Daring Bakers November: 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.

Ahem. I have a confession to make this month. I somehow didn’t read the recipe properly because I was so excited to see we were making a crostata, I kinda sorta forgot about the whole “pasta frolla” part. Ahem. Pasta frolla is a short crust pastry where egg yolks, not iced water, are used to bind the pastry. Right well, that will have to be for another time because I made a regular shortcrust pastry, using a Dorie Greenspan recipe with breakfast pastries in mind – the more rustic version of crostata. It is usually prepared by folding the edges of the dough over the top of a preserves or marmalade filling, which gives it a more “rough” look. If you search Google Images for crostata, you will see two types – lovely uniform round ones filled with preserves and topped with pretty strips of pastry. And more rustic ones like, ahem, mine.

Since I have been consumed by baking lately (out damned pumpkin, I say! You will see what I mean in tomorrow’s post, Project Food Blog Challenge 8: Baking with pumpkin), again, I employed my Maths for Baking skills and whittled the recipe down to make two tiny pastries for last Sunday’s breakfast, inspired by some mini-crostatas I had seen whilst searching for the pastry recipe. I was dubious about them but they were perfect – just like something you would get in a bakery. I filled them with apples and cranberries since that is what we had on hand and the flavours were spot on.


Even though I didn’t make the pasta frolla, I am still pretty happy with this challenge. Pastry and I are not typically friends so the fact that this came out was reason enough for a happy dance in my kitchen! Must be the Dorie pastry recipe – hers never seem to let me down!

Yes, I am thrilled to announce I have made it to Round 8 of Project Food Blog. I am one of 24 people left from an original 600 contestants. Thank you all for reading and voting (and watching my video!) – my next post (getting creative with baked goods featuring pumpkin) will be up on Sunday.

50 Responses to Daring Bakers November: Crostata

  1. Sheena November 27, 2010 at 07:23 #

    I love the mini crostatas, and your pastry looks so golden and crisp!

  2. PleaseDoNotFeedTheAnimals November 27, 2010 at 08:02 #

    They look like a perfect breakfast treat!
    I’ll get my post up later.

  3. Audax Artifex November 27, 2010 at 08:40 #

    I just love your mini crostata and the pastry recipe looks so simple and very similar to the challenge recipe anyway. Lovely work on this challenge. Your crostate look perfect well done. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

  4. Lora @cakeduchess November 27, 2010 at 08:49 #

    I have to try Dorie’s recipe. These look gorgeous Mardi:) Beautiful job! I like the idea of mini crostatas.

  5. Lizzy November 27, 2010 at 09:03 #

    Beautiful crostata!!! Love the sprinkle of raw sugar…nice!

  6. Stephanie November 27, 2010 at 09:12 #

    These look killer! Thanks for the detailed instructions. I’ll be looking for your pasta frolla creation!

  7. Renee (Kudos Kitchen) November 27, 2010 at 09:20 #

    Holy cow! These look amazing. Love that you made your crostata into minis and then sprinkled them with sugar. The are picture perfect and I’m sure Dorie would be proud!

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite December 4, 2010 at 06:34 #

      Well Dorie’s recipes are really failproof – I mean if I can make pastry and have it turn out…

  8. Jenn November 27, 2010 at 09:46 #

    Gorgeous Mardi!! I love your take on the challenge this month, the small individual crostatas are lovely! Great pics too!!

  9. Rochelle (Acquired Taste) November 27, 2010 at 10:00 #

    This is beautiful! I think this looks more lovely than the uniform ones that the recipe wanted of us, but then again I like rustic 🙂

  10. Lynn @ I'll Have What She's Having November 27, 2010 at 10:06 #

    These look amazing! I wish I had one to go with my coffee right now. I actually prefer the rustic look to the tart shelled ones.

  11. Mr. Neil November 27, 2010 at 10:09 #

    My one – JUST ONE! – was a wonderful breakfast treat. And I prefer rustic, me.

  12. Suz November 27, 2010 at 10:09 #

    Gorgeous mini crostate! I made the uniform version, but I think I prefer the more rustic, folded-in look. It’s more appetising and charming. Perfect, pretty comfort food. Yours look wonderful with the apples and cranberries and sugared tops. 🙂

  13. Ayngelina November 27, 2010 at 10:27 #

    I love the lead photo. I tend to think that people are either cooks or bakers, seems to be a mentality thing but you are starting to challenge that opinion.

