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.
- 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
- 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.
- Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of water at a time over flour mixture, stirring with a fork until all is moistened. Form into a ball.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Fold the dough up and over the fruit.
Brush the dough with the beaten egg wash.
- Bake in a preheated 375* oven for approximately 25-30 minutes, until crust is golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
- When ready to serve, dust the crust of the crostata with Confectioners; sugar, then add the remaining cup of sweetened berries.