these are my favorite fruits, all on one pie. maybe cherries would not be quite so special if they had a longer season. things being what they are, as soon as they appear i eat giant heaps, fresh, every day. only towards the end of the season i get around to cooking them. this year i finally beat the odds. though they're featured with strawberries and raspberries, it's a start. a very delicious, tart-sweet start. zhara, still in love with everything lemon, and very much into cherries and berries, was over the moon for this. this dessert just flies off the plate, so i always make two. for a single pie halve the ingredients, but the pastry freezes nicely, so you might as well.
first you make the pastry:
3 cups or 420 gr all-purpose flour
4 tb or 60 gr granulated sugar
2 1/2 sticks or 282 gr unsalted butter, very cold, cut in small pieces
5-6 tb rose water, recipe follows
1/2 ts salt
mix the flour with the salt and sugar in your food processor. add the butter, a couple pieces at a time, and pulse until you have that wet sand look. add the rose water, one tb at a time. you may need less, depending on your butter and the weather. you want to stop when you have moist clumps forming. form a mass with your hands, divide it in two, gather each into a ball, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour. it's best to be a bit compulsive about these things and weigh your pieces to make sure they're equal.
for the fruit you need:
4 cups/about 375 gr fresh strawberries, cherries and raspberries
1 tb cornstarch
1/2 cup rose jam + 2 tb for glazing
4 tb lemon curd
preheat the oven to 375F. wash, hull/pit and slice your fruit. sift the cornstarch over it and toss gently to combine. let sit while you roll out the dough. i recommend you do that directly on a sheet of parchment paper, as it's a delicate pastry and will most likely tear when you try to transfer it. if you roll it out directly on parchment it's easy to slide it on a cookie sheet. i use my biggest one, and a big sheet of parchment so i can bake both crostatas at the same time. once you have the dough rolled out into 10-inch circles, transfer them to the baking sheet and begin assembly: smear 2 tb lemon curd on each. then gently toss the fruit with the rose jam, taking care not to crush it. divide equally between the two crostatas. spread the fruit leaving a 1-inch border. turn the edges over the filling, pleating and pinching any cracks. paint the border with egg wash and bake in the middle of the oven for 25-30 minutes, until the pastry is nicely golden. when it's almost done, take them out and paint a thin layer of jam over the fruit. only one is glazed in the second pic, see the difference? let bake 2 minutes more. remove from heat and let cool on baking sheet.
this is a very fragrant dessert. it's floral, but with a pronounced lemon backbone, a nice play on the sweet/tart combo. you could always sprinkle some demerara sugar on top before baking. adding sugar to the fruit will only cause more juice that's likely to spill out.
as far as the rose water is concerned, i feel this post is long enough, so we'll talk about it in the next one. it's not that i don't want to tell you now, but i have one last piece of this crostata in the fridge, and i take that very seriously. seriously wrong. needs to be fixed.right.now. that reminds me: serve it with strawberry ice cream or lemon gelato. yum.