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite December 4, 2010 at 06:32 #

      Thanks, I have always thought that too but I have to admit my perfectionist tendencies are drawn to baking…

  14. Belinda @zomppa November 27, 2010 at 11:27 #

    It turned out perfectly and so inviting!

  15. torviewtoronto November 27, 2010 at 12:12 #

    beautiful crostata looks delicious

  16. Evelyne@CheapEthnicEatz November 27, 2010 at 12:53 #

    A perfect breakfast teat. But not reading and doing the pasta frolla lol. Too much on your plate I see, do make it when you get a chance, it is awesome.

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite November 27, 2010 at 12:59 #

      Evelyne, I think even had I read that that was the requirement (I had understood the crostata was), I would have still made the same thing. Pretty as they are, tarts like that are not really my favourite type of dessert. Perhaps I will make one to take to a party or whatever but not for eating at home.

  17. theveggie November 27, 2010 at 13:43 #

    Your little crostatas are too cute! I also have an issue with following directions =) and made mine without the eggs, and mostly without the sugar, but that’s just personal preference.

  18. Michael November 27, 2010 at 14:09 #


    Fantastic crostata. It’s tea time for me and that would go swimmingly with it. So delicious looking, well done!

  19. Anna Johnston November 27, 2010 at 17:59 #

    Fabulous crostatas, I love the rustic ones with lots of sugar – a yummy treat for sure 🙂

  20. penny aka jeroxie November 27, 2010 at 18:21 #

    It looks like perfect pastry to me! you are becoming the real baker now. CAn’t wait to see your pumpkin entry.

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite December 4, 2010 at 06:31 #

      Well let’s not get too excited. But yes, baking and I are much more friendly than even a year ago!

  21. Lindsey @ Gingerbread Bagels November 27, 2010 at 18:34 #

    Your crostatas turned out perfect and delicious looking! I love the combination of apples and dried cranberries so I would be all over those crostatas. They look sooo good! I’m going to have to try out Dorie’s recipe, it sounds delicious!

    I can’t wait for your PFB post! I have been waiting and waiting for it! 🙂 I’m so excited to see what you came up with!

  22. Kim November 27, 2010 at 19:04 #

    I think your rustic crostata’s look cute! I also made a smaller version of cranberry and apple and the flavors were great together. Nice job on the challenge!

  23. Amy Bakes Everything November 27, 2010 at 19:28 #

    Gorgeous! Apples and cranberries are wonderful together!!

    • Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite December 4, 2010 at 06:29 #

      Yes, not only are they pretty but the sweet apples counter the tart cranberries perfectly!

  24. Alice November 27, 2010 at 20:07 #

    These look so professional-just like something from an artisan bakery. You can totally tell why you’ve made it so far into the bloggers challenge. Congratulations! It’s all getting terribly exciting now!

  25. Couscous & Consciousness November 27, 2010 at 23:43 #

    I don’t care that you didn’t read the instructions properly, these look positively divine, and I’m impressed that you even made your own pastry at all, which is something I would definitely think twice about. In fact, now that I think about it is probably the reason why I have so far never tried making crostata – but you’ve certainly now inspired me to try.
    Sue 🙂

  26. Daydreamer Desserts November 28, 2010 at 12:25 #

    Regardless of the pastry you chose to use, they look absolutely delicious!

  27. Renata November 29, 2010 at 16:03 #

    Love your mini Crostatas. The sprinkled sugar was a nice touch. Delicious breakfast that was!

  28. Grace November 30, 2010 at 18:32 #

    Love your crostata Mardi. Great flavour combination. My Mom showed me how to make Pasta Frolla a little bit ago. My Mom is from the Abruzzo region in Italy and the pasta frolla she grew up making uses oil instead of the usual butter. I’ve grown up eating it this way but would like to try the version with butter at some point. I found it was quite easy to work with. We spent the afternoon making Fiadone Dolce, one of my favourites Italian treats. Have you ever tried it? I didn’t realize it could be used for crostata, I will have to try it for sure. Also looking forward to trying Dorie’s recipe too. Thanks for sharing!

  29. Vicki @ Wilde in the Kitchen December 1, 2010 at 12:47 #

    Even if you read the instructions wrong, these look amazing! Nice work this month 🙂

  30. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction December 8, 2010 at 20:36 #

    I’m wishing I had made the same mistake you did. I would have loved this more than the DB recipe, I think. I think my pasta frolla was right, but I much prefer a traditional pie dough.


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