This crostata is based on one in the new issue of Bon Appetit (love, love, love their new direction). The version there is rhubarb and raspberry but I was really feeling like the sweetness of strawberries would make this more appealing for my crew. I tweaked a few other little things. It’s a very simple pie to make but results in something both rustic but impressive all at once. You could forgo the raw sugar sprinkles but it does add a nice crunch and makes it extra gorgeous. And the main thing is by baking and eating this pie you’ll be helping spring come. Take it for the team, okay?
1 cup flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) cold, unsalted butter, in fact, throw it in the freezer
1 tbsp milk
1/4 cup cornstarch
4 cups rhubarb, sliced about 1/2 inch thick (about 1 to 1 1/4 lbs)
1 x 6 ounce container of fresh strawberries, washed and roughly chopped
2/3 cup sugar
2 Tbsp raw sugar (approximately)
Throw your butter in the freezer for half an hour before you start. This will change your (baking) life – trust.
Mix flours, sugar and salt in a bowl. Now, grate the very cold butter with the large holes on a box cheese grater. This is a trick I learned from Martha Stewart and is it ever a good thing. I don’t have the kind of food processor that’s good for doughs and using a pastry cutter work in butter is a pain in the butt. Well, no more, my friends, no more. The grater makes the perfect sized little bits of butter. Then you just toss them into the flour, really toss it around well so it breaks up and every bit gets coated in the flour mix. Whisk together the milk and egg and then stir into the flour. It will seem like not enough moisture to hold into a dough but it is. Use your hands to gather it into a ball. Flatten it into a disk, wrap tightly will cling wrap and put in the fridge for at least an hour and a half but up to two days.
Dissolve the cornstarch in about 6 Tbsps of water. Combine strawberries, rhubarb and sugar in a heavy bottomed pan and cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves and the fruit begins to kick off some liquid. About 5 minutes. Add the cornstarch slurry and stir well. Bring the mixture to a boil and then take off the heat. Pour the fruit mixture into a bowl and place in the fridge for 30 minutes or completely cool.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Place a piece of parchment on a large cooking sheet. The Bon Appetit recipe I worked from recommended putting the parchment on your counter and then transferring the assembled crostata onto a sheet and I just didn’t want to risk it coming apart in move. But my cookie sheet has no edge so it was easy to roll out the dough right on it.
Roll the dough out into a 12 inch circle. Whisk the egg and brush the entire surface of the dough with egg. Use a ladle to heap the filling into the centre of the dough. You want to leave about an 1 1/2 inch empty border of dough. The filling will begin to spread so you have to work relatively quickly here. Fold the edges of the dough into the centre – they will not meet – leaving an open hole. Don’t worry about making it perfect, you’ll have to pleat and fold pieces, it’s supposed to be rustic! Brush the border with egg and sprinkle the edges with raw sugar. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until the crust is golden brown. Allow to crostata to cool quite a bit before cutting into it.
Thanks to YMC Foodie of the Week, Sweet Potato Chronicles, for sharing this sweet treat.