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lunedì 25 luglio 2016

ITALIAN CROSTATA WITH FRESH FRUIT AND LIMONCELLO CUSTARD

Dessert - Vegetarian

I love crostata and prepare it in many ways. I got the idea of the limoncello custard by my Facebook friend Ada Tiso; I generally use regular custard but, since we were all adults and this custard intrigued me, I decided to try it (the fact that I love limoncello is NOT a secondary detail ;-) ); I only changed the way to measure the ingredients from the recipe she passed on me to the on I was more familiar with. This dessert is not super sweet, you can adjust the quantity of sugar to your liking. Just, as I always say, please try the original one the first time and taste it. To measure flour and sugar for the custard I use a soup spoon, NOT a measuring one!!


For the dough:
350 gr. Italian 00 flour (approx. 3 cups)
100 gr. sugar (approx. 1/2 cup)
3 extra large eggs
80 gr. butter, diced and chilled
1/3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

For the custard:
2 eggs
2 spoons full of sugar
2 spoons full of Italian 00 flour
1/5 cup limoncello
1 4/5 cup milk
grated zest of 1 lemon

Fresh fruit and gelatin to brush
Cheap dried beans


In a bowl arrange all dry ingredients and mix them to combine evenly. Add butter and mix it roughly, pinching it with flour mixture; form a well and put the eggs in it. Mix all ingredients well but quickly in order not to warm up butter too much (which would result in a "hard" dough), you have to obtain a smooth "ball". Wrap it in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes at least.

Prepare the custard. Warm up milk with limoncello.

In a saucepan, mix sugar, flour and lemon zest, then add eggs and whisk to prevent lumps.

On medium heat add the warm milk/limoncello in a thin stream, mixing and bring to boil, whisking continuously.

It will take about 5-8 minutes (the warmer the milk, the quicker the cooking).

Never stop stirring, otherwise your custard will stick to the bottom and burn, giving it an unpleasant taste. Sprinkle a little sugar on top, so it won't form the "film" on top of your custard; let it cool down to room temperature.

Grease and dust with flour a 9" tart pan (or line it with parchment paper).

Take the dough out of the fridge and roll it out, over a flour-dusted table about 1/4" thick.

Preheat oven to 375.

Put it in the pan, poke it with a fork and cover with parchment paper. Top paper with dried beans.

Bake on the central rack for 20-25 minutes; remove beans and paper then bake for 10-15 more minutes, until lightly golden on the edges.

Pour custard in the tart shell and top with your favorite fresh fruit; brush with gelatin then refrigerate 3-4 hours.


- I always weigh the ingredients when baking or making pasta: it's the most accurate way to dose them.
- As said at the beginning, it's not super sweet. Use come confectioner's sugar or whipped cream, if you think it's not sweet enough.
- The beans are used as weight to avoid dough to be lifted by steam bubbles and keep it flat.
- Once you remove the beans, let them cool down and store in a ziplock bag: you won't be able to use them anymore for soups, but you can use them endless times for the same purpose.
- For a more yellow custard, use 1 egg and 2 yolks.
- Make sure to check the fruit you use: some won't make your gelatin set. I used peaches, apricots, banana, strawberry
- You can see here how to prepare the dough.

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