The Daring Bakers Challenge - Novemer 2010 - Crostata!!!

Wow! I can't believe its that time already - the November Daring Bakers challenge is here! I had such high hopes for this challenge - I intended to make three versions - two sweet and one savory. Unfortunately, time ran out before I got around to doing the third. So I have two sweet versions of the challenge to share with you today.

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:
Pasta Frolla

  • 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


  1. Combine sugar, flour, salt and lemon zest in bowl of food processor. Pulse a few times to mix.
  2. 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.
  3. Add eggs to the well in the center and use a fork to combine the mixture until it starts to come together.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
Now that you've baked the shell, you can make the filling! For the blueberry crostata I followed a recipe from briciole's blog. I adapted the recipe to be a little bit more lemony to go with my lemon blueberry theme.

  • 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


  1. 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.
  2. 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.

Thank you Simona for such a wonderful challenge and for sharing with us the wonderfully versatile crostata! I had never heard of crostata, let alone attempted to make it prior to this recipe and I was very excited that this recipe gave me the opportunity to purchase a much needed tart pan!

Until next time, Happy Baking my Friends!


  1. I LOVE the little toasted pasta frolla rounds - they look like little cookies!

  2. Great job! Both your crostate are beautiful and I'd have a very tough time choosing between them! I really wanted to make a savoury one too, but ran out of time. Next month...

  3. They're both absolutely amazing. Love the delicate blueberry and mascarpone filling of the first one, and the hazelnut pasta frolla is just amazing, I've used it once for a strawberry crostata.

  4. Wow - those both look and sound amazing, but I think I would go for the hazelnut cream crostata first - it just looks so rich and creamy and decadent. Awesome job with both versions and great work on the challenge.

  5. Oh man...I'm not sure which I would like better because they both sound so good! They look fantastic, too!

  6. Both of your crostate look lovely but the hazlenut one looks so so delicious I adore them both. And they look so cute. I have to admit the pastry does look particularly flaky and golden brown. Well done.
    Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

  7. Love the nutty pasta frolla! The blueberry mascarpone version looks delish... wow!

  8. Fantastic! I love both of your choices. They look delicious!

  9. Mmmmm hazelnuts - great idea!

  10. Hmmm, hazelnuts are soo tasty :) I'll have to try the seconds hazelnut pasta frolla 'cause I'm drooling right now, so tasty it looks :D

  11. Wow, your hazelnut crostata looks just divine (and of course the other one looks good, too). I would be curious what ideas you had for savory crostata -- sounds promising.

  12. Thank you all so much for your kind words! You are too sweet!

    EMS - Thanks! I was planning to do a goatcheese crostata with roasted asparagus and pancetta. :) Hopefully I will have a chance during December!

  13. Your little baby blueberry ones look gorgeous and I'm glad to see your pastry worked out - mine, not so good. Leigh

  14. Both versions look beautiful. I am particularly glad you tried the blueberry one. I love hazelnuts, so I totally agree with your choice for the second version. Very nice!