Deliciously fresh – a tribute to ripe summer fruits
The crostata, a free-form Italian pie shaped entirely by hand, is incredibly well suited to summer fruits. Today I chose blueberries as the filling for this superb crostata.
The blueberries are tossed with lemon zest and a dash of tequila, which lends a marvelous flavor boost. The all-fruit filling is then hugged by a light crust that has a delightful “short” bite.
One simple trick to a perfect hand-shaped pie crust!
But the best part is that you can really look forward to baking this lovely pie without stressing – parchment paper is used to roll out the dough, which makes shaping the crostata a breeze. (Watch the video to see how it’s done.)
So, here’s to the rustic, delectable dessert… and to summer fruits!
Blueberry crostata with tequila
makes 1 medium crostata or serves 6
active time: 40 min
For the dough
- 1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons organic sugar
- pinch sea salt
- 8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter – cut in 1″ chunks
- 3 tablespoons cold milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the filling
- 1 1/4 lbs (565 g) fresh blueberries (4 cups)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest (use a microplane grater)
- 2 tablespoons silver tequila
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/3 cup organic sugar
- parchment paper
- extra flour for rolling the dough
- powdered sugar as garnish
- 1 large jelly roll pan
- Step 1: In the bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Process at high speed for 15 seconds until well blended. Add the chunks of butter and pulse until the mixture looks crumbly. In a small bowl, mix the milk and vanilla extract. Drizzle evenly on the flour mixture and pulse until the dough comes together into a ball. Place the dough on a work surface. Form a single ball and flatten with the palm of your hand to make a 1 1/2″-thick circle. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 to 30 minutes, until cold but still pliable.
- Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C).
- Step 2: Place the blueberries, lemon juice, zest, tequila, cornstarch and sugar in a large bowl. Stir until well blended and set aside. Cut a piece of parchment paper as wide as the jelly roll pan. Place a damp kitchen towel on your work surface and place the parchment paper on top. Sprinkle with a little flour. Unwrap the dough and set it in the center of the parchment paper. Sprinkle dough with a little flour and roll it out to a 13″ circle. Place the parchment paper with the rolled-out dough on the jelly roll pan. Place the blueberry mixture in the center, 2” from the edges. Fold the edges of the dough up by lifting the parchment paper and letting the dough drape over the fruits. Gently press the dough around the edges to secure the sides, and pinch the soft pleats so that there are no cracks in the dough. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until the crust is golden-brown and the fruits are bubbly. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature. Sprinkle the crostata with powdered sugar before serving.
- Cook’s note: The crostata is best eaten the day it is made.