The crostata is one of those much-loved homemade baked goods that comes in many forms and varieties that many Italians grew up with. These days you can find them in bars and cafés throughout the country, usually a version filled with apricot jam or blackberry jam, to be eaten with a cappuccino for breakfast or mid-morning snack, or after a meal as dessert. But there's nothing like a rustic, homemade crostata: tasty, jammy, sweet and so comforting you begin to believe it’s good for you. They make a great portable dish because they're not fragile or messy and are perfect to be eaten with hands.
The thing about the homemade crostata is that it is so incredibly easy, so don’t skimp out on making your own pastry or not using anything but the nicest quality, organic ingredients you can find. You can fill it with your favourite jam (homemade or otherwise) - this one here is raspberry.
The pastry recipe is adapted from Artusi’s 1891 cookbook (one of three versions he gives for this recipe). It's the perfect pastry crust for this sort of thing - slightly softer and "cakier" than a short crust pastry with a little zing from the lemon zest. —Emiko
To make the pastry, chop the cold butter into small pieces and add to the flour and sugar. I always use my hands for this next bit but you can do this in a food processor if you like. With your fingers, rub the butter into the flour until you get a crumbly mixture and there are no more visible pieces of butter. Mix in the lemon zest and beaten egg plus the extra yolk until the pastry comes together into a smooth, elastic ball. Don't overwork it. Let it rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes (overnight is even better).
After resting, roll out about ¾ of the pastry to cover your pie dish. With the rest of the pastry, roll out to make strips, about 2cm wide to create a lattice for the top of your crostata. Fill the pie with your favourite jam and place your lattice strips over the top. Bake at 350 F for about 25 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.
The Australian-Japanese cookbook author has lived in Florence (where a visit to a cheese farm once inspired her to start a food blog) for over 10 years with her Tuscan sommelier husband and two kids. Her third cookbook, Tortellini at Midnight, is out now.