The 2010 November Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Simona of briciole. She chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ to make pasta frolla for a crostata. She used her own experience as a source, as well as information from Pellegrino Artusi’s Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well.  This is the first month of Daring Baker’s for me, and it was a doozy!

For this challenge, we had the option of two different pasta frolla recipes.  I chose Version 1, which was a simple mixture of sugar, flour, lemon zest, butter, egg and salt.  This choice was based, unfortunately, on a single element: time.  This one came together with the fewest ingredients and in such a short amount of time.  One note, not sure if it was because the winter air leeched the moisture out of my ingredients, or if there is just not enough liquid in the recipe, but I ended up adding about 2 Tbsps of cold water to get it to come together.  To fill, we were allowed to go crazy.  I decided to settle on a simple raspberry preserve with the juice of a lemon.

Raspberry Crostatta

3/4 cup of powdered sugar
1 and 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
a pinch of salt
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
grated zest of half a lemon
1 large egg and 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten in a small bowl
2 Tbsps cold water
21 ounces of raspberry preserves
Juice of 1 lemon

  1. Combine flour, powdered sugar and salt in a bowl.
  2. Add butter and rub/cut into flour mixture
  3. Add in beaten eggs and zest in a well in the center of the flour mixture (I kept mine all in the bowl, but it can be done straight on the counter top) and mix in with a fork until everything is moistened.  Here is where I added in my water, a tablespoon at a time, and began to lightly knead with my hands.
  4. At this point, create a ball of dough, and then cover with plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for 2 hours, or overnight.
  5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  6. After the dough has been chilled, retrieve from the fridge and unwrap.  Mine was stiff enough that I needed to use a combination of my hands and my rolling pin to force it out (gently) into a circle large enough to cover the bottom of my 9 inch cake pan.
  7. Once the dough was rolled out, I placed it in the pan and pushed to the edges.  After pinching off the excess dough that peeked over the rim of the pan, I pricked the bottom of the tart pan multiple times to prevent from any bubbles or uneven puffing from forming along the bottom.
  8. Place the preserves and lemon juice in a small pot on the stove and heat until pourable.  Pour into pan, and spread to even out.  At this point, the excess dough can be rolled out and cut into shapes to be place on the top of the crostatta.  For example, a U!
  9. Bake at 375 degrees F for 25 minutes, or until pastry is a golden brown.  Allow to cool for a least an hour, or until set, and then serve!