So my parents were here last weekend, and it was lovely to see them. We walked all over Washington, DC. We did the usual; visiting the various stalls at Eastern Market, looking at all of the fresh fruits and vegetables. My mom stopping every once and a while to check out the latest toys for what could be my nephew’s newest gift (she eventually decided on tractor utensils; a fork, a spoon and a pusher). We also walked over to our favorite kitchen supply store, Hill’s Kitchen. If you live in the DC area, I strongly suggest stopping in (especially if you have a SodaStream, they will even accept trade ins for the large canisters!). Anyway, my mom and I spent at least 20 minutes looking around for various things that I might need (ended up with a Silpat, a squeeze bottle, and a pizza paddle) while my dad and E. patiently (I think) outside. What a great weekend.
My parents are both subscribers, and regular readers of KitchenThymes, and are extremely supportive of my passion for food, photography and trying not to gain weight as I cook my way through as many cookbooks as I can. Needless to say they were looking forward to seeing what they were going to sample when they came in to town. I decided on a Mediterranean feast (more about that in my various upcoming posts).
I decided to stay on my blueberry kick (blueberry rhubarb jam, blueberry syrup, and blueberry boy bait) and make a blueberry crostata for dessert. I have found that one of the most impressive, and easiest, ways to make a dessert, or even a main course, is to make a simple dough, fill it with your favorites, and bake it up (see my vegetable galette from last fall, the blood orange one from the winter and a strawberry rhubarb tart from last summer as examples). It’s not worth covering up nature’s beauty with a top, even if that top is super flaky and buttery.
The blueberries were plump and sweet- the perfect ripeness. The crust was both flaky and buttery with a slight sweetness to it that complimented the blueberries nicely. I served it at room temperature alongside some passion fruit sorbet (my dad’s favorite). All in all, a total success. And I secretly hope that they will comment just so you can all see how awesome they both are!
Inspired by the Barefoot Contessa
For the pastry (makes 2 crostatas)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated or superfine sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 pound (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced
6 tablespoons (3 ounces) ice water
For the filling (makes 1 crostata):
1 pint fresh blueberries
1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon of granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
For the pastry:
Place the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse a few times to combine. Add the butter and toss quickly (and carefully!) with your fingers to coat each cube of butter with the flour. Pulse 12 to 15 times, or until the butter is the size of peas. With the motor running, add the ice water all at once through the feed tube. Keep hitting the pulse button to combine, but stop the machine just before the dough comes together. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured board, roll it into a ball, cut in half, and form into 2 flat disks. Wrap the disks in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. If you only need 1 disk of dough The other disk of dough can be frozen.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Roll the pastry into an 11-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Transfer it to the baking sheet.
For the filling:
Add the rinsed blueberries to a bowl and toss them with 1 tablespoon of the flour, 1 tablespoon of the sugar, the orange zest, and the orange juice. Place the mixed fruit on the dough circle, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border. Gently fold the border of the pastry over the fruit, pleating it to make an edge.
Bake the crostata for 20 to 25 minutes, until the crust is golden and the fruit is tender. Let the crostata cool for 5 minutes, then use 2 large spatulas to transfer it to a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.