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:
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)
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
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."
Estimated nutritional value: