I will share my recipe with you IF you promise to ONLY make this when fresh, local strawberries are in season! It is really the only way to fully appreciate this recipe. If you oblige then read on….oh and this crostata should be eaten the day it’s made otherwise the pasta frolla crust gets soggy so share with those you love. <3
10-cups strawberries, hulled & halved
1.5-cups granulated sugar
Zest of one Organic Lemon
Juice from same organic lemon
1-Vanilla bean pod*
1-egg (for egg wash)
Pasta Frolla Dough:
3-cups “00” flour
14-TBSP COLD butter, cubed
1-cup confectioners sugar
1-Vanilla bean pod (inside only)
2-TBSP Demerara Sugar for dusting
12 inch fluted pan with removable bottom
Pastry roller/cutter (optional)
Nonna’s Notes: I only make this recipe, when strawberries are in-season. The window is short starting in Mid-May to Mid-June, but it makes all the difference in this recipe! Be sure to use an organic lemon, this way you know the rind is free of fungicides and pesticides.
Directions Pasta Frolla- Cut the butter into cubes and place into freezer For about 10 minutes.
Into the food processor place the flour, Powdered sugar, salt And the inside scraped seeds of one vanilla bean. Save the vanilla bean pod for the filling. Process until fine crumbs form. Add the ice cold butter and pulse Until well Incorporated. Gradually add the egg and process until the dough just comes together. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface need lightly until smooth, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate to rest for 1 to 2 hours at the most.
Directions Strawberry Filling- In the meantime make the filling. It’s best to only make this recipe when strawberries are in season, it is a short season but it’s worth it and makes all the difference in this cristata, to be honest I do not bother making this when it is not strawberry season. I find the strawberries to be too watery and not flavorful enough. Combine only half of the berries (just 5 cups hold) in A sauce pan with the granulated sugar’s ass juice of a lime and lemon and the vanilla bean pod that has been saved from the pasta Frolla. Stir over medium high heat until the sugar dissolves then turn down the heat stirring in casually until thick and resembling jam approximately 15 minutes. When it’s jam like and not watery but more syrupy remove from heat and remove the zest and the vanilla bean pod, set aside to cool completely.Preheat oven to 350°F.
Grab your fluted pan and half of the pasta Frolla dough. Leave rest in the fridge. Keep the saran wrap just on the top of the go and use your hands to gently press in to the pan you will want to completely cover the bottom as well as all the way up the sides. The heat from your hands will start to melt the dough so you will need to work rather quickly. When you are done put the entire pan back into the refrigerator. I prefer to make my lattice on a piece of parchment paper and then flip it on to the crostata, this way if I mess up my dough strips won’t get all jammy and sticky. Grab a 16” long piece of parchment paper, Lightly dusted with flour and use a rolling pin to roll out the remaining dough into about a 15” x 15” square. Using your pastry cutter make 3/4” wide strips. Place back in refrigerator. Be very gentle with the dough and keep in mind that it gets warm very quickly you may have to do this in steps, I had to keep putting it back in the refrigerator between cutting strips. While you wait for the dough to get cold again, Grab your cooked strawberry filling And fold in the remaining 5 cups of fresh cut strawberries. Place all of the strawberry mixture into fluted pan and put back in refrigerator.
Preheat oven to 350F.
Grab another 16 inch long piece of parchment paper and assemble your lattice on it. Muster up your best Julia child “Don’t be afraid!” courage and in one fell swoop flip the lattice on top of the strawberry filled crostata bottom.
Whisk remaining egg with 2 tablespoons of water and place this egg wash on the lattice. Sprinkle on the demerera sugar.
Place crostata pan on another sheet pan for added support and bake for approximately 45 to 55 minutes. It should look golden brown and the edges should be well set.
Cool completely in pan before serving. This is crostata is best eaten on the day you make it.