Blueberry Cornmeal Crostatas

August 10, 2009

A delicious end of summer treat: Blueberry Cornmeal Crostatas. These little Italian inspired, free-form, rustic tarts are a delicious finish to a light summer meal. I served mine hot out of the oven with homemade whipped cream. The cornmeal is a great addition to the pastry dough, adding crunch and texture. I used a whole lemon in the fruit mixture, because I love the way the tangy citrus accentuates the berries and cuts through the buttery crust. However, if you do not like too much tang, half the lemon juice.

crostata

Blueberry Cornmeal Crostatas

(adapted from Recipes: A Collection for the Modern Cook by Susan Spungen)
Makes 4 Crostatas

Cornmeal Tart Dough

This dough is a bit fragile, but extremely forgiving, and easily patched.

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cornmeal
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
5 tablespoons of unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1.5 large egg yolks (sorry, I halved the original recipe!)
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Combine the flour, cornmeal, and salt in a bowl. Whisk to combine and set aside.

Cream together the butter and sugar. Stir in the yolks, making sure to combine well. Add vanilla and mix well. Add the dry ingredients over the wet ingredients and stir to combine until the dough forms a ball. You may need to use your finger to integrate all the ingredients.

Form dough into a flat disk. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and chill until ready to use.

Crostatas

Cornmeal Tart Dough (above)
1 pint fresh blueberries
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
zest of one small lemon
juice of one small lemon

Remove dough from refrigerator about 30 minutes before rolling.

Combine the blueberries, sugar, flour, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a large bowl. Toss together gently and set aside.

When dough is malleable but still firm, cut dough into quarters. Working quickly, use your hands to form a ball with one piece of dough. Flatten the ball and place between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Roll out into a circle about 1/8 inch thick and about 5 inches in diameter. Keep circles of dough in refrigerator as you finish them.

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Place a circle of dough on the sheet, leaving room for the others. Spoon about 1/2 cup of the berry mixture onto the circle, leaving at least a 1-inch border. Bring the edges of the dough over the top to envelop the berries. Using your hands, fold in the edges, pressing gently and patching holes. Cup your hands over the tart and press down firmly to shape. Repeat with remaining dough and berries. Chill for about 20 minutes before baking. While the tarts are chilling, preheat over to 375 degrees.

Bake until the crust turns golden brown and the fruit is bubbling, about 25 minutes. Let set for 5 to 10 minutes before transferring from baking sheet to serving plates. Serve with homemade whipped cream.

Whipped Cream
(The Gourmet Cookbook)
makes about 2 cups

1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup very cold heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar

Combine ingredients and beat with an electric mixer until cream just holds soft peaks.

Note: The cream can be made up to 1 hour ahead, covered, and refrigerated.

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2 Responses to “Blueberry Cornmeal Crostatas”

  1. Clarissa said

    My word, those look delicious!

  2. […] Blueberry Cornmeal Crostata […]

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