In honor of National Pie Day, here are some ideas of making an Italian standard- La Crostata. La Crostata is simply pie. Of course there many variations and recipes; apple, frutti del bosco, apricot, blueberry, and the list goes on. The word crostata derives from the Latin word crustata. La Crostata is also known as coppi in Naples and is sfogliate in the region of Lombardia. The word first appeared in dictionaries in Italy as far back as the late 1500’s with actual recipes.
A true crostata is recognizable by the design. A crostata is closer to a tart than a traditional pie and the top is criss cross of lattice dough. Home cooks, bakeries, and of your course your nonna can make the most delightful and various crostatas using simple ingredients and fruit. Since there is so many to choose from, we found a recipe from La Tavola Marche recipe box that embodies a true and traditional marmalade crostata. Buon Appetito!
CROSTATA DI MARMALADE (Jam Tart)
1 1/3 cup butter
5 scant cups of flour
1 1/4 cups of sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 full eggs + 3 yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
drop of booze – grappa, rum, brandy, anything you like
favorite marmalade/jam, about a half a cup depending on your taste
Cream butter & sugar until light & fluffy. Beat in all the eggs & vanilla.
Sift together all the dry ingredients.
Incorporate the flour into the butter & egg mixture with a few strokes of a wooden spoon forming a dough. Take 1/3 of the dough & press into a parchment lined tart pan to 1/4 inch thickness. If the dough is sticky wet your finger tips slightly.
Generously spread marmalade on the shell.
To make the lattice work top:
Pull off a pinch of dough & roll into a long snake. This is an easy dough to work with if it breaks just pinch it back together. This is a rustic tart. Moist hands will help if the dough is sticky.
Continue until you have enough to make your lattice top.
Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about an hour or until the top is nice & brown, the bottom is cooked & the dough should shrink away from the pan a bit.