There’s a new type of free-form pie becoming popular called a crostada. This particular dessert is very forgiving and makes you feel like Julia Child…very worth the effort. I’ve included a pastry recipe, enough for 1 crostoda, but certainly use your favorite grocery store brand of prepared pie dough too. Note the use of ice cold vodka for the liquid in the pastry. Surprisingly, vodka allows you to make the pastry wet enough to handle without falling apart, yet bakes off in the oven leaving you with flaky pastry! Who knew? This is not your grandma’s pastry!
I happen to have a little bit of raspberries, blueberries and leftover cherries from my pineapple upside down cake last week. So let’s call this “It’s The Berries Crostada”!
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons of unsalted butter, cold cut into cubes
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2-3 tablespoons ice cold vodka (we all store our vodka in the freezer, right?) or cream
- 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter
- 1 pint fresh raspberries
- 1 pint fresh blueberries
- 1 cup fresh pitted cherries
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 egg, beaten (for egg wash)
- 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar mixed with a pinch cinnamon (for sprinkling on pastry)
In the bowl of a stand-mixer using a paddle attachment, add the flour, sugar and salt. Combine on low-speed. Add the butter bits and mix on medium-speed for about 30 seconds to incorporate the butter, making sure to leave pea-sized pieces of butter. Combine the egg yolk and vodka and add them to the mixer on medium-speed, drizzling them in. Increase the speed to high and mix for about 15 seconds. The dough will be very crumbly and large pieces of butter will be visible.
Gather the dough into a ball, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour in the refrigerator before rolling out to allow the gluten to rest. (Dough can be stored 3 days in the refrigerator, or 2 months in the freezer- defrost the day before using in refrigerator).
For the filling:
In a large mixing bowl toss the fruit with the flour and sugar to coat.
Roll out the dough into a rough circle with a 14-inch diameter. Transfer the dough to a sheet tray lined with parchment paper.
Place the filling in the center of the dough, leaving about a 2-3 inch border of dough. Dot with butter pieces. Fold each of the edges toward the center, forming a rough circle, leaving about a 4-inch diameter opening that exposes some of the filling in the center.
Brush the crostada with the egg wash and sprinkle with turbinado/cinnamon sugar.
Bake in a 375 degree (or 350 degree convection) oven for 40-45 minutes until the crust is golden brown.
Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes.