August 15, 2011
Summer Berry Crostata
Berries scream “summer.” This season I love throwing their subtle sweetness into otherwise savory dishes like herby grilled chicken, hearty green salads and steamed fish. But berries are best when they’re showcased in delectable desserts. Nothing is easier than throwing a few handfuls of berries over a pie dough and popping it into the oven - aka a berry crostata!
This crostata is so simple -- and so good -- that you can whip it up when you get home from work and have a fresh and healthy dessert when you’re finished eating dinner; it’s so easy when you use a store-bought refrigerated pie crust. For days when you find yourself with a bit more time, go ahead and make your own pie crust. You’ll be glad you did!
Summer Berry Crostata
You can use a premade pie crust (found in the refrigerated section of most supermarkets) or make your own (it really is quite easy to do). I recommend this pie crust recipe from Bon Appétit magazine.
1 pie crust for a 9-inch pie
1 pound of your favorite berries (I used blueberries, blackberries and raspberries)
4 Tbs sugar (plus a little more for dusting the crust)
3 Tbs cornstarch (plus a little more for dusting the crust)
zest of one lemon
1 egg white
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the berries in a large bowl and sprinkle with sugar, cornstarch and lemon zest. Set aside. Sprinkle a small handful of semolina flour onto a baking sheet; it’s not absolutely necessary, but it will help to keep the pie crust from sticking. Next, roll out the pie dough into a large circle, keeping it about ¼-inch thick. Transfer the crust to the baking sheet. Sprinkle a dusting of cornstarch on the dough (not too much; just a dusting to absorb some of the berry juice).
Pile the berries into the center of the circular pie dough, leaving about a 1½ inch border of crust. Brush the edge of the dough with egg white. Now the fun part: gently fold the border of crust onto the berry pile, overlapping and gently pressing with your fingers. Finally, brush the crust again with egg white and sprinkle the crust with a light dusting of sugar. Bake for approximately 25 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. A crostata tastes divine when warm from the oven, but it will be quite messy. If you can wait for the crostata to completely cool, the berries and crust will firm a bit, making it easier to slice and eat. Either way, it’s a very delectable and easy dessert! Top with a generous scoop of freshly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream and enjoy!