First, I must say I love a crostata. And I confess that's because they're easy to make, they have a rustic carefree presentation, and most important, they're delicious. The filling in this one is a cream cheese, not too sweet with a brighten flavor from lemon zest.
If you're not into making your own crust, not a problem. Just purchase a premade pie dough and you're all set to throw together a wonderful crostata, although you'll need to make a smaller crostata if you cannot find a premade pie crust that rolls out to 12 inches.
Supported by cream cheese, the stars in this crostata are a mango and strawberries.
See how it's made:
Preheat oven 350 degrees
Purchase pie crust or if you choose to make your own:
- 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1-1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 ounces unsalted butter, very cold cut into 1/4" cubes
- 3-4 Tablespoon ice water
- Egg wash (1 egg plus 1 tablespoon cold water, mixed)
Cream cheese filling:
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- lemon zest, about 1 teaspoon
- 1 mango, peeled, sliced thin
- 1/2 cup fresh strawberries, cut in quarters
- Jelly glaze icing for fruits to preserve color and give a high shine (optional)
- Using a food processor, add flour, sugar and salt. Pulse 2-3 times. Add butter, pulse 8-10 times, until ingredients appear like small peas. Add the cold water, pulse 10-12 times. Test dough consistency by pinching a small ball. If it doesn't stick together without crumbling, add more water but 1 tablespoon at a time. Shape into a round disk, wrap in a cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- While dough is setting in the refrigerator, make the cream cheese filling. Mix the cream cheese, sugar vanilla and lemon zest. Set aside.
- Prepare mango and strawberry.
- Prepare egg wash.
- Prepare clear icing, if you choose to ice the fruits.
- Assemble the crostata.
>Dust flour on a sheet parchment paper and the rolling pin. (IMPORTANT! Use parchment paper. Assembling the crostata directly onto a workspace will make it difficult to impossible to transfer the crostata to a baking sheet. Been there, done that!) Transfer dough from the refrigerator to floured parchment paper. Gently tap the dough with the rolling pin 3-4 times. Lightly dust flour on the disk and roll out dough to a 12" diameter, about 1/4" thick.
>Spread cream cheese over the dough to 1" of the edge.
>Top with 4 separate groups of sliced mangoes, 5 slices in each group, slightly spreading the slices. Each group is placed in a four-corner fashion.
>Place strawberries in the center and between each group of mangoes.
>In a pleat-like fashion, fold 2" of the dough inward to the edge of the mangoes.
>Brush the edge of dough with an egg wash. The egg wash will help in browning and give a sheen to the dough.
>Brush a jelly glaze icing on the fruits, if you decide to glaze the mangoes and strawberries for a dramatic shine. Just be sure to get a jelly, not a preserve and in a flavor that compliments the mangoes and strawberries.
>Transfer the crostata, picking it up from the parchment paper, to a baking sheet.
>Bake 40-45 minutes.
I didn't glaze the fruits which is obvious but this was because I didn't want to introduce more sugar to the crostata. To be honest, I most often add a jelly glaze to a fruit pastry dessert when I'm making it up for guests. I use to make my own clear glaze but there is a wonderful short cut to this which is to use a jelly, not a preserve. If you would like to try this option, there is a great recipe on King Arthur Flour "How To Glaze Berries: A Simple Way to Dress Up."