November 27, 2010

Daring Bakers' November 2010 Challenge - Crostata

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.

The recipe and instructions can be found here.

I couldn't decide what flavour of crostata to make so I made three sweet variations and a savoury crostata.

Of course I had to have something with chocolate. So for my first crostata I made version 1 of the pasta frolla and substituted 30g of the sugar for cocoa powder and used orange zest instead of lemon zest. After blind baking it I lined the crust with orange segments and poured a ganache of chili-chocolate, cream and orange zest over it.

For the second crostata I made again version 1 of the pasta frolla using half vanilla sugar and half superfine sugar. Also, I added lime zest instead of lemon zest. I blind baked the crust and filled it with a mix of lime zest, lime juice, condensed milk and sour cream. For stability I added a little gelatine.

With the third crostata I went a bit experimental. I made another batch of version 1 of pasta frolla with half vanilla sugar and half superfine sugar, blind baked little crostatas (crostati? what's the plural of crostata?) and filled them with a mix of sour cream, goat cream cheese, honey, thyme, gelatine and whipped cream. After the filling had set I sliced up some figs and layered them on top, then drizzled everything with a little honey. They actually tasted great - although you have to like goat cheese to enjoy them. Also, I'd probably reduce the sugar in the crust a little as it was very sweet compared to the filling.

Goatcheese and Figs
After seeing all the delicious savoury versions that the other Daring Bakers made, I had to try one myself. I decided to make an onion-bacon-crostata. It's actually a dish that is quite common in many areas of Switzerland (Zwiebelwähe). I made version 1 of the pasta frolla, omitting the sugar and the lemon zest, but adding another pinch of salt (as it turned out, ideal would have been 3-4 pinches at least - but it was edible as it was).

For the filling I cut up loads of onions and sweated them in a little olive oil until they were tender. Added some fried bacon cubes and a little cumin and spread everything on the crust. I prepared a mix of sour cream, eggs, a little milk, salt and pepper and poured everything evenly on the onions. Then I topped everything with grated gruyère cheese and baked it until it was golden brown.

Goes great with a glass of white wine
This crostata tastes great when it's still warm, but can also be eaten cold the next day and it goes great with a glass of fruity white wine.

Thanks for a great challenge, Simona!