Sunday, November 28, 2010

November's Daring Baker Challenge: Crostata

The hostess for November's Daring Baker's Challenge is Simona from Briciole.  Her challenge for this month was for bakers to create a crostata, which is basically a tart.  She mentioned that her favorite variation of crostata was one that was filled with pastry cream.  I asked Mike what his favorite fruit filling was, and came up with!....

(Vegan) Blackberry Cream Crostata

I made enough for two 6-inch tarts.  I wanted to make sure I had enough incase I made a mistake.  I went back and forth between deciding if I should post the original amounts or the doubled ones, but because a 6-inch tart is kind of small, I went with the doubled amounts.  Take this into account when making your crust and filling.

For the Crust:
- 1 1/2 cups AP flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Lemon zest from 1/2 a lemon
(I saw Giada do this on her show, thought I'd give it a try!)
- Heaping 1/2 cup vegan butter (chilled!)
- Dash salt
- 2 1/4 tablespoons ice water

For the Blackberry Pastry Cream:
(I made a little too much of this, but it's delicious, so who cares)
- 2 cups almond milk
- 1/2 cup flour
- Dash salt
- Heaping 1/4 cup blackberry puree
- 1/4 cup + 4 heaping tablespoons sugar
- Juice from 1 lemon
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

*Start with your crust, as it will need an hour or more to cool/firm.* 
1. In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, salt, and lemon peel.  My food processor is a baby, so I used my hands, but if you have a large one-use it!
2. Add the chilled butter, and knead until you get a coarse meal.  Add the ice water little by little as you knead, until you can form a ball with the dough.
3. Wrap in plastic and place in 'fridge to cool (for at least one hour).
4. Now you can make the pastry cream.  Warm the almond milk, sugar, and salt over medium- heat in a saucepan.  Once warmed, add the flour and wisk together to thicken.  You're going to have to wisk continuously, or it will stick.
5. Once it begins to resemble a custard, throw in the rest of the ingredients.  Cook for another minute or so.
6. Cover with wax paper (right on top of the cream, or it may grow a film- gross!), and refrigerate.
7. After everything has had time to cool, you can preheat your oven to 375ºF.
8. Roll out the dough to be a little bigger than your tart pan.  You'll want to reserve a little for the lattice on top if you're opting to make it cute.  You can roll it out by powdering a counter, or this trick that I read on the Daring Baker blog: but the dough between two pieces of clear wrap and roll it out!  No sticking, and no floury mess!  Love it!
9. Press into your tart pan.
10. Fill with pastry cream!  Don't go all of the way to the top- save a little room for the lattice!  Plus, you don't want any ooze!
11. Roll out the rest of the dough, and cut with a pastry cutter for fun edges.  Place in a lattice pattern on the top of the tart.
12. Bake for about 30 minutes.  Start at 25 and move up- you're looking for a golden brown crust.



I didn't even need to make the second one- the first one turned out lovely!  I mean, I'm totally going to make another one so I can eat it...:)


  1. I'm so impressed that you did a vegan version (vegan baking can be very hard!) it looks perfect I love the filling flavour blackberry stunning work on this challenge.

    Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

  2. This is so adorable! I think I'm going to try it out this weekend with blueberries ^_^