The Crostata is a very typical Italian desert. Like an American pie that begins with a basic pastry which thinly lines the bottom and sides of a pie pan and then can be filled with a multitude of different things, the Crostata uses a pasta frolla (shortcrust pastry) laid out medium thickness in a tart pan and is then covered with jam, custard creams, ricotta, fresh fruit and even Nutella. Obviously there is no limit to the possibilities.
We know that the Crostata is certainly one of the most traditional of Italian deserts even if there isn’t really any historical references that tell us about its beginnings. Popular legend however recounts that in pre-Christian times, to honor the siren Partenope who resided in the Gulf of Naples, the residents would donate each spring their most precious things (among them, flour, eggs, sugar, grain, ricotta and spices) which were then transformed by the Gods into a dolce (desert or cake).
This recipe combines fresh blueberries in a buttermilk/egg yolk cream which, when baked, becomes almost custard-like. Delicious and easy, it’s a great elaboration on a very Italian desert!
Marilee’s tip: as a substitute for 1 cup of buttermilk, you can put a Tbs. of fresh lemon in a measuring cup and add regular milk to fill the cup. Let it sit 10 min. or more before adding to the other ingredients.
Crostata di Mirtillo (Blueberry Tart)
1+1/3 (11oz approx) cup flour
1/4 cup (2oz) sugar
1/4 teaspoon. salt
1/2 cup (4oz) cold unsalted butter cut up
1 large egg yolk beaten with 2 tablespoons ice water
Rice for weighing shell
1 cup buttermilk
3 large egg yolks
1/2 cup (4oz) sugar
1 Tbs. grated lemon peal
1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup melted butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbs flour
2 cup (16oz) blueberries
Shell: mix flour, sugar, salt and butter until coarse crumbs.
Add yolk/water and form into ball. Dust with flour and chill wrapped in plastic wrap for 1 hour. Roll out 1/8 inch thick and place in tart pan and chill at least 30 min. Line with foil and fill with rice. Bake at 350 for 25 min. Remove foil and rice and bake an additional 5-10 min. Cool in pan on rack.
Filling: in blender: buttermilk, yolks, sugar, lemon, butter, vanilla, salt and flour until smooth. Spread blueberries over bottom of shell, pour mixture over. Bake at 350 for 30-35 min.
Sprinkle powdered sugar over top when cooled.