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.
As I mentioned above, I made two sweet versions of crostata. The first was a lemon blueberry mascarpone cream crostata. I chose to make minis of that version. Here is the pasta frolla recipe I used for the shell of the crostata:
- scant 3/4 cup icing sugar
- 1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- pinch of salt
- 1 stick or 8 tbsp cold, unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- grated zest of one lemon
- 1 large egg & 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten
- Combine sugar, flour, salt and lemon zest in bowl of food processor. Pulse a few times to mix.
- Add butter and pulse a few times until the mixture has the consistency of coarse meal. Empty bowl of food processor onto your work surface and make a well in the center.
- Add eggs to the well in the center and use a fork to combine the mixture until it starts to come together.
- Use your hands to combine the mixture until it forms a ball. Don't over mix here - it will be a little crumbly. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least two hours.
- Remove from fridge and roll out on a lightly floured work surface. Line tart pan with dough that has been rolled out. Line the dough with parchment paper and place pie weights, raw rice or beans in the center to help the crust hold its shape while you blind bake it.
- Blind bake the shell in the oven at 350F for about 15 minutes, then remove the parchment and the pie weights and bake another 10-15 minutes or until cooked through.
- 1 cup frozen blueberries
- 2 tsp sugar
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 250g mascarpone
- 1/2 cup chilled heavy whipped cream
- juice from 1/2 - 1 lemon
- Combine blueberries & 2 tsp sugar in a small saucepan on the stove. Heat over medium heat until completely thawed and they have started juicing a bit. Remove from heat and let cool.
- Mix sugar, mascarpone, and lemon juice until smooth. Whip the cream and gently fold into the mixture. Spread 1/2 the cream mixture over the crust. Top with the blueberries and then top with the remaining cream mixture. Garnish with blueberries and a bit of lemon zest.
Next version was a toasted hazelnut cream crostata. It was amazing!! I followed the same recipe for pasta frolla as above, but substituted 1/2 cup ground toasted hazelnuts for 1/4 cup of the flour and omitted the lemon zest. The crust was slightly more difficult to work with when I added the nuts, but the taste was absolutely amazing!
For the filling, I used a recipe I found on the Food Network website. I omitted the chopped hazelnuts, storebought meringues and the raspberries. But other than that I followed the recipe! It was rich and decadent and so smooth tasting. I topped the crostata with little rounds made from the leftover pasta frolla that I baked in the oven, sweetened whipped cream and some more toasted hazelnuts. It turned out beautifully and tasted delicious.