Sharing a seriously fun love for food

Cherry Crostata

Cherry Crostata

Plump little cherries, sweet and slightly tart with a wisp of almond and vanilla stirring throughout, all nestled into a crispy, flaky crust.

One of the joys of the holidays is spending time with your favorite friends and family members, sharing their traditions of food and celebration. This is a twist on a recipe for a gorgeous cherry pie shared with me by two of my dearest friends. The recipe came from one of their family members and in honor of my dear friend’s heritage I’ve made it into a crostata. Crostatas, an Italian take on a rustic pie or tart, is one of the easier ways to make a fruit pie. And it makes a beautiful presentation when you want to showcase the fruit inside.

The crust can be either all butter or made from shortening, which is the type of crust used in the original recipe. It’s simply flour, kosher salt, shortening and a bit of milk to hold things together.

The filling is a blend of tart cherries, sweetened with sugar then highlighted with pure almond and vanilla extracts. A touch of flour and dotted with butter.

The beauty of a crostata, the pastry can be rolled out directly onto a sheet of parchment, filled and baked.

This might be your new holiday tradition! (Thanks Pat and Dave!)

Cherry Crostata

For the crust:

1-1/2 cups flour, plus extra for rolling

½ teaspoon kosher salt

½ cup shortening

6 to 8 tablespoons milk

For the cherry filling:

½ teaspoon pure almond extract

½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 can red tart cherries in water, 14.5 ounces, drained

1 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling over the crust

3 tablespoons flour

1 tablespoon butter

For the egg wash:

1 egg

1 tablespoon milk

To make the pastry crust:

In a large mixing bowl, whisk the flour and kosher salt together. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut the shortening into the flour until it’s in small pieces, about the size of peas.

Add the milk, 2 tablespoons at a time, gently working it in with a fork. Continue adding the milk until the pastry dough holds together and is not crumbly. You might not need to use all of the milk.

Turn the dough out onto a sheet of parchment paper that has been very lightly dusted with flour. If you turn it out and it appears dry, toss it back in the bowl and add a bit more milk. Gather the pastry dough into a round disc then wrap it in the parchment paper and chill for 30 minutes.

When you’re ready to roll it out, unfold the paper and lay another sheet of parchment on top. Roll the dough out between the sheets of parchment until it is about 1/8” thick. Don’t worry if it’s not perfectly round. Remove the top sheet and slide the pastry dough, still on the bottom sheet of parchment, onto a rimmed baking sheet. If the parchment is hanging over the edge of the baking sheet, just trim off the excess.

To make the filling:

Drain the cherries and transfer them to a medium mixing bowl. Stir in the almond and vanilla extracts.

In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar with the flour.

To assemble the crostata:

Spoon about half of the sugar and flour mixture into the center of the pastry dough, leaving about 3” to fold up over the fruit.

Place the cherries directly on top of the sugar and flour.

Cover the cherries with the remaining sugar and flour.

Cut the butter into small pieces and scatter over the top of the filling.

Fold the pastry dough up over the cherries, turning and overlapping as you go.

Whisk the egg and the 1 tablespoon of milk together then very lightly brush the top of the pastry with the egg wash. Sprinkle with about 1 teaspoon of additional sugar.

Bake in a 375-degree oven for 35 minutes. The sugar on top of the cherries will start to form a crust. Using the back of a spoon gently tap the top to mix the sugar back into fruit. Continue baking for an additional 10 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.

Let the crostata cool for about 30 minutes to allow the juices to set up before cutting.

Serves about 6 to 8.

Cherry Crostata, courtesy of Preserving Good Stock

December 23, 2019
: Serves 6 to 8.

Plump little cherries, sweet and slightly tart with a wisp of almond and vanilla stirring throughout, all nestled into a crispy, flaky crust.

By:

Ingredients
  • For the crust:
  • 1-1/2 cups flour, plus extra for rolling
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup shortening
  • 6 to 8 tablespoons milk
  • For the cherry filling:
  • ½ teaspoon pure almond extract
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 can red tart cherries in water, 14.5 ounces, drained
  • 1 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling over the crust
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • For the egg wash:
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk
Directions
  • Step 1 To make the pastry crust:
  • Step 2 In a large mixing bowl, whisk the flour and kosher salt together.
  • Step 3 Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut the shortening into the flour until it’s in small pieces, about the size of peas.
  • Step 4 Add the milk, 2 tablespoons at a time, gently working it in with a fork. Continue adding the milk until the pastry dough holds together and is not crumbly. You might not need to use all of the milk.
  • Step 5 Turn the dough out onto a sheet of parchment paper that has been very lightly dusted with flour. If you turn it out and it appears dry, toss it back in the bowl and add a bit more milk.
  • Step 6 Gather the pastry dough into a round disc then wrap it in the parchment paper and chill for 30 minutes.
  • Step 7 When you’re ready to roll it out, unfold the paper and lay another sheet of parchment on top. Roll the dough out between the sheets of parchment until it is about 1/8” thick. Don’t worry if it’s not perfectly round. Remove the top sheet and slide the pastry dough, still on the bottom sheet of parchment, onto a rimmed baking sheet. If the parchment is hanging over the edge of the baking sheet, just trim off the excess.
  • Step 8 To make the filling:
  • Step 9 Drain the cherries and transfer them to a medium mixing bowl. Stir in the almond and vanilla extracts.
  • Step 10 In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar with the flour.
  • Step 11 To assemble the crostata:
  • Step 12 Spoon about half of the sugar and flour mixture into the center of the pastry dough, leaving about 3” to fold up over the fruit.
  • Step 13 Place the cherries directly on top of the sugar and flour.
  • Step 14 Cover the cherries with the remaining sugar and flour.
  • Step 15 Cut the butter into small pieces and scatter over the top of the filling.
  • Step 16 Fold the pastry dough up over the cherries, turning and overlapping as you go.
  • Step 17 Whisk the egg and the 1 tablespoon of milk together then very lightly brush the top of the pastry with the egg wash. Sprinkle with about 1 teaspoon of additional sugar.
  • Step 18 Bake in a 375-degree oven for 35 minutes. The sugar on top of the cherries will start to form a crust. Using the back of a spoon gently tap the top to mix the sugar back into fruit. Continue baking for an additional 10 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.
  • Step 19 Let the crostata cool for about 30 minutes to allow the juices to set up before cutting.

 



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