Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Rhubarb Adds Zing To This Crostata

 We're at the beginning of berry season, with local, divine strawberries easily available and the first of the blackberry types due locally in a couple of weeks.

When strawberries are so plentiful and ripe, I love to make a strawberry-rhubarb pie or crostata. You don't need a lot of rhubarb to add a nice zing to the filling. Yesterday morning I made a crostata (a rustic pie made by rolling out a circle of dough larger than the diameter of the pie. Once filled, the extra pastry gets folded over the filling) with a pint of strawberries and one long stalk of rhubarb. I cut all the fruit in a large dice. It only made four servings, but that was just right since Sweetie is still watching his calories and losing weight. We each had a serving for breakfast yesterday while it was warm, and ate the other two servings today for breakfast, warmed slightly in the microwave.

Use your favorite pastry for this. I used Pillsbury ReadyCrust from the refrigerator section of the market. If you look at the flaky crust in this photo you'll understand why I often use this ready made pie dough instead of making my own. Quick, easy and wonderful flaky pie crust...what's not to like? I baked it on a pizza pan but you can use a cookie sheet or similar pan. I like to use a pan without sides because I think the crust browns better all over that way.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Crostata

Elle's recipe

1 pint fresh strawberries, washed, drained, hulled and cut into large dice
1-2 stalks fresh rhubarb, washed, ends trimmed, cut into smaller dice (about 1/4-inch)
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon (less if freshly grated) nutmeg

1/2 box Pillsbury ReadyCrust or any pie dough for 1 crust pie
sanding sugar (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Put the rack in the middle or lower-middle part of the oven.

In a large bowl, thoroughly but gently mix the strawberries, rhubarb, flour, cornstarch, sugar, salt and nutmeg.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to an 11 to 12-inch diameter circle. Transfer to a sheet pan, pizza pan, cookie sheet or similar flat metal pan.

Mound the contents of the bowl in the middle of the dough circle. Spread out to a single layer, making sure that there is at least an inch of uncovered dough at the outer edges. Fold the uncovered dough up and over the fruit mixture. If you have a smaller quantity of filling, there will be more pastry over the filling (as happened with my crostata); if you have more filling, the pastry over the filling will not cover as much of the filling. It's all good!

Optional: Brush the pastry lightly with water using a pastry brush and sprinkle with sanding sugar.

Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until filling is bubbly and crust has browned. Remove pan to a wire rack to cook for at least 10 minutes, then cut in portions and serve.

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