Introduction: Berry Crostata With Cornmeal Crust
One of my favorites to make when I don't have enough berries for a whole pie. I got the idea for the crust from an old Bon Appetit magazine.The cornmeal and orange zest in the crust add texture and flavor that makes for an exciting twist. I used olallieberries from my garden. They are similar to blackberries, but are sweeter and have smaller seeds. You can use any type of berry for this recipe. Sometimes I like to mix a few different types.
1 and 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup coarse cornmeal
3 tbs sugar
1 tsp (packed) orange zest
3/4 tsp salt
14 tbs (1 and 3/4 sticks) chilled unsalted butter
1/3 cup (or more) ice water
1 cup sugar
3 tbs cornstarch
1 tbs fresh lemon juice
Step 1: Make the Crust
For my crust, I used a pastry cutter to mix together my ingredients. However, if you do not have a pastry cutter (or don't feel like using one) you can also use a food processor.
Mix together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, orange zest, and salt in a large bowl. If you're using a food processor, blend the ingredients. Cut the butter into 1/2 inch cubes and add it to the mixture. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients or blend until the butter is reduced to pea-size pieces. Add 1/3 cup ice water and use a large spoon (I used an ice cream paddle) to mix the dough until it clumps together into one mass. You can also just continue to blend it in the food processor until it clumps. If the dough is not clumping, add an additional 1 teaspoon of ice water. Gather the dough into a ball then flatten it into a disk. Wrap the dough and chill it for at least one hour before baking. The dough can be stored in the fridge for up to a day before baking.
Step 2: Make the Filling
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Mix the berries with the lemon juice, sugar and cornstarch. Adjust the amount of sugar depending upon the type of berries you use and how tart they are.
Step 3: Putting It All Together
You can bake a crostata in either a standard pie pan or on a flat baking sheet. I used a pie pan because it is easier to transport.
Take the dough out of the fridge and place it onto a floured surface. Roll out the dough until it is 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. In order to transport the dough to the pan, I fold my dough into quarters then move it to the pan in order to prevent breakage. I then unfold the dough inside the pan. Once the dough is inside the pan or flat on a baking sheet, spoon the filling onto the middle of the dough. After all of the filling is on the dough, fold over the edges of the dough over the filling. Whisk the egg in a bowl and brush the crust with it so that the crust will be golden brown when the crostata comes out of the oven. You can also add sugar crystals on top of the egg for appearance and texture.
Bake the crostata for 55 min or until the crust is golden brown and the filling inside is bubbling. Let the crostata cool for about an hour before serving. Enjoy!