Berry Tart (Crostata ai Frutti di Bosco)

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Do you know which posts get the most likes? Cakes. Always cakes. And so I keep baking them. Because what food blogger doesn’t want lots of likes on his posts?

Seriously though, cakes are great as dessert because you can make them in advance and when it is time to serve dessert, all you have to do is to triumphantly present the cake to a chorus of oohs and aahs and then cut it. And so I very often bake a cake for a dinner party.

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The possibilities for cakes are endless. Recently, Silva posted a berry pie using a different type of pastry with milk. I wanted to try this pastry, but felt like making a crostata instead of a pie. And I did make it with berries. The nice thing about berries in a tart like this is that you can use frozen berries and you won’t notice the difference as the berries are cooked anyway.

The pastry was easier to handle than a regular flour-and-butter pastry as it is easier to roll out and doesn’t break as easily, but for me it also turned out less flaky. Nevertheless, the crostata looked and tasted great. Here’s what I did…

Ingredients

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For a 27 cm (11″) tart, about 8-12 servings

For the pastry

300 grams (2 cups) pastry flour

120 grams (1 stick) cold butter, cubed

2 Tbsp sugar

2 Tbsp cider vinegar

100 ml (6 Tbsp + 2 tsp) milk

pinch of salt

grated zest of 1 lemon

For the filling

150 grams blackberries (fresh or frozen)

150 grams blueberries (fresh or frozen)

150 grams raspberries (fresh or frozen)

juice of 1/2 lemon

50 grams (1/4 cup) sugar

2 Tbsp corn starch

To finish

1 egg, beaten

Preparation

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Combine 300 grams pastry flour, 2 Tbsp sugar, the grated zest of a lemon, 120 grams butter and a pinch of salt in the bowl of the food processor.

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Process briefly to obtain a crumbly mixture. Then add 100 ml milk…

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…and 2 Tbsp cider vinegar.

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Process briefly until the dough just comes together.

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Gather into a ball, flatten it to a disc, wrap in cling film, and refrigerate for half an hour. You should still see small pieces of butter in the dough.

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Put 150 grams raspberries, 150 grams blueberries and 150 grams blackberries in a saucepan. Add 50 grams sugar and the juice of 1/2 lemon.

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Bring to a boil.

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When it boils, mix 2 Tbsp corn starch with 2 Tbsp cold water to make a slurry, and add the slurry to the berry mixture.

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Cook, stirring, until the berries have thickened, about a minute. Then turn off the heat and allow to cool.

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Preheat the oven to 180C/350F (not fan forced).

After the dough has rested, divide it into 3/4 and 1/4, and put it on a floured work surface (a wooden surface works best).

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Butter a 27 cm (11″) tart pan. Give the large piece of dough a round shape with your hands, then roll it out with a rolling pin until it is the right size for the tart pan including the borders (i.e. about 32 cm or 13″). Roll out in different directions, starting from the center. That is the best way to roll it out in a circular shape.

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Line the tart pan with the dough, rolling the rolling pin over the top of the tart pan to remove any excess dough.

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Prick the dough all over with a fork.

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Pour the berry mixture into the tart…

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…and flatten the top.

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Roll out the remaining pastry, and use a pastry wheel to cut it into strips of about 1 cm (1/2 inch) wide. You could also use a knife, but with the wheel the strips will be more pretty. Pretty is important when baking.

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Arrange the strips in a lattice pattern on the tart. Start in the center and alternate between ‘horizontal’ and ‘vertical’ strips…

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…until you have covered the tart with a nice regular lattice.

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Brush with a beaten egg.

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Bake the tart for 45 minutes at 180C/350F (not fan forced), or until golden.

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Allow to cool to room temperature before serving.

Wine pairing

This is great with a red dessert wine such as Brachetto d’Aqui, Rosenmuskateller, Black Muscat, or Recioto della Valpolicella. Perhaps even a Ruby port, but that may be a bit high in alcohol.

The dark berry fruit works best with a red dessert wine, although a fortified or dried-grape (passito) white dessert wine wouldn’t be terrible either.

Flashback

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I love pasta dishes with vegetables, such as this Sicilian-inspired fennel pasta with raisins, pine nuts, and saffron.

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14 thoughts on “Berry Tart (Crostata ai Frutti di Bosco)

  1. Haha, no wonder why I don’t get as many likes. I rarely back cakes or desserts, I’m a savory kind of gal. But hey, I just do this for fun. I love to read your recipes though, Stefan! Beautiful looking Tart, I would eat that if you gave me a slice!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lots of likes, I see :). I love the berry filling, full of antioxidants! This type of filling would perform well with stevia, as well. Definitely a “try me,” for me, as it will make a great low-sugar dessert.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Damn right your crostata looked great, Stefan. The lattice was perfectly browned, allowing us to peer into that berry delicious filling. I do like cakes but, if given the option, I’ll go with the tart/crostata/pie choice every time.

    Liked by 1 person

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