Strawberry Crostata

To me, Spring just screams strawberries! I serve them fresh with a splash of balsamic vinegar, toss them into salads, add them to my fruit pizza, and strawberry bruschette. And there is nothing like sipping a Sicilian Sunrise on those special weekends or enjoying a refreshing strawberry granita on a warm afternoon. I even turn them into fun, flavorful ice cubes.

On this day, since the weather is still cool enough to bake, I decided to make a simple crostata. A crostata is simply an Italian free-form pie or tart, typically filled with a fruit jam or fresh fruit. I will serve it with a cappuccino for breakfast or later in the day, when we just want a little something sweet to go with our afternoon coffee.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, cold, cut into cubes
  • 4-5 tablespoons cold water
  • 4 cups strawberries, hulled, cut in half
  • 4 tablespoons sugar (more if needed)
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water (for egg wash)
  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting on top
  1. To prepare the pastry: In a medium-size bowl, stir flour and salt together, cut in butter with pastry blender (or 2 knives) until they are the size of peas.
  2. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of water at a time over flour mixture, stirring with a fork until all is moistened. Form into a ball.
  3. On a floured surface, roll out the dough, transfer to parchment-lined baking sheet (if you’re using a refrigerated pie dough, place directly on parchment-lined baking sheet.
  4. In another bowl, gently mix strawberries, sugar (depending on the sweetness of the fruit you may wish to adjust the sugar more or less), balsamic vinegar and flour together.
  5. Using a slotted spoon, transfer 3/4 of the berries (reserving 1 cup to be added on the top of the cooked crostata), into the center of the dough, leaving a 2-inch border around the edge.
  6. Fold the dough up and over the fruit.
    Brush the dough with the beaten egg wash.
  7. Bake in a preheated 375* oven for approximately 25-30 minutes, until crust is golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
  8. When ready to serve, dust the crust of the crostata with Confectioners; sugar, then add the remaining cup of sweetened berries.
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