Crostata di marmellata: Daring Bakers’ Life of Pie

Posted 27 June 2013 by

Crostata di marmellata — that’s Italian jam tart to you and me. This was a Daring Bakers challenge, and one of four pie options to choose from. The other pies looked amazing , and I was seriously tempted to bake some of those too, but with only so many people around to help eat them, I stuck to just this one.

Strawberry jam crostata

I haven’t baked with sweet enriched pastry before, and it turned out to be quite a challenge, particularly on a warm day. As a result, I was a little disappointed with the apparance of the finished tart, but it was really tasty, and that’s the main thing.

Crostata di marmellata

Rachael from pizzarossa was our lovely June 2013 Daring Bakers’ host and she had us whipping up delicious pies in our kitchens! Cream pies, fruit pies, chocolate pies, even crack pies! There’s nothing like pie! The recipe was adapted from Carol Field’s The Italian Baker.

Ingredients:

Jam filling

(I used the strawberry jam recipe here instead)

  • 3-1/3 cups (800 ml) 500 g strawberries, washed, hulled and quartered
  • 250 gm 2:1 gelling sugar (or 500 g of 1:1 gelling sugar, or as much white sugar (1 to 2 cups) as desired + pectin according to manufacturer’s quantities)
  • 2 tablespoons (45 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice

Pasta frolla

  • 2/3 cup (160 ml) (150 g) (5-1/3 oz) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) (75 g) (2-2/3 oz) sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
  • grated zest of 1 medium lemon
  • 1-2/3 cups (400 ml) (225 g) (8 oz) all-purpose (plain) flour
  • pinch salt

Glaze

  • ¼ cup (60 ml) (75 g) (2-2/3 oz) apricot jam
  • 1-2 teaspoons (5-10 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice

To make the jam filling

1. Stir everything together in a heavy-based saucepan and heat slowly over medium-low heat, stirring constantly.

2. When the strawberries have released their juice and the mixture comes to a boil, allow to boil for the time given in the gelling sugar/pectin manufacturer’s directions.

3. Allow mixture to cool to room temperature.

To make the pasta frolla pastry

1. Using a paddle attachment on a stand mixer or an electric hand mixer or whisk, cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, 2 – 5 minutes. The amount of time you cream the butter will affect the final dough – longer means lighter which in turn means a softer, more fragile dough which is less easy to work, but I prefer the texture of the cooked pastry this way because it’s lighter too. If you want to do a more intricate lattice, I’d recommend a shorter creaming time so you have a firmer dough.

2. Add the egg, vanilla and lemon zest, one at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition.

3. Add the flour and salt and mix until the dough comes together but remains soft, about 1 minute using a stand or electric mixer or a wooden spoon if mixing by hand. Don’t over-mix.

4. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to one hour.

5. When getting ready to bake, rest dough at room temperature for about 30 minutes.

6. Lightly grease a shallow 9″/24cm metal pie dish.

7. On either a piece of parchment or a lightly floured surface, roll 2/3 of the dough (I weighed my dough and 2/3 was about 12oz/340g) out to a circle to generously line the pie dish. I prefer to use parchment with a circle traced on it so I can roll it as quickly as possible, before the dough gets too soft to handle, then use the parchment to transfer it to the dish.

8. Transfer the dough to the pie dish, press in gently and roll the edges to form a good surface for attaching the lattice later. Prick all over the bottom with a fork.

9. Refrigerate the dough-lined pie dish for 30 minutes to reduce shrinkage during baking.

10. Preheat oven to moderate 350°F/180°C/gas mark 4..

11. Line pastry with parchment and fill with dry beans or pie weights. Bake until set, around 15 minutes.

12. Remove the weights and parchment and allow to cool. If using a springform or loose based pie dish, remove the side of the pan.

13. Preheat oven to moderately hot 400°F/200°C/gas mark 6.

14. Roll the remaining dough to fit the pie dish and cut it into roughly half inch/1.5cm-wide strips.

15. Spread the filling over the par-baked crust.

16. Arrange the strips of dough in a lattice over the filling (see links below for some how-to guides – you can do an intricate intertwined lattice or a very simple overlay one like I’ve done), trim as needed and lightly pinch the ends onto the rolled edge of the bottom crust.

crostata before baking

17. Place pie dish on a baking sheet and place in center of oven. Bake until lattice is golden, around 20 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the glaze.

To make the apricot glaze

1. Heat the jam and water in a small saucepan over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil. Alternatively, you can heat it on medium-high in a bowl in the microwave for about 2 minutes, stirring halfway.

2. Strain through a fine mesh sieve if it’s chunky.

3. While glaze and pie are both still warm, brush over lattice crust.

4. Allow pie to cool completely before serving.

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2 Responses to Crostata di marmellata: Daring Bakers’ Life of Pie

  1. pizzarossa says:

    I think your crostata looks just perfect! The pastry is quite finicky, but it’s taste that counts 🙂 Thanks so much for baking with me this month 🙂

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