Need a simple dessert for a special dinner? This rustic Cherry and Almond Cream Crostata is easy, but unique enough to be the special finale to a lovely dinner.
So, inquiring minds want to know…what the heck is a ‘crostata’ anyway? And how is a crostata different from a pie, tart or galette for that matter?
So, if you really didn’t want to know, then skip the next couple of paragraph and go straight to the good stuff. BUT…if you are the wee bit curious, then here’s the scoop.
A crostata; which is basically the same thing as a galette, just one (the crostata) originated in Italy while the other (galette) has it’s roots in France, is what I think of as a lazy person’s pie. And let me say right up front, I am all in favor of ‘lazy people’s’ things.
It’s what you make when you have a bunch of apples or blueberries or cherries that need to be used up, and you can’t get a vision of an apple or blueberry or cherry pie out of your head but just don’t have the time (or gumption) to labor over a pie crust. It’s more of a free-form or rustic pie…with the filling being in the middle of the crust dough and then the sides of the crust dough just folded over to hold all the yumminess in place.
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In terms of how pies and tarts figure into this discussion, my friend Jenni has a great discussion about the difference between these two desserts over on her page. But in a nutshell, or should I say ‘pieshell’ ??(I really crack myself up sometimes!), a pie is typically all about the filling and less about the crust, but with tart…the filling and crust bear equal weight. Plus there’s the whole thing about pies having slanted sides and tarts have vertical sides…
So with that heavy discussion out of the way, let’s just dive into this Cherry and Almond Creme Crostata.
A rustic crostata (or galette) featuring cherries and almond cream.
Place flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of your food processor.
Pulse to combine
Add butter all at one and pulse 10-15 times until butter is pea-sized
With motor running, add ice water all at one time through the feed tube.
Pulse until dought just starts to come together
Remove from food processor and pour onto wax paper.
Form dough into a round and wrap in wax paper and refrigerate for at least one hour.
Add almonds and powdered sugar to bowl of food processor and process until the consistency of cornmeal.
Add butter, vanilla and Amaretto or almond extract and process until a thick pudding consistency.
Add egg and process until creamy.
Combine fresh or drained, frozen cherries with cornstarch and sugar and set aside
Preheat oven to 450'
Put chilled crostata dough on a piece of parchment paper on your baking sheet.
Roll out dough until approximately 11" in diameter
Pour almond cream into the middle of the dough, leaving about 2" of dough around the perimeter.
Add cherrries on top of almond cream
Pull up the sides of the crostata
Bake at 450 for 20-25 until crust is golden brown
Let cool and serve warm or at room temperature.
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