Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Daring Bakers Crostata

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.
As soon as I read through the challenge I was thrilled. I make tarts often for family and friends and they are always met with big smiles. For this go around I couldn't decide if I wanted to use fruit or pastry cream so I figured I would make them as tartlets and prepare both! Good idea, right?
Simona provided two versions of pasta frolla to choose from so I chose the nut-free version for "J". The ingredients similiar to a pate sucree with the inclusion of lemon zest was a breeze to prepare and could easily be made ahead.
The filling choices were fruit preserves, pastry cream or any other of our choice!
The first filling I prepared was a small batch of pear compote:
375 grams pears peeled, halved, cored, cut into 1/2" cubes
62 grams sugar
1tsp vanilla
50 ml of apriot brandy or water
1tsp lemon juice
Place all ingredients in a saucepan. Cover with a parchment round with a vent hole, over low heat, cook stirring occasionally. The compote is finished when the pears are translucent and the liquid is evaporated. Set aside until needed.
The second filling I prepared was a small batch of vanilla pastry cream:
1 cup milk
1/3 cups sugar
2 tbs corn starch
3 yolks
1 tbs butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbs apricot brandy or liqueur
Combine 3/4 cup milk and the sugar in a medium saucepan. Stir to disolve the sugar, then place over medium heat and bring to a boil. Pour remaining milk into a 1 qt bowl and whisk in the corn starch, then yolks. Temper 1/3 of the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture stirring constantly. Returm the remaining milk to medium heat and bring to a boil. With a hand whisk pour the egg mixture into the milk in a steady stream. The pastry cream will begin to thicken. Continue whisking until the pastry cream comes to a boil, careful not to scorch the sides. Cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat. Add the butter, vanilla, and brandy; whisk until smooth.
Pour into a bowl and cover with plastic directly on surface of cream so as not to form a skin. Set aside to cool.
After the pasta frolla has chilled it is ready to roll out and fill the desired pan. The filling is added and the final step is making a lattice top using the left over dough. A short stay in the oven and voila!
This was a welcome challenge and the timing was perfect for the holiday. Thank you Simona!

1 comment:

Simona said...

It was indeed a very good idea to make crostatine so you could use both fillings.