A crostata is an Italian baked pie or tart. Here we have made a sweet crostata by filling a pastry shell with vanilla spiked ricotta and sour cherry jam. The sour cherry jam ensured the crostata was not too sweet. However you can use any jam for the crostata so feel free to choose your favourite flavour.
350g plain flour
4 tbsp icing sugar
zest of 1 lemon
200g cold unsalted butter, cubed
1/3 cup iced water
1 egg, extra, lightly beaten + 1-2 tbsp raw sugar
275g fresh ricotta cheese
3 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tbsp (40g) icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 cup jam of your choice, we used New England Larder’s ‘Sour Cherry’ jam (available in-store)
- Place the flour, salt, icing sugar and lemon zest in the bowl of a food processor. Whiz for 10 seconds to combine. Add the cold butter and whiz again until the mixture resembles coarse sand. With the motor running add the cold water and continue whizzing only until the mixture comes together in a ball. OR make by hand by combining the flour, salt, icing sugar and lemon zest in a bowl. Rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles sand. Make a well in the centre and add just enough water to bring the dough together.
- Remove the pastry to a clean bench and divide into 2 pieces – one piece is 2/3 and the other piece 1/3 (the larger piece is for the tart shell and the smaller piece is for the lattice topping).
Roll out the larger piece of pastry into a circle about 28cm in diameter. Carefully roll the pastry round back over your rolling pin and transfer it to the tart pan, unfurling it into the tin. Press the pastry into the tin and trim off excess leaving 1cm about the rim of the tin. Fold this down into the edge of the tin to reinforce the sides of the pastry. Prick the base a few times with a fork. Cover and pop the pastry shell in the fridge for 30 minutes to rest.
- Roll the smaller piece out until it is about 1/2 cm thick. Transfer to a floured tray and cover, then pop in the fridge for 30 mins.
- Meanwhile preheat the oven to 180C and place a baking tray in the oven to warm up. This will help the pastry cook efficiently.
- Bring the pastry shell out of the fridge and line with a sheet of baking paper that has been crumpled up into a ball and then smoothed out, this helps the paper sit evenly in the shell. Fill the case with ceramic baking beads (or rice or legumes). Place the tart shell on the hot baking tray in the oven and bake it for about 20 minutes, then remove the paper and beads, and put it bake in the oven for another 15 minutes or until a pale golden colour.
- Spoon the ricotta mixture into the base of the tart shell then top with the warm jam.
- Brush the sheet of pastry with egg and sprinkle with raw sugar, then cut into 10 strips. Arrange 5 strips across the tart then spin the tart around and criss-cross the remaining 5 strips to create a lattice pattern.
- Bake for 35 minutes or until the filling is set. When cooked transfer to a wire rack to cool.
- Dust with icing sugar and serve.