La crostata di zia

crostata (1 of 1) copy

Today we are going to share one of our family recipes. The “crostata” is a very common italian sweet, which has a butter pastry base generally filled with jam or cream and fruits. It’s a perfect breakfast-tea-after meal treat. And yes, it’s buttery. So buttery. No detox involved here.

In Camilla’s family it was the cake for every occasion. Her aunt is the one always appointed with the task of bringing to family dinners and parties the “crostata di zia” (aunt’s pie), and everyone, literally everyone loves it. During the years she perfected her art in the making of the dough, in choosing the best jam (she prefers the sour cherries one), finding the best way to decorate it. Its fame expanded outside the family borders: friends of the family, in-laws, friends of friends would ask for it. Whenever Zia was invited to a dinner or a party and would enter with her rounded tin covered in a colored rag, the host would ask-expectantly- “is this your crostata?”.

And then the population is divided into who likes better the sides better and who likes better the jam-filled center, and so you can see people teaming up between jam and sides eater, dividing their last pieces.

There are different traditional ways to make the pastry. Some put the whole egg, some others only the egg yolk, some will work the butter and the sugar together at the beginning. Well, we think this is the best way to make it. And we also love the hand made lattice, made of thick hand-rolled pins.

The dough is also perfect to make cookies. We made a stock and brought it at some friends place with small cookie cutters and prepared them with a 4-years-old, it was a success!

We also made a small video, of Zia herself making the crostata. It’s a short nice tutorial that guides you through the recipe and shares some of her secrets!

Enjoy, and let us know how it goes!

Serves some friends -Medium difficulty- Prep time: 30′ +1h rest +40′ baking

You will need:

  • 4 egg yolks (from medium or large eggs)
  • 200 gr. butter
  • 200 gr. sugar
  • 400 gr. flour
  • 1 jar of your favorite jam/marmelade

How to:

  1. Beat the yolks with the sugar until soft and creamy;
  2. add the softened butter into pie and the flour and mix quickly;
  3. form a ball with the dough, wrap it in plastic film and let it rest in the fridge for an hour;
  4. the dough will be now a little hard, but knead it quickly with a pinch of flour and you’ll see that it becomes immediately smooth and elastic. At this point you can use to make a tart, cookies or anything you can think of.
  5. For the tart, roll two-thirds of the dough and put it in baking tin that you have already buttered and floured;
  6. trim the excess on the sides with the knife;
  7. pour the jam on the dough and spread it up to a centimeter from the edges;
  8. use the remaining dough to make the lattice and the edges;
  9. bake in the pre-heated oven at 180 degrees for 30-40 minutes, until the the dough is golden;
  10. let cool, and then Buon Appetito!

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