Saturday 27 November 2010

Daring Bakers Challenge November 2010 ~ Crostata

Crostata is an Italian tart the base of a crostata is pasta frolla (or pastafrolla), sweet short crust pastry (or sweet tart dough) made of flour, sugar, butter and eggs. Pasta frolla is versatile: it provides the base to make crostata with fruit preserves, pastry cream, fresh fruit, ricotta, and other ingredients.

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.


For the Pasta frolla (pastry)

1/2 c. minus 1 tablespoon [105 ml, 100 g, 3 ½ oz] superfine sugar (see Note 1) or a scant 3/4 cup [180ml, 90g, 3 oz] of powdered sugar
1 and 3/4 cup [420 ml, 235 g, 8 1/4 oz.] unbleached all-purpose flour
a pinch of salt
1 stick [8 tablespoons / 4 oz. / 115 g] cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
grated zest of half a lemon
1 large egg and 1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten in a small bow l(I added 1 tablespoon egg substitute mixed with 2 tablespoons water instead)

For Filling:

Black Cherry Tarts:

8oz can of Hartleys black cherry pie filling.

For Banana Tart:

2  Bananas sliced
8 oz / 240 grams  custard
1 tablespoon brown sugar.


1.Whisk together sugar, flour and salt in a bowl.
2.Rub or cut the butter into the flour until the mixture has the consistency of coarse crumbs. You can do this in the bowl or on your work surface, using your fingertips or an implement of choice.
3.Make a well in the center of the mounded flour and butter mixture and pour the beaten eggs into it (reserve about a teaspoon of the egg mixture for glazing purposes later on – place in the refrigerator, covered, until ready to use).
4.Add the lemon zest to your flour/butter/egg substitute and 2 tablespoons water.
5.Use a fork to incorporate the liquid into the solid ingredients, and then use your fingertips.
6.Knead lightly just until the dough comes together into a ball.
7.Shape the dough into a flat disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Place the dough in the refrigerator and chill for at least two hours. You can refrigerate the dough overnight.
8.Heat the oven to 375ºF [190ºC/gas mark 5].
9.Take the pasta frolla out of the fridge, unwrap it and cut away ¼ of the dough. Reserve this dough to make the lattice top of the crostata. Refrigerate this dough while you work on the tart base.(I chose not to do this and didn't add lattice top on my tarts)
10.To help roll the crostata dough, keep the dough on top of the plastic wrap that you had it wrapped in. This can help rolling the dough and can also help when transferring the dough to your pan. You can also use parchment paper for this. However, you can also roll the dough directly on a work surface if you prefer.
11.Lightly dust the top of the dough and your work surface (if you’re rolling directly on a work surface) with flour. Keep some flour handy to dust the dough as you go along.
12.If the dough is very firm, start by pressing the dough with the rolling pin from the middle to each end, moving the rolling pin by a pin's width each time; turn the dough 180 degrees and repeat; when it softens, start rolling.
13.Roll the dough into a circle about 1/8th inch (3 mm) thick.
14.If you used the plastic wrap or parchment paper as rolling surface, flip dough over the pan, centering it, and delicately press it all around so the corners are well covered. Peel away the plastic wrap.
15.Trim the excess dough hanging over the edges of the pan. Press the remaining dough around the border into the sides of the pan making sure the border is an even thickness all the way around.
16.Prick the bottom of the dough with a fork in several places
17. Blind bake the pasty for 10 minutes in the oven.(I added this step to the recipe as previous attempts of not blind baking made my base really soggy when it came out of the oven.)

For Black Cherry filling:

18.Spread the Black cherry pie filling evenly over the bottom of the crostata and bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until pasty is golden brown.
19.Remove from oven and cool slightly before serving.

For Banana and Custard Filling:

20.After blind baking the pastry shell  spread the custard over it and arrange banana slices on top of the custard.
21. Sprinkle with brown sugar and bake till pasty is golden brown  about 20 minutes.
22. Remove from oven and cool slightly before serving.


  1. I love both the flavours and a challenge so well done.

  2. Very great filling flavours. Especially like the one with bananas.

  3. wowww... wonderful snap yaar.. it came out perfectly.. :)

  4. The mini tarts are so appealing. They sounds delicious. And you made a large one as well! Great job on this challenge. :)

  5. Banana Custard filling looks lovely. Nice step by step snaps.

  6. Black cherry crostata and banana crostata both sound delicious and look perfect lovely work on this challenge.

    Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

  7. Lovely!!! Make me drool nonstop ya! :D

  8. Scrumptious crostata, love especially that black cherry crostata..

  9. For me with black cherries that i would love it.

  10. I m enjoyn seeing all these beauties all along space and u have done an absolutely beautiful and creative take on these too!

  11. I m enjoyn seeing all these beauties all along space and u have done an absolutely beautiful and creative take on these too!

  12. I loved both the tarts . perfect crust...

  13. Luv both of them but the banana tart looks awesome !

    Cheers & Happy Cooking,

  14. Wow looks wonderful with beautiful pictures... Awesome job on the challenge.

  15. drooool. The banana one looks amazing!

  16. Crostata looks delicious, yummy and mouthwatering. Wonderful presentation.

  17. wow! what amazing tarts u have made Nayna!...tempting for sure!

  18. Guess you enjoyed the challenge..Love them both :-)

  19. thats an interesting one...

  20. wow.. i am very much impressed.looks very tempting.

  21. Very nice choice of fillings for your crostate!

  22. I am going to try this at the weekend!


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