Need a simple dessert for a special dinner? This rustic Cherry and Almond Cream Crostata is easy, but unique enough to be the special finale to a lovely dinner.
So, inquiring minds want to know…what the heck is a ‘crostata’ anyway? And how is a crostata different from a pie, tart or galette for that matter?
So, if you really didn’t want to know, then skip the next couple of paragraphs and go straight to the good stuff. BUT…if you are the wee bit curious, then here’s the scoop.
A crostata is basically the same thing as a galette, just one (the crostata) originated in Italy while the other (galette) has its roots in France, is what I think of as a lazy person’s pie. And let me say right upfront, I am all in favor of ‘lazy people’s’ things.
It’s what you make when you have a bunch of apples or blueberries or cherries that need to be used up, and you can’t get a vision of an apple or blueberry or cherry pie out of your head but just don’t have the time (or gumption) to labor over a pie crust. It’s more of a free-form or rustic pie…with the filling being in the middle of the crust dough and then the sides of the crust dough just folded over to hold all the yumminess in place.
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In terms of how pies and tarts figure into this discussion, my friend Jenni has a great discussion about the difference between these two desserts over on her page. But in a nutshell, or should I say ‘pieshell’ ??(I really crack myself up sometimes!), a pie is typically all about the filling and less about the crust, but with tart…the filling and crust bear equal weight. Plus there’s the whole thing about pies having slanted sides and tarts have vertical sides…
So with that heavy discussion out of the way, let’s just dive into this Cherry and Almond Creme Crostata.
- 1 cup flour
- 2 TBS sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter, very cold, diced
- 2 TBS ice cold water
- 1 cup slivered almonds, mine were not blanched, so you can see bits of the brown skin. Use blanched if you would prefer to avoid the brown bits
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp Amaretto or almond extract
- 2 TB butter
- 1 egg
- 1 pound cherries, pitted, fresh or frozen. If frozen, then thaw and drain
- 1 TBS sugar
- 2 TBS corn starch
- Place flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of your food processor.
- Pulse to combine
- Add butter all at one and pulse 10-15 times until butter is pea-sized
- With motor running, add ice water all at one time through the feed tube.
- Pulse until dough just starts to come together
- Remove from food processor and pour onto wax paper.
- Form dough into a round and wrap in wax paper and refrigerate for at least one hour.
- Add almonds and powdered sugar to bowl of food processor and process until the consistency of cornmeal.
- Add butter, vanilla and Amaretto or almond extract and process until a thick pudding consistency.
- Add egg and process until creamy.
- Set aside
- Combine fresh or drained, frozen cherries with cornstarch and sugar and set aside
To Assemble Crostata
- Preheat oven to 450'
- Put chilled crostata dough on a piece of parchment paper on your baking sheet.
- Roll out dough until approximately 11" in diameter
- Pour almond cream into the middle of the dough, leaving about 2" of dough around the perimeter.
- Add cherries on top of almond cream
- Pull up the sides of the crostata
- Bake at 450 for 20-25 until crust is golden brown
- Let cool and serve warm or at room temperature.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 2884Saturated Fat: 78gCholesterol: 467mgSodium: 866mgCarbohydrates: 302gFiber: 26gSugar: 158gProtein: 47g
Cherry and Almond Cream Crostata Tips:
- You want your crostata dough to be as cold as possible when you are working with it…it softens quickly so work quickly
- By rolling the dough on parchment paper, or a Silpat, you will not have to move it…which is a good thing as it won’t move easily given how soft the dough gets.
- I used slivered almonds that were not blanched, so my almond cream had little flecks of the brown skin in it. If you would like to avoid the brown bits, use blanched almonds.
- This Cherry and Almond Cream Crostata is not overly sweet…just a lovely after-dinner treat.
- I used frozen cherries, but I imagine fresh cherries would be outstanding.
If you like this post, I bet your cherry-loving self would love my recipe for Cherries in Spiced Port Wine.
Want to add Cherry and Almond Cream Crostata to your dessert repertoire? Then bookmark this page or pin in for your future reference.
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