostata would quickly disappear. 
Terry, my wife continues this custom and adds a variation with ricotta cream and diced candied fruits to please me.

 

 

Crostata

         

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb + 2 oz.  flour                                            
  • 7 oz. sugar                                               
  • 7 oz. unsalted butter. At room temperature.    
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1 jar of preserved fruits about 12 oz.
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 drops of vanilla
PREPARATION

The Dough
Combine flour and sugar, make a well and place eggs in it, add butter, salt, baking powder and vanilla.  Mix all ingredients with the help of a fork and then using your hands knead to bring dough together, until it forms coarse crumbs of diverse sizes.
Do not over mix. Do not handle dough more than necessary.
If working in a warm location, refrigerate dough for 1 hour.

 

The Crostata
Prepare a 12 inches round pan, use a springs pan (if available), coat sides and bottom with butter. Spread ¾ of the dough in pan, using a rolling pin or pressing with your hands. Do not have to be it perfectly smooth and make the edgesa little higher.
Dilute1 tablespoon of water into preserves so that as you bake the cake, the preserves won’t became too dry. Cover crostata with preserves and use reserved dough to make decorative strips on top.
Bake the crostata at 350 degrees for 35 to 45 minutes or until cake is cooked.  

 

NOTES:

 

  1. Orange or Sour Cherry Preserves make a very tasty crostata.
  2. To give a Sicilian flavor, preserves can be substituted with 12 oz. Ricotta combined with a tablespoon of sugar, 1 tablespoon of chocolate chips, 1 tablespoon of diced candied fruits, a touch of vanilla, cinnamon and the zest of an orange.

 

 

Crostata2