Saturday, October 06, 2007

Mixed-berries dessert tart (crostata)

Due to the abundant sunlight, you'll see most people in Barcelona wear sunglasses, and every two of their sunglasses you'll see one flashing a huge logo of dual-C, D&G or EA's eagle. Very assertive and desperate in telling you that he/she is ......... (feel free to fill in the blank). There is absolutely no judgement from me, only my interest in observing pop culture.

Amongst the fruits, seems to me, any dessert tagging with berries will create this perception - it is more European, and more luxurious (as being seasonal, and not worldwide, so sometimes to be pricey). But in this crostata, berries are also practical: you don't need to struggle as what you do with sliced apple or plum, simply run the knife between the tiny berries, it will easily cut through the luscious vanilla cream, then down to the fragrant (and fragile too) almond-ey crust.

This crostata's crust is actually not that difficult to make, but I have already assumed that you're an experienced pie maker. The flour is mainly hold up by the moisture that from butter, beside of a bit liquid from egg yolk. The dough easily comes together, and also quite easy to break, but it is not the end, just to invite two handling methods: rolling method plus patch-work. Just hope what I said here is able to help you to predict what will happen while you working on this dough.

Recipe (yield two x 7"-or 18cm-dia round pie, or ten x 2.5" or 6cm single-serving tarts)

*removable pie/tart pan is necessary*

For the crust

  • 200 g plain flour
  • 20 g ground almond
  • a pinch of salt
  • lemon zest from half of lemon
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 120g butter, cubed (cold but not hard)

For cream filling:

This time I used the store-bought, but you may like to see Bea's recipe

For toppings:

Seasonal fruit, preferably various types of berries. Plus some powder sugar


To make the pie crust:

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, almond, lemon zest, salt and sugar. Add butter cubes and 1 yolk, use finger tips to break them up and mix with the flour mixture, the butter should be soften by then but not melting. A tender dough is form, divide it into two portions, wrap with cling wrap and chill for 2 hours or until it slightly hardens.
  • Take one dough out, roll it to 1/2 cm-thick sheet, cut to size and fit into your pre-greased tart pan(s). Continue to the other dough. Cover, and chill for another 2 hours (so that the crust will turn out more tender instead of tough)
  • Pre-heat the oven to 180C. For small tarts may require 15 - 20 minutes, for big one probably 20 - 25 minutes. Once they turn golden brown, take them out and let cool for about 15 minutes, then unmold them carefully. Continue to let cool completely.

To assemble:

Fill the crust with vanilla cream and top with berries. The tart keeps well for 2 or 3 days in refrigerator, unless you use sliced fruit, which shouldn't be added on the tart not until right before you serve. Dust powder sugar to serve.



FH said...

Love the vanilla dessert in crust, yummy!:))

Cynthia said...

Such powerful and beautiful colours. I like that crust.

Katie Zeller said...

The currents and blueberries are gorgeous! The sunglass - logo must be a new fashion. I don't remember it from 4 years ago... time flies! Now I shall have to go to Barcelona!

Nabeela said...

BEAUTIFUL colorful!
As for the brand name flaunting, I was just telling my husband last night about how many D&G sunglasses I see on campus. It's like people want to make sure they're in the "in" crowd!

Mishmash ! said...

U re a tart expert and your creations are always beautiful :)


Orchidea said...

Your crostata looks so delicious... and the photos are always great!

Anh said...

Gattina, the summer fruits have such vibrant color. Great for tarts!

Chris said...

Gattina, I am so glad to read your posts again....(although I haven't commented on each one). These look lovely!! I want to eat the screen.

Anonymous said...

This looks so bright and inviting. No wonder all of us need sun-glasses :p

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

Those tarts are just jumping off my screen -- absolutely beautiful!

Gattina Cheung said...

Asha, thank you sweet!

Cynthia, you're right, the crust is the winner in this recipe!

Katie, remember the giant Medusa on sunglasses... 10 years (?) ago... things always go around. Maybe I should keep all my old cloths :)

Nabeela, so D&G is "in" this year...and hey,a way for little kids to learn their alpabets, heehee.

Shn, thanks for your encouragement!

Sabrina, really thanks for your compliement, you take great fotos as well!

Anh, you are right, these guys just have natural beauty.

Chris, oh thanks sweetie!

Tigerfish...*lol* but thanks, your compliement makes my day!

Lydia, thank you so much for the sweet words :)

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous colors. I love the D & G berries!

Blue Zebra said...

Wow!!!! You are just so talented! I adore the currants? And love the dainty look of these. The crust recipe looks fab. Just wish I could have almonds. (No nuts here. :( )


Manggy said...

The colors are gorgeous. Perfect for American Independence day (though there are lots of other countries with red and blue in their flags)!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Well, you sure took my breath away with those photos Gattina! That is really glorious.

Shayne said...

I have been looking through your blog and your photos are so beautiful. I hope that i can get to the point where mine are jsut as nice.

Mallow said...

So beautiful! I'll bet it tasted amazing.

Anonymous said...

Those tarts are lovely Gattina! Gorgeous colors too!

Anonymous said...

Such beautiful berries. You have access to marvelous food in your new home. I don't think I've ever seen such vivid colors colors in a tart. Brava!

Simply said...

Love the berries. They look great.