Saturday, November 27, 2010

A Pizza Pie

Well, not exactly, but when I was preparing the crust for this month's Daring Baker's challenge, my little cousin came up to help me and said that's what she was making...a pizza pie! 

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.  When I first saw the challenge, I started thinking about different options for fillings.  The one I really wanted to do was a cranberry pomegranate jam but I didn't ever get the ingredients and ran out of time once I was home.  After I finally decided to make the crostata for Thanksgiving dessert, I decided to see what other people had brought before I decided on a filling.  Well, we had chocolate cake, chocolate pie, pecan pie, pumpkin pie, chocolate chip cookies, and caramel bars.  I figured that something fruity would be a good option to have.  Unfortunately, after perusing the refrigerator and pantry, I determined that we didn't have any jam.  So, I went in search of a filling recipe and came across this one.  I ended up making one recipe and topping it with fresh fruit. 

Kind of reminded me of a fruit pizza...maybe this was a "pizza pie!"  All in all, I really liked the pasta frolla.  It was very simple to make and to work with.  The edges got a little hard after baking but the crust under the filling was nice and tender.  Everyone else liked it, too.  My cousin even asked me to send her the recipe...can't forget to do that!  Thanks, Simona for the challenge! 

Version 1 of pasta frolla

•1/2 c. minus 1 tablespoon [105 ml, 100 g, 3 ½ oz] superfine sugar (see Note 1) or a scant 3/4 cup [180ml, 90g, 3 oz] of powdered sugar
•1 and 3/4 cup [420 ml, 235 g, 8 1/4 oz.] unbleached all-purpose flour
•a pinch of salt
•1 stick [8 tablespoons / 4 oz. / 115 g] cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
•1 large egg and 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten in a small bowl
Making pasta frolla by hand:
Whisk together sugar, flour and salt in a bowl. Rub or cut the butter into the flour until the mixture has the consistency of coarse crumbs. You can do this in the bowl or on your work surface, using your fingertips or an implement of choice. Make a well in the center of the mounded flour and butter mixture and pour the beaten eggs into it (reserve about a teaspoon of the egg mixture for glazing purposes later on – place in the refrigerator, covered, until ready to use).

Use a fork to incorporate the liquid into the solid ingredients, and then use your fingertips. Knead lightly just until the dough comes together into a ball. Shape the dough into a flat disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Place the dough in the refrigerator and chill for at least two hours. You can refrigerate the dough overnight.

Assembling and baking the crostata con la crema:

Heat the oven to 350ºF [180ºC/gas mark 4].  Take the pasta frolla out of the fridge, unwrap it and cut away ¼ of the dough. Reserve this dough to make the lattice top of the crostata...or give it to your little cousin to make a "pizza pie." Refrigerate this dough while you work on the tart base.

Lightly dust the top of the dough and your work surface (if you’re rolling directly on a work surface) with flour. Keep some flour handy to dust the dough as you go along. If the dough is very firm, start by pressing the dough with the rolling pin from the middle to each end, moving the rolling pin by a pin's width each time; turn the dough 180 degrees and repeat; when it softens, start rolling. Roll the dough into a circle about 1/8th inch (3 mm) thick.  Lightly fold the dough in half and in half again.  Pick it up an place it in the pan.  Gently unfold the dough and fit it to the pan.  Trim the excess dough hanging over the edges of the pan. Press the remaining dough around the border into the sides of the pan making sure the border is an even thickness all the way around. Prick the bottom of the dough with a fork in several places.

Cover the bottom of the crostata crust evenly with prepared pastry cream.  Put the tart in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, check the tart, and continue baking until the tart is of a nice golden hue. (Note: Every oven is different. In my oven it took 45 minutes to bake the tart until golden.)  When done, remove the tart from the oven and let cool. Top with fruit to garnish.  Place in the refrigerator to cool.  If you have used a tart pan with a removable bottom, then release the tart base from the fluted tart ring. Make sure the tart is completely cool before slicing and serving. 

For Pastry Cream (from CHOW via Pink of Perfection)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk
2 large egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (or 1/4 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped and reserved)

Combine sugar, flour, and salt in a small mixing bowl. Whisk gently to break up any lumps, and set aside. Prepare an ice water bath in a larger mixing bowl, and set aside.

In a small saucepan, combine buttermilk and egg yolks, whisking until evenly incorporated. Whisk in dry ingredients, and place the pan over medium heat. Cook, whisking constantly, until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 4 minutes.


Audax said...

Your fruit tart looks so superb and tasty. I have to admit you are very talented. Well done on this challenge. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

Unknown said...

This would be a great option after a hearty Thanksgiving dinner. it's a beautiful pizza pie!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful job and lovely helper. It looks like you two had fun

chef_d said...

Yummy, I love the idea of a fruit "pizza" pie! Great job and gorgeous looking crostata!

The JR said...

Looks like you had a lot of good help!

Lisa said...

I love your fruity 'pizza pie' crostata - so colorful and happy, not to mention undoubtedly delicious. BTW, the cranberry - pomegranate combo sounds awesome too, as does that endless list of Thanksgving pies you had at your Thanksgiving! :)

Simona Carini said...

Your crostata looks very nice! And I am glad that it was a success